BACK ON TOP: Flint Creek defeats Scobey for 8-man Championship
DRUMMOND – With 9.4 seconds to play in the first half, Flint Creek junior Avery Metesh stepped into the spotlight and the path of a pass by Scobey’s Jayce Tande.
Metesh returned the interception 52 yards for a score and a lead the Titans would never relinquish as they claimed a 44-6 victory over the Spartans Saturday afternoon in the Montana High School Association’s 8-Man Football Championship.
“We were in a man and we needed to make a play going into halftime,” said Metesh. “He went under and I went over and it was right there for me. Great blocking … They’ve been telling me all year to make a move and not run someone over.”
The play was the turning point late in the first half that sent Flint Creek on a 38-point scoring run that sucked all of the momentum from the visiting Spartans.
The title is Flint Creek’s third in the last four years, also claiming undefeated season in 2017 and 2018.
The interception by Metesh was one of four the Titans collected on the day at the expense of Tande, who had thrown seven picks in 11 previous games.
See Avery Metesh's game-changing interception
“Defensively we didn’t do anything different,” said Titan Co-Head Coach JC Holland when asked about any adjustments Flint Creek made at halftime. “We knew what our game plan was and what we were going to do, we just had to make plays. We had several passes in the first half that I thought we should have picked off and we didn’t. We just challenged the kids to make a play and they did.
“We wanted to put pressure on their quarterback and we kind of wanted to let him throw when we went to zone. Avery has improved every single game this year at defensive back. He’s a heck of a football player.”
Flint Creek created their first turnover of the game on Scobey’s first play. After receiving the kickoff the Spartans’ Tande tried hitting a receiver over the middle and was picked off by safety Kade Cutler. The Titans got the ball close to the end zone, but were unable to convert.
After several exchanges Flint Creek found its way onto the scoreboard at the end of the first stanza when Cutler dodged his way through the Spartan defense on a 9-yard scoring run for a 6-0 lead.
Scobey used the first two minutes of the second quarter to mount a scoring drive, working the ball to the Flint Creek 16 before Tande hooked up with Colter Oie on a scoring pass at 10:43.
It was then that the defenses took over, with neither squad giving the offense any quarter. And when the Spartans stopped the Titans 25 yards away from a score with 3:25 to go before the half, It appeared the visitors might get one more shot at the lead.
That was until Metesh stepped in. The interception and touchdown return stifled any momentum that Scobey had and flung it full tilt towards Flint Creek as the two squads headed into the locker room.
When they emerged, the Titans would drive a dagger into the visiting team’s heart as Cutler took the opening kickoff and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown and a 20-6 lead.
The Spartans tried to regroup, but less than a minute later Metesh collected his second interception of the day and set his team’s offense up at the Scobey 25. Flint Creek drove the ball to the three where Cutler punched it in just a minute after the turnover.
Holding a 28-6 advantage, the defenses came back into play. It would be almost nine minutes before Flint Creek would again find pay dirt, this time on a 31-yard scoring run by Preston Metesh. It was a run that saw him start right before shifting back to his left and finding room around the edge.
The Spartans weren’t ready to roll over and play dead, taking to the air to try and move the ball quickly to open the fourth quarter. Unfortunately that played right into the Titans’ defensive game plan and Cutler picked off Tande for the fourth time on the day. Flint Creek moved the ball close enough to allow Preston Metesh one more shot at the end zone, a 12-yard touchdown run that cemented the win and the title.
“I don’t know right now,” explained Holland of the win. “I’m just so happy for the kids winning this. That’s our goal every year and when you finish like that it just can’t get any better. So as far as me not coaching anymore, that’s irrelevant. It’s awesome to go out in your last game with a win and a state championship, but it’s just all about the kids.”
Holland and Cutler announced at the start of the season that 2020 would be their last on the sidelines. The lifelong friends took over the program from previous head coach Jim Oberweiser and posted a 44-4 record over the last four years, including three undefeated state championship seasons.
Flint Creek will also lose six seniors to graduation in Kade Cutler, Mason Graeff, Tucker Weaver, Preston Metesh, Ethan Parke and Trevor Morrissey. The first four each collected their third state championship, having played on the team since their freshman year. Parke joined his sophomore year to get his second ring, while Morrissey collected his first after transferring to Granite High School this year from Frenchtown.
Scobey 0/6/0/0 – 6
Flint Creek – 6/8/22/8 – 44
0:46.7 FC Cutler 9 yd run TD. Pass failed.
10:43 SC Tande 16 yd pass to Oie. Pass failed.
0:09.4 FC AMetesh Interception 52 yd return TD. PMetesh run.
11:51 FC Cutler 67 yd kickoff return TD. Run failed.
10:01 FC Cutler 3 yd run TD. Cutler to PMetesh pass.
0:33.1 FC PMetesh 31 yd run TD. Cutler run.
9:40 FC PMetesh 12 yd run TD. Cutler pass to Graeff.