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Titans fall to Blue Hawks in championship game


THOMPSON FALLS – It wasn’t the ending that anyone expected, least of which the Titans and their fans.

A cloudy day never quite cleared up for Flint Creek (10-1) as they fell to Thompson Falls (12-0) 40-8 in the MHSA 8-Man Football Championship.

After the game the Titans put their character on center stage, with both players and coaches wanting to take blame for the loss and celebrating their teammates while fighting back tears of frustration.

“I blame this one on me,” senior Avery Metesh after the game. “The team came out flat and I should have done a better job preparing us.

“It was a great run. Can’t win ‘em all and we’re kind of use to it. But it happens to everyone and a lot of teams would kill to be here right now.”

Fellow senior Jacob Barron echoed Metesh’s sentiment. “One of the best things I’ve ever had. We had a target on our back this entire year and it’s a great team. It’s a great season and I don’t really care how it ended, I’m happy with who I got to play with and how far we got to go.”

Senior Leyton Wagner also spoke to the team’s coaching over his four years in the program.

“It all started day one our freshman year,” he said. “Cutler taught us real well and then Jason came in and he kept teaching us. No excuses. Find a way. Do what we can do.”

“I just wasn’t getting us in a good spot to score and I just couldn’t get our offense rollin’,” said first-year Head Coach Jason Ostler. “I needed better play calling and I didn’t have an answer for their defense. They scouted us well and knew what they needed to stop. They had a heck of a good game plan and executed it well.

“It was a good run. Credit goes to all of the kids and their parents. They put in the work and do stuff and it makes my job easy. I have the easy part.”

 
“It was a good run. Credit goes to all of the kids and their parents. They put in the work and do stuff and it makes my job easy. I have the easy part.”
~ Jason Ostler, FC Head Coach
 

Despite their remarks, the fact was that on Saturday the Blue Hawks were just the better team. The Titans managed to collect just 96 yards of total offense in the loss, eight in the air on a single from Andrew Tallon to Metesh and 88 on the ground. Tallon led the rushing with 12 carries for 55 yards.

One big key for Thompson Falls was stymieing Titans rusher Tyler Burden and Chase Goldade. Burden got just 23 yards and eight attempts while the Blue Hawks completely stopped Goldade by holding him to -4 yards on 12 carries.

Ryan Bucher started the scoring for Thompson Falls with a 15-yard run on their first possession. Trae Thilmony added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Bucher scored again in the second, this time from 40 yards out and the Blue Hawks were up 14-0.

The Titans managed their only score of the game just before halftime when Goldade punched it in from five yards out with Tallon adding the two-point conversion.

The second half was all Thompson Falls with Bucher scoring his third of the day on a 57-yard run, while Elijah Ratliff and Hayden Hanks also finding the end zone on short runs. Nathan Schraeder rounded out scoring for the winners with a 15-yard return of a fumble recovery.

The championship is the first for the Blue Hawks after two previous quarterfinal finishes in 2019 and 2020.

The Titans finish as the runner up for the first time in their eight year history, having claimed three titles and exits in the quarterfinals (once) and third first round (three times).

SCORING

Flint Creek – 0/8/0/0 – 8

Thompson Falls – 8/6/12/14 – 40

FIRST QUARTER

10:36 TF Bucher 15 yard run TD. Thilmony run.

SECOND QUARTER

4:05 TF Bucher 40 yard run TD. Run failed.

0:25 FC Goldade 5 yard run TD. Tallon run.

THIRD QUARTER

7:15 TF Ratliff 1 yard run TD. Run failed.

4:31 TF Bucher 57 yard run TD. Pass failed.

FOURTH QUARTER

11:24 TF Hanks 3 yard run TD. Run failed.

11:10 TF Schraeder fumble recovery 15 yard return TD. Schraeder run.


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