Titans roll past Fairview, head toward semifinal at Ft. Benton
PHILIPSBURG – For all the talk of similarities of seasons gone by, one thing was perfectly clear Saturday at George Mungus Field in Philipsburg – the Flint Creek Titans are most decidedly not living in the past.
Flint Creek took its future in its hands and beat Fairview 48-6 to advance to the semifinals of the MHSA 8-Man Football Playoffs next weekend. The game will be at 1 p.m. at Ft. Benton.
For the second straight week senior Preston Metesh carried a large part of the home team’s load on his back, scoring four touchdowns on more than 130 yards of total offense. He started the scoring on the Titans’ third possession, breaking through the line on a 54-yard carry and an 8-0 lead.
The game started in a far less grand fashion for Flint Creek, with Kade Cutler fumbling the ball on a run near the end zone. It was the second of two turnovers on the game for the Titans.
“We gotta get the tip of the ball covered,” said FC Head Coach Mike Cutler. “On Kade’s fumble, he’s trying to get some extra yards and he stood up and they did a good job of stripping the ball. The other one was on our veer midline option exchange. You can’t have turnovers like that in a quarterfinal game and certainly not in a semifinal game.”
Once the Titans corrected that issue and logged their first score, they set about putting the game out of reach early with a second TD in the opening stanza. Kade Cutler rambled 10 yards to increase the lead to 14-0.
But the Flint Creek duo was just getting started.
Cutler intercepted a Kanyon Taylor pass as time expired in the first quarter to setup a Metesh 25-yard run a few plays later. Two minutes after that Cutler hit Leyton Wagner with a 23-yard scoring pass that saw the junior receiver dive across the goal line for the score. And when another 120 seconds ticked off the clock Cutler was dashing in for his second rushing score of the day with 5:35 to play in the half.
And as time started winding down toward halftime, one of those déjà vu moments set itself up perfectly. Flint Creek regained control of the ball with time waning and ran a few plays until 25 ticks remained on the clock at the Fairview 31. It was then that Metesh notched his third score of the day by weaving through the Warrior defense and breaking several tackles on his way to the end zone.
The play mirrored a score late in the second period from 2017 when Colton Grange hit Jaxon Lee with just seconds before the buzzer.
The Titans took a 40-0 lead into the locker room and added its final score in the third on Metesh’s fourth score of the day.
Fairview got on the board late when Taylor hit Garrett George with a 26-yard scoring pass and missed point after pass.
“We’re very confident and these kids worked their tails off,” Coach Cutler told reporters after the game. “When you work that hard and you prepare like that, you’re going to have that kind of confidence.
“Fairview’s a good team. I said you have to beat the tradition out of a team like that because they have been so successful. We’re really looking forward to going up to Ft. Benton next week.”
Ft. Benton hammered Joliet 64-14 in their quarterfinal game, setting up next week’s semifinal between the Titans and the Longhorns.
In the other half of the bracket, Scobey eliminated the West’s No. 2 team Thompson Falls 40-24. And when defense took a holiday, Shelby battered Park City 87-68. Scobey and Shelby will play Nov. 14 at Shelby.
Fairview 0/0/0/6 – 6
Flint Creek 14/26/8/0 – 48
8:09 FC PMetesh 54 yard run TD. Cutler run.
6:33 FC Cutler 10 yard run TD. Pass failed.
9:52 FC PMetesh 25 yard run TD. Run failed.
7:32 FC Cutler 23 yard pass to Wagner TD. Pass failed.
5:35 FC Cutler 25 yard run TD. Run failed.
0:17 FC PMetesh 31 yard run TD. Cutler to PMetesh pass.
2:25 FC PMetesh 16 yard run TD. Cutler run.
5:55 FV Taylor 26 yard pass to George TD. Pass failed.