Fergus meets Custer County Friday night

Bridger Grover looks for some running room against Park on Friday night in Livingston. The Golden Eagles defeated the Rangers, 27-6. Friday night under the lights at Golden Eagle Stadium, Fergus faces Custer County at 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Nate Howard/Livingston Enterrprise

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

The Golden Eagles return to Golden Eagle Stadium Friday night when they host the Cowboys of Custer County (Miles City) at 7 p.m. The Eagles are soaring high with a two-game win streak coming into the contest, but know they face a tough challenge against the Cowboys.
“We expect them to run the ball as that has been their forte for the past several years,” said Fergus Coach Vic Feller. “With a conference game every weekend, we know we have to be ready to battle each and every game.”
Custer County comes into the contest with a 1-2 conference mark. The Cowboys got their win of the season on Friday when they defeated Belgrade, 26-14. Earlier in the season, Custer County lost to Laurel, 34-30, and to Billings Central, 20-14.
After dropping their home opener to Laurel, the Golden Eagles scored two wins over Central A opponents, Havre and Park. Fergus defeated Havre, 39-12, and this past weekend Park, 27-6.
 “We still need to cleanup some little things,” said Feller about the upcoming contest. “We still have three or four turnovers per game. We also have too many penalties and too often give up a big run. But I think all of these are fixable.
“I have really liked the play of our offensive line over the past two games,” added Feller. “They have come together as a unit to provide holes for our running backs and are giving (Mitchell) Norslien the time he needs to pass the ball.
“Our defense has been outstanding also,” he said. “We had four interceptions against Park on Friday.”
The win the week before against Havre was a big win for the Eagles. It has been a number of years since the Eagles were able to defeat the Blue Ponies in Havre.
“There was a lot of emotion going into that game,” said Feller. “It is one of our biggest rivalry games. I think Coach (Troy) Hudson said it best, ‘We punched them in the mouth, and after we scored bam-bam, they couldn’t come back.’”

Jameson, Norslien combine for 292 yards on ground against Park
Running back Wesley Jameson carried the ball 37 times for 199 yards against Park on Friday. Quarterback Norslien added 93 yards on 14 carries. At the end of the first half Fergus held an 8-0 lead. Fergus’s only scoring came on a Wyatt Blythe 45-yard pass from Norslien. Blythe also carried the ball on the PAT.
“Park is a much improved team from last year,” said Feller. “They have two really big bodies up front, but I think we were able to wear them down in the second half.”
Fergus scored two touchdowns in the third period, one on a 10-yard pass from Norslien to Bridger Grover and the other on a Jameson run of 5 yards. The Eagles failed to convert both PATs.
Park’s only score came in the fourth quarter on a Warren Hanson pass from John Waddell. Fergus added a final Jameson 3-yard run for a fourth touchdown late in the fourth. Tanner Mannin added the PAT kick to make the final score 27-6.
“We ran the ball more than we normally do,” said Feller, “but we were having so much success on the ground, why throw?”
Jamison carried the ball 10 to 14 yards on several occasions.
“We can’t have Wes carry the ball that much throughout the rest of the season if we expect to keep him healthy,” added Feller. “We have two other excellent running backs in Blythe and Matt Welsh. We need to get them more involved in the offense.”
Feller said the team is loaded with wide receivers this year. They include Noah Agostinelli, Landon Henderson, Cody Henderson, Jake Clinton, Hunter Larson, Tanner Trafton and Bridger Grover.
Although Norslien only completed five of the 12 passes he attempted for 105 yards, Feller was pleased with his performance.
“He had almost 200 yards between passing and running,” said Feller.
Grover had two catches for 32 yards against the Rangers. He also scored a touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Norslien. Larson added a catch for 18 yards and Landon Henderson had one catch for 10 yards.
Jameson led the Golden Eagle defense with nine solo tackles and one assist. Blythe added four solo tackles and four assists, while Welsh had four tackles and two assists. Landon Henderson had two quarterback sacks. Jameson added two interceptions on defense. Blythe and Clinton also had an interception each.

Class A playoff picture
With the season already one third of the way in the books, it is not too early to look at this year’s play-off picture. With the Eastern and Central A combined into one division for football, six teams will make the playoffs out of the division.
In the first round of the playoffs, the number three seed out of the Eastern-Central division meets the number six seed out of the division. The number four and five seeds also play in the first round. Number one and two seeds draw byes into the quarterfinals.
“I think for the first time, we could see the number one seed having a loss this year,” said Feller. “The 10-team division looks very competitive from top to bottom.”
Currently Laurel and Sidney hold the top two spots with 3-0 records. Dawson County, Fergus and Billings Central have identical 2-1 records to be tied for third place. Custer County, Hardin and Belgrade are 1-2, while Havre and Park are 0-3.
The Golden Eagles need your support on Friday night. Come cheer on the Fergus football team as they look to take down another opponent.



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