High School SportsHigh School Football


8-Man football roundup: West Yellowstone squeaks past Joliet in sloppy conditions

Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 01:03:50-04

JOLIET -- West Yellowstone's Matthew Burden intercepted a pass by Joliet in the final minute to preserve the Wolverines' 16-12 8-Man South win over the J-Hawks on a rainy, muddy Friday night in Joliet.

"(Joliet) is a very good team. Obviously, we knew that coming in here. It's tough to get a win here," West Yellowstone head coach Jeff Matthews said. "We just knew we had to make a couple plays. ... It comes back to the players, man. You can't do anything without them fully buying in."

West Yellowstone trailed 12-0 at halftime, but the Wolverines were able to score on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Quarterback Mac Hauck found Burden, who took it the distance to bring the Wolverines within 12-8.

West Yellowstone got the ball back and punched one in on its next possession, too. After Miguel Salinas ripped off a long run to put the Wolverines in a goal-to-go situation, Salinas walked into the end zone on a toss play to give West Yellowstone its first lead of the game. Salinas converted the two-point conversion, too.

"Our coach just told us to not give up. He told us to keep pulling. He said, 'It can't be pretty, it's got to be a sloppy game to win this,'" Salinas said.

The teams would trade punts throughout the majority of the third and fourth quarters, as the field conditions continued to worsen. Players were slipping out of cuts, quarterbacks unable to handle snaps and jerseys pasted in brown from the mud.

"You get some wet weather, some wind, we got it all (Friday). We got a little sloppy field, that's how it's going to be," Matthews said. "It's just one of those things you've just got to fight through. Our team has fought through so much, especially this week, to come out here and do what they did, it was pretty special."

Joliet still trailed West Yellowstone 16-12 with less than three minutes to play when the J-Hawks ripped off a big run to get into Wolverines territory, but Joliet quarterback Hayden Ward threw into traffic, where Burden would come down with the interception to seal the Wolverines' win.

"Our defense is what helps us really during the games. We have some great defensive backs. (Burden) is an athletic kid, and that interception at the end of the game really helped us," Salinas said.

West Yellowstone moves to 4-0 (3-0 8-Man South) and is the only team in the conference still unbeaten in league play. The Wolverines will travel to Twin Bridges for their next game on Oct. 11. Joliet falls to 2-2 (2-1) and travels to Twin Bridges on Sept. 27.

8-Man scores

(Watch video highlights above)

Alberton-Superior 60, Twin Bridges 22
Belt 56, Cascade 6
Centerville 32, Shelby 25
Drummond-Philipsburg 62, Seeley-Swan 20
Fairview 78, Plentywood 6
Forsyth 32, Lodge Grass 16
Park City 40, Lone Peak 14
Plains 46, Arlee 20
St. Ignatius 24, Charlo 6
West Yellowstone 16, Joliet 12