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8-Man playoffs: Belt continues dominance; St. Ignatius survives thriller

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Nov 12, 2022

Belt continued its dominance with a 38-0 victory over Culbertson in the 8-Man semifinals, setting up a championship-game matchup with St. Ignatius, which won a 54-48 shootout over Fairview in the day’s other semi.

Belt (11-0) and St. Ignatius (11-0) will meet for the state title next Saturday in St. Ignatius.

Culbertson finished the season with a 10-1 record while Fairview finished the year 8-3.

Belt 38, Culbertson 0

BELT — Bridger Vogl threw two touchdown passes and Ethan Triplett found the end zone twice as Belt routed Culbertson for a title-game berth.

Triplett took a screen pass from Vogl 75-yards in the first quarter to put the Huskies up 8-0 in the first quarter. Teammate Garret Metrione added to the lead with a 1-yard TD run later in the first.

The defensive play of the game was made by Belt’s Reese Paulson, who intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown to put the Huskies ahead 22-0 late in the second quarter.

In the third, Triplett ran for a 65-yard TD, which was followed by a Vogl-to-Zach Fledman pass for 26 yards that also found the end zone.

Belt has so far outscored its opponents 150-0 in the playoffs.

St. Ignatius 54, Fairview 48

ST. IGNATIUS — St. Ignatius built a big first-quarter lead and held on to defeat Fairview and advance into the 8-Man championship game.

8-man semifinal shootout ends with St. Ignatius on top over Fairview 54-48

Bryce Umphrey scored three first-quarter touchdowns — a 1-yard run, a 20-yard pass from Kellen McClure and a 69-yard kickoff return — to help the Bulldogs jump out to a sizeable advantage. McClure also had TD runs of 1 and 2 yards for St. Ignatius.

But Fairview battled back as Tyler Loan scored on a 50-yard run and Deacon Gackle caught a 29-yard scoring pass from Jeff Tjelde. Hunter Sharbono scored from 1 yard as the Warriors kept pace.

Umphrey later scored on an 18-yard throw from McClure and on a 12-yard run for the Warriors, which proved crucial. Tjelde threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes but the Bulldogs were able to hold on and advance.

St. Ignatius will be making its first-ever appearance in a state championship football game.