PARK CITY — Fort Benton withstood a fourth-quarter rally from Park City, as the Longhorns picked up a win on the road Saturday, 42-28.
Holding a 22-16 lead after three quarters, the Longhorns extended it to 30-16 on a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Cade Ball. Park City's Stockton Zimdars took the ensuing kickoff back, though, to trim the lead back to 30-22.
Fort Benton promptly marched back down the field and Morgan Axtman punched it in from five yards out to make it 36-22 with less than three minutes to play. The teams would trade scores again in the final minutes.
Fort Benton didn't waste any time getting on the scoreboard in Saturday's battle of 2021 semifinalists. Nathan Dunham took the Longhorns' second play from scrimmage 46 yards to pay dirt. Fort Benton had a chance to add on to its lead, but Ball was intercepted by Wyatt Hamilton who returned it for a touchdown to put Park City ahead, 8-6.
An Axtman 10-yard touchdown run with 4:10 left in the second kickstarted a furious finish to the half, as Zimdars would score from five yards out with 27 seconds remaining to put the Panthers back in front again, 16-14. Fort Benton, though, scored on the final play of the first half when Dunham plunged in from 3 yards out.
Fort Benton opens the season 1-0 and will play Rocky Boy in Week 2. Park City starts 0-1 and visits Lame Deer next week.