BRIDGER — Bridger standout junior Gage Goltz has returned to the football field with a vengeance.
Goltz injured his left hamstring in the season opener and missed the following two games. He made his presence felt when he came back, scoring nine touchdowns against Shields Valley in a win in September.
“It was hard to watch knowing if I was good to go I could have made a difference," Goltz said. "Tried to let it heal on its own. I did a little physical therapy, but it was week-by-week and kind of see how it went."
There was a time when Goltz’s status as a Scout was up in the air. With his father and former head coach Jim now the principal in Billings at Elder Grove, Goltz had the opportunity to move up in classification and play in the Billings area.
But he chose to stick it out with his childhood friends instead.
“The small community and being so close with these guys, it was going to be hard to leave them," Goltz said. "I think we have a lot of potential this year and next year in football, basketball and track. We have a lot of good athletes."
Now, Goltz and his teammates are on the cusp of a playoff berth. After dropping the first four games of the year, Bridger has ripped off four consecutive victories and can clinch a spot in the postseason with a win against Broadview-Lavina on Friday night.
“It's win or go home, you know? If we lose, we're out. There's no more football for us until next year, and I don't think we want to wait until next year to keep playing," Goltz said.
The Scouts can point to that nine-touchdown game by Goltz as their turning point, as they haven’t lost since.
Bridger (4-4 overall, 3-2 6-Man South) and Broadview-Lavina (3-4, 3-2) kick off at 7 p.m. Friday in their final regular-season game of the fall. The 6-Man state playoffs begin Oct. 27.