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Storm run past RTH: No. 3-ranked Grant County-Flasher uses rushing game to beat Raiders

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Grant County-Flasher's senior running back Bailey Stewart, right, fights for yardage against Richardton-Taylor-Hebron during a 9-man, Region 4 game on Friday in Richardton. Stewart finished with 64 yards and one touchdown.

RICHARDTON -- The weather conditions weren't exactly perfect for the No. 3-ranked Grant County-Flasher football team.

Yet, the weather didn't stop the Storm's offense from rolling.

However, it was the running game not passing, which shined on Friday.

The Storm racked up 220 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter en route to a 20-6 9-man, Region 4 win over Richardton-Taylor-Hebron on Friday.

"It was huge with the adverse conditions like that," GCF head coach Jamie Krenz said. "It was just a grind. A slugfest. We knew it would come down to a couple big plays.

"Inside of our own group, we always knew that we could run the ball. We just didn't have to, but it was nice to do that tonight."

The Storm's two touchdowns in the third quarter were from Andrew Schafer and Bailey Stewart. Schafer, who finished with a team-high 17 carries for 105 yards, scored from four yards out. Stewart went 34 yards for the team's second touchdown.

"It meant a lot to us with everyone doubting the running game," said Stewart, who finished with seven carries for 64 yards. "It was really nice to come out here with poor weather conditions, be able to pound the ball and still come away with a W."

At halftime, the score was tied 0-0 with each team unable to capitalizing on opportunities. RTH senior linebacker Lane Aune had no doubt the team was still in the game even after GCF scored a touchdown on its first possession of the second half.

"We played out hearts out and it does suck to lose our last home game, but we learned a lot of from this," Aune said. "We had hope the entire game. There's no giving up on our team. We never had doubt."

Once the Storm scored their opening two touchdowns, the Raiders responded with a Denver Colgrove 12-yard TD run with 4 minutes, 1 second left in the third quarter.

Colgrove finished with a game-high 23 carries for 168 yards, while Aune added 50 yards on 12 carries and Jaden Schmidt had 71 yards on 17 carries. The biggest crux for the Raiders during the game was turnovers. The team had four fumbles and lost three of them including a fumble in the first play from scrimmage.

"We just gave them too many chances," RTH head coach Travis Olson said. "We felt good going into halftime of course, but we didn't exactly start out the half like we wanted to. Our kids responded well."

GCF answered with a 26-yard touchdown from Zackary Schmidt in the fourth quarter for the final score of the game.

Passing for both teams didn't happen often as the two senior quarterback combined for 12 attempts. GCF's Taylor Krenz was 4 of 8 for 41 yards and one interception, while RTH's Lane Voltz had one completion to Cory Rebel for 11 yards.

Though the game marks RTH's second loss of the season, Olson said the team was able to learn and see they can compete with one of the top teams in the state.

"We feel good about that," Olson said. "It made us grow, but right now what is important to us to have a good week of practice, go down to Hettinger next Saturday and win a football game."

GCF 0 0 14 6 -- 20

RTH 0 0 6 0 -- 6

First quarter

No score.

Second quarter

No score.

Third quarter

GCF-Andrew Schafer 4 run (pass failed) 10:44

GCF- Bailey Stewart 34 run (Schaefer run) 6:03

RTH- Denver Colgrove 12 run (run failed) 0:01

Fourth quarter

GCF-Zackary Schmidt 26 run (pass failed) 7:46


RUSHING: GCF, Schafer 17-105, Stewart 7-64, Schmidt 2-39. RTH, Colgrove 23-168, Jaden Schmidt 17-71.

PASSING: GCF, Krenz 4-8-1 41. RTH, Lane Voltz 1-4-0 11.

RECEIVING: GCF, Froelich 1-38, Schmidt 1-7. RTH, Cory Rebel 1-11.