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RTH grinds out win over Mott-Regent

RICHARDTON -- A touchdown and a two-point conversion away from tying the game at 30, Mott-Regent stood 14 yards from the goal line in need of one more big play.

Richardton-Taylor-Hebron running back Matthew Naumann, left, rushes 65 yards for a touchdown Friday against Mott-Regent in Richardton. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Richardton-Taylor-Hebron running back Matthew Naumann, left, rushes 65 yards for a touchdown Friday against Mott-Regent in Richardton. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

RICHARDTON - A touchdown and a two-point conversion away from tying the game at 30, Mott-Regent stood 14 yards from the goal line in need of one more big play.

Conversely, Richardton-Taylor-Hebron's defense needed one more break, one more bounce, after coming up with a goal line stand and a fumble recovery earlier in the second half.

Mott-Regent snapped the ball, and RTH got its break - a fumble by Josh Wallace - and after the Raiders offense took over and killed the final four minutes, they held on for the 30-22 win, in front of their home fans.

That last-gasp drive by Mott-Regent (3-1, 2-1 Region 5) started after it forced a fumble by RTH quarterback Brendan Butterfield a yard short of a touchdown with six minutes left in the game. A few big plays quickly advanced the ball down field, but the Wildfire came up short again. Wallace finished with 177 rush yards and two touchdowns, but the Wildfire had a few too many offensive drives cut short by miscues to complete the comeback.

"I thought our kids played well. It just didn't bounce our way. We had too many turnovers. It wasn't one play, it was just a number of mistakes we made. But then again, I give credit to RTH and the job they did," said Mott-Regent head coach Ron Benson. "Hell, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this. No shame in losing up here."

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After the fumble by Wallace, the killing of the clock by RTH (3-1, 2-1) was a textbook way to close out a game. The six rushes and three first downs on the drive led to a kneel down by Butterfield to end the game.

"On that drive I was just thinking we've got to hang on to it now. We've got our break," RTH head coach Travis Olson said. "Good fortune, bad fortune, whatever you want to call it; I was just thinking, let's hold on to the ball a little bit. Get 4, 5 yards a crack and we'll be in good shape."

Keeping the ball on the ground was a fitting way to finish the game for the Raiders; they got virtually their entire offense by way of the run. RTH finished with 322 total yards of offense, and only 6 of them came through the air.

Matthew Naumann, who left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury, tallied 114 yards rushing in just 16 minutes of game time, dashing 65 yards for the game's opening touchdown.

When he left the game, Butterfield stepped up, fighting his way to two short runs for touchdowns in the first half.

The only score of the first half for the Wildfire came from Wallace, whose 1-yard run made it 22-8 entering the third quarter.

The closest Mott-Regent got to RTH was six points when Brady Wegh hit Hunter Crist with a perfect pass for a 39-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-10 play.

But on the ensuing kickoff, RTH's Owen Voigt ran 77 yards for a kick return touchdown, making it 30-16. That score eventually proved too much for the Wildfire to handle.

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After Wallace pounded in a 4-yard touchdown rush late in the third quarter, every attempt to tie the game from then on out came up empty.

"I was so proud of the defense. They did such a great job. You can't stop kids like Wallace and Brady Wegh," Olson said. "They're just too good, but I thought our kids did a super job of slowing them down. Those kids are super football players, but (our defense) didn't get discouraged."

The win for RTH against the fifth-ranked Wildfire comes after a disappointing loss to New Salem-Glen Ullin last week.

"This is big for us, last week against New Salem was bad," Butterfield said. "We were really hungry for this game and sure as heck, we got it done."

Richardton-Taylor-Hebron 30, Mott-Regent 22

RTH 16 6 8 0 - 30

MR 0 8 14 0 - 22

First quarter

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RTH - Matthew Naumann 65 run (Tony Kolar Rush), 8:21

RTH - Brendan Butterfield 4 run (Butterfield to #12), :55

Second quarter

MR - Josh Wallace 1 run (Brady Wegh to Cody Perkins), 10:10

RTH - Butterfield 1 run (pass fail)

Third quarter

MR - Hunter Crist 39 pass from Wegh (Wallace run), 10:13

RTH - Owen Voigt 77 kick return (Kolar rush), 10:00

MR - Wallace 4 run (rush fail), 1:15

Fourth quarter

No scoring

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: RTH, Ryan Worniecki 19-130, Matthew Naumann 6-114 1 TD, Brendan Butterfield 13-16 2 TDs. MR, Josh Wallace 32-177 2 TD, Hunter Crist 4-38, Brady Wegh 6-28.

PASSING: RTH, Butterfield 2-2-0 6 yards. MR, Wegh 3-10-1 56 yards, 1 TD; Wallace 2-4-0 39 yards.

RECEIVING: RTH, Ethan Kuntz 1-14, Naumann 1--8.

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