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Back in the zone: Football returns to Two Eagle River

PABLO — For the first time in years the Two Eagle River athletes are again scoring touchdowns on their home field.

The Eagles are led by Head Coach Clayton Malatare and Assistant Coaches Jami Hanson, Doug Morigeau and Brandon Burke. Malatare said the six-man football style is a learning experience for both athletes and coaches as most have either coached and played 11 or eight-man football.

The Eagles lost their opening match against Lone Peak 41-6 but improved in their loss to the Heart Butte Warriors 33-46.

“We did a lot better than our first game,” Malatare said. “We are improving.”

In the first quarter the score was 0-6 after the Warriors scored a touchdown and missed the field goal attempt. Soon after Eagle’s quarterback Clay Malatare connected with Drew Payne for a touchdown and Justice Nicolai ran the ball in for the extra point to make the score 7-6.

Heart Butte then scored three more touchdowns and missed two field goals, but scored an extra point on a one-point conversion put the Warriors ahead of the Eagles 7-25.

However, the Eagles ended the first half with a stellar offensive play when Malatare made the long pass to Artie Mendoza for the touchdown. The score at halftime was 13-25.

In the third quarter, the Eagles continued the offensive momentum that ended the first half. Jay Ducharme ran 71 yards off of a kick return for the touchdown but the Warriors answered back with another touchdown and a one-point conversion. With the score 19-32 and 3:58 left in the third, Mendoza scored a touchdown and Malatare ran in the extra point to pull the Eagles closer to the Warriors, 25-32.

In the 4th quarter, Mendoza scored yet another touchdown and Nicolai ran in the extra point but Heart Butte pulled ahead with two more touchdowns and two extra points to end the game 33-46.

“They played hard until the buzzer sounded,” Malatare said.

Payne had five carries in the game for 38 yards, three catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. Mendoza scored three of the Eagles’ five touchdowns.

Malatare had six carries for 73 yards. He also had 17 passes with 13 completions for 243 yards and five touchdowns. Mendoza had six carries for 17 yards and also he threw the ball two times for two completions and 41 yards.

On Saturday the Eagles lost 62-14 to Hot Springs. They are now 0-3 and will travel again this Saturday to face West Yellowstone.

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