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Chiefs, Bulldogs throw down in Western B ‘Bronx’ battle

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ST. IGNATIUS – Friendly “hellos” and handshakes buddied up on the sideline under the autumn fog as neighboring teams Ronan and Mission fought in a “Clash of Titans” contest, with each team hoping to come out on top in Friday’s Western Class B romp.

In the closely played back and forth battle, the Chiefs came out as victors 33-27, but not without a stern opposition from tough Bulldog athletes giving the Chiefs a run for their money.

“Our kids played really well,” Ronan head coach, Jim Benn said. “I’m pleased with their effort and how they’ve continued to improve over the course of the season.”

After the Chiefs pushed a couple of pay dirt runs in the first quarter, the Bulldogs answered back in the second, running in a tie, but faced Chief fury as Ronan refused to let a Bulldog comeback get into their heads, scoring twice in the second adding another end zone dance in the third to seal the deal.

“Ronan played well, made some big plays and we were unable to get the ground game going like we wanted to,” Mission head coach, Rich Ferris said. “It was a close back and forth battle with both teams. The kids know each other well and enjoy that battle but they (Ronan) were just able to get a few more things done than we were able to.”

Chief quarterback Justin Krahn treaded two touchdowns under foot and threw for two more tossing 10 completions out of 29 attempts for 165 yards for Ronan. Receivers Cole Snyder and Colton McCrea snagged a couple of catches, each scoring a touchdown for the Chiefs.

Krahn currently is first in Montana class B for passing yards, according to and both Snyder and McCrea along with Bryce Cullen have made an impact catching long tosses from their quarterback.

“When you have three receivers like we do and I think they’re all over 500 yards receiving on the season at this point,” Benn said. “They’re a special group.”

McCrea is placed third in state for receiving yards and Cullen is fifth.

For the Bulldogs, Steven Bravo led on the grass with 16 carries for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Raymond Matt added two more scores rushing 89 yards on nine carries. Defensively, Bill Von Holton took down 12 Chiefs on tackles.

“It was a fun game because it was a close score and it made it a lot of fun especially for the spectators,” Ferris said.

With playoff season looming, it becomes a battle of numbers with the deciding factor of the Deer Lodge Loyola-Sacred Heart game coming up. If Deer Lodge is able to pull off a win, Mission will have a shot at postseason play.

For Ronan, the numbers are not on their side as the points scored in the Chief-Ronan standoff were not quite enough to push them over the edge, leaving Ronan in the dark when it comes to postseason play.

Despite the numbers or the wins or losses, Benn is nothing but proud of his Chiefs stating “Like good teams do, they’ve fought through adversity. We’ve had our share of adversity, beyond just the playing field, we’ve had some things that were tough,” Benn said. “I’m really proud of this group because they’ve stuck together through thick and thin and they’re a great group of young men and I’ve really enjoyed coaching them. I’m not just saying that because that’s what you’re supposed to say as a coach, but this has definitely been one of the funnest years as a coach because they’re great kids, they really are. They’ve come a long way from where they were middle school kids, they’ve improved tremendously as athletes and as people and I think that is a really good testament to how bad they wanted to do well. I think that gives them a fighting chance, that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

With the “power point” Benn believes you just don’t know what will happen with postseason but if anything is hoping to end the season with a win against Florence played at home Oct. 24.

For the Bulldogs, a win over Troy Oct. 24 and a big score spread could help push them into postseason play.



Mission 0 14 7 6 – 27

Ronan 13 14 6 0 – 33

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