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Ronan owns cross-county bragging rights

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RONAN – Friday night was homecoming for the Ronan Chiefs and no one else could have been better for the Chiefs to battle with than their newly rekindled cross-county rivals the Polson Pirates.

Both teams came into the matchup frantically looking for their first win to jumpstart their season and get it back on track for the conference title.

With a big homecoming crowd on hand, the Chiefs snapped a three-game losing streak, by beating the Pirates 32-19.

“Last night was special just for the simple fact that this team did something I never could as a player and that is beat Polson,” Ronan Chiefs head coach Matt Detwiler said. “Being homecoming was just an added bonus for the school and the community.”

Ronan struck first in the opening quarter. After going three and out, the Chiefs punted the ball away to the Pirates. Three plays later, Ezekiel Misa intercepted the Pirates quarterback getting the ball back for the Chiefs. Seven plays and 49 yards later, Misa scores on a 6-yard touchdown run to give Ronan a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

A couple big touchdown receptions by Happy Cheff from Eric Dolence and a blocked punt which resulted in another Misa touchdown run gave the Chiefs a huge second quarter lead over the Pirates.

However, late in the second quarter, the Pirates were not going to let the momentum stay on the opposing sideline. Trailing 24-0, the Pirates put together back-to-back touchdown drives. The first was a 6-play, 82-yard drive which ended in a 23-yard touchdown pass and the other was a quick two play score off a defensive interception. 

At the half, the Chiefs took a 24-12 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Chiefs held the Pirates scoreless. “Our offensive and defensive line really controlled the line of scrimmage and played very sound,” Detwiler said. “They stepped up big time and brought the fight to them from the beginning of the game.”

The third quarter finished with Misa running 35 yards for a touchdown giving Ronan a 32-12 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Polson scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to pull the Pirates to within 32-19. But they didn’t get any closer.

Chief sophomore quarterback Dolence finished the night 9-of-15 for 120 yards and two touchdowns. “Eric Dolence has really settled into a leadership role at QB and played great,” Detwiler said. 

Misa ended with 116 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns, while Cheff added two touchdowns on four catches for 93 yards.

“Starting 1-0 in conference puts us in a very good position moving forward,” Detwiler said. The Chiefs are on the road Friday as they take on the Whitefish Bulldogs in a Western A Conference match up.


Ronan 32, Polson 19

Polson 0 12 0 7 - 19 

Ronan 6 18 8 0 - 32

R –  Ezekiel Misa 6 run (kick failed) 

R –  Happy Cheff 29 pass from Eric Dolence (run failed)

R –  Misa 19 run (kick failed) 

R –  Cheff 39 pass from Dolence (run failed)

P –  Trevor Schultz 23 pass from Bo Kelley (pass failed)

P –  Kelley 1 run (run failed)

R –  Misa 35 run (pass good)

P –  Koby Garcia 10 pass from Kelley (kick good)

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