By Nathan Bourne

Blackhawks defeat Warriors


September 2, 2021

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The Seeley-Swan High School Blackhawks at an early-morning preseason practice.

ARLEE – The Blackhawks opened their football season with a victory Aug. 27 defeating the Arlee Warriors 26-8.

With last year's starting quarterback out for the season, Junior Owen Hoag has taken on the job with Junior Ben Haley as a backup.

The Blackhawks hit the ground running averaging 13.4 yards on 27 carries for a total of 362 yards. Hoag led with 122 yards on 12 carries. Walker McDonald and Cannon Hawkinson had the longest plays with each getting one 38-yard run.

Hoag ran for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion while McDonald had one touchdown.

While they found success on the ground, the Blackhawks' passing game never took off. Hoag struggled to connect with receivers and the few passes that were caught were called back for offensive fouls.

Arlee was only able to score on two occasions. A wild snap cost the Blackhawks a safety in the first quarter and the Blackhawks defense missed a receiver in the second quarter that caught one for a long touchdown.

McDonald picked up where he left off last season in kicking. He booted the ball out of the end zone for several touchbacks preventing Arlee from returning the ball and averaged 43.8 yards on 4 punts.

Andrew Pearson had 3 sacks for the Blackhawks while Kaden Thornsberry led in tackling with 8 solo and 5 assisted tackles.

Blackhawks Head Coach Jay Crum said he saw the most buy-in from the kids this summer with more than a dozen Blackhawks regularly putting in time lifting weights and working out. Crum said it really showed as they had the stamina to wear down the Warriors early in the game.

Crum said he has also switched the Blackhawks to a spread out, no huddle offense. He hopes to take the size advantage away from the bigger teams while capitalizing on the Blackhawks' speed.

Crum plans to work on cleaning up their play to minimize penalties like the ones that called back a pair of touchdowns in this game and work on snapping.

This week the Blackhawks host Plains with kickoff at 7 p.m. Sept. 3.


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