Last Saturday, the Eureka Lions maintained their undefeated record with a commanding win over the Bigfork Vikings. The Lions established dominance early on with three touchdowns in the first quarter followed by two more in the second, which put them at 34-0 going into the second half. Despite the stiff competition, the Vikings didn’t throw in the towel — Bigfork’s Levi Taylor ran in a touchdown from eight yards in the final quarter, putting Bigfork on the scoreboard with a final score of 44-6.
Vikings head coach Patrick Munson called the Lions “a tough opponent” that used their speed to their advantage.
“They have an extremely fast backfield,” Munson said. “I don’t think anybody in Class B has a backfield with as much speed as they do.”
The loss to Eureka brings Bigfork’s season record to 3-5 for the year.
Bigfork is a young team, Munson said, and starts six sophomores on both offense and defense. But he’s proud of how his players have grown throughout the season.
“Even though they’re young, they’re very eager and focused on getting better every week,” Munson said. “There’s always those little experience things that will come with age for them.”
This weekend, the Vikings will have another chance to test their teamwork on the field when they face undefeated Red Lodge in a playoff game Saturday at 1 p.m. in Red Lodge. Going into the playoffs, Red Lodge is the No. 1 seed, while Bigfork is seeded fourth.
“We’d definitely like to get a win in the playoffs and continue another week,” Munson said. “We’re going to have to play really good football in order to do that.”
He described Red Lodge as an experienced team that runs the ball well and has some sizable players.
But they’re not the only ones bringing a lot of muscle to the table. One of Bigfork’s greatest assets is their massive defensive line, with players averaging around 250-260 pounds. The Vikings also have a knack for getting interceptions and have nabbed a total of 20 turnovers and takeaways this season combined.
The Vikings are a team that prioritizes constant growth, and uses each and every game and practice session as an opportunity to improve.
“We believe that kids that have the right attitude and give the right amount of effort are going to find themselves in the right position more often than not,” Munson said. “We’re happy with the success we’ve had so far in the season with such a young team.”
Eureka 22 12 0 8 — 44
Bigfork 0 0 0 6 — 6
E — Hank Dunn 1 run (AJ Pacella kick)
E — Chet McCully 14 run (Austin Sartori PAT pass failed)
E — Sartori 11 run (Jake Kindel PAT pass from Dunn)
E — Kindel 1 run (Dunn PAT pass to Kindel failed)
E — Sartori 39 pass from Dunn
E — McCully 6 run (McCully PAT run)
B — Levi Taylor 8 run (Patrick Wallen PAT pass to Izak Epperly failed)
First downs 24 13
Rushes-yds 31-394 3 6-153
Passing yards 118 44
Comp-att-int 6-11-2 4-18-1
Total offense 512 197
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yds 5-60 1-5
Punts-avg 0-0 4-39
PASSING — Eureka, Hank Dunn 6-11-118-1-2. Bigfork, Patrick Wallen 4-17-44-0-0.
RUSHING — Eureka, Chet McCully 18-227, Jake Kindel 9-132, Hank Dunn 3-24. Bigfork, Levi Taylor 18-128, Patrick Wallen 7-17, Wyatt Herd 9-8.
RECEIVING — Eureka, Austin Sartori 2-57, Jake Kindel 1-34. Bigfork, Kainin Lafontaine 2-24, Isak Epperly 1-18.