West River Eagle

Braves rough road leads to first win of the season over Marty

Our Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves have traversed a tough road this 2022 football season: a gravel, washboards, ruts, and hilly kind of tough road. It seemed even harder when they had to climb onto a bus and travel 285 miles all cooped up for roughly six hours, on an extremely chilly day with wind gusts up to 50 mph, to take on the Marty Indian School Ohitika on October 14.

Even though the Marty Braves were 0 and 6, our team possessed a 0 and 7 record; so thinking about who might finally win a game this season and who might never win had to make that drive feel longer and bumpier.

Considering what was at stake – a win – the C-EB Braves came out fired up and hitting hard. Marty had the ball to begin the game and with each play from scrimmage, C-EB was gang-tackling. After three plays only gained 5 yards they were forced to punt. However, kicking into the wind the punt barely got back to the line of scrimmage, Marty’s 35-yard line. That is where the C-EB Braves took over.

Now Marty was equally fired up and hitting hard. Their hitting caused C-EB to fumble and they got the ball back at their own 27-yard line. They marched down to the C-EB’s 13-yard line in five plays where their quarterback, No. 95 Lane Carter, threw a rainbow of a pass into the endzone and hit a wide-open No. 11 Amaziah Zephier to put the Marty Braves on the scoreboard first with 5:24 gone in the opening quarter. When the pass was incomplete on the conversion try, the score remained at 6-0 in favor of the home team.

Following the kickoff, C-EB found themselves in a second-down-and-five situation from the 50-yard line. It looked like they were heading towards the ditch once more when they fumbled again. This time Marty senior, 5’10” 230-pound lineman No. 65 Roland Stands scooped up the bouncing ball and rambled 45 yards into the endzone. When Carter hit his eighth-grade wide receiver No. 11 Memphis Red Buffalo in the endzone on the conversion try, Marty Indian School had doubled their score as another minute ticked off the clock 14-0.

Marty put C-EB in a bad place: following the kickoff they started from their own 15-yard line. Still spinning their wheels trying to back out of that ditch, they fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage. Fortunately, they recovered. Then their tires hit paydirt when, on the very next play, coach Larry Elwess called Danah Diver’s number and he hit the line hard to then bounce to the outside. From there Diver tore down the right sideline and scored an 85-yard touchdown run. The conversion try failed. But no matter, because Cheyenne-Eagle Butte was on the board, 14-6.

Marty started from their own 20-yard line following the touchback. They were moving the ball pretty well when the first quarter came to an end.

One of the best plays of the game happened in the second play from scrimmage in the second quarter, but it counted for nothing. Marty’s quarterback was looking to go upstairs because they were in a fourth-and-twenty situation. When he overshot the intended receiver, our No. 40 Levi Elk Nation skied and intercepted the pass on Marty’s 25-yard line.

The mighty Little Big Man went scurrying around the right side and only one Marty Brave had a chance to catch him. It didn’t happen because Brock Ducheneaux t-boned the would-be tackler and he totally evaporated to allow Elk Nation to dance into the endzone. Following the great play there was a flag on the field for pass interference and it gave the ball back to Marty.

Other than wiping 6 points off the board, the penalty did not give Marty a first down, and they wound up turning the ball back over to C-EB on downs. Coach Elwess had been platooning his quarterbacks, Brock Ducheneaux, Lance Hawk Eagle, and Ayden Sampson, from the very first snap of the game.

On their own 45-yard line, Hawk Eagle dropped back and hit Sampson over the middle. Once Sampson cleared Marty’s defensive secondary, he took the ball to the house to tighten up the game at 14-12.

Marty didn’t wait long to answer. Two plays later Carter hit No. 11 Amaziah Zephier to punch in Marty’s third touchdown of the game. When the conversion try was successful, Marty had a new lead of 22-12.

The lead gave Marty an adrenaline rush and they forced C-EB to turn the ball over on downs. However, on their second play from scrimmage, Diver intercepted Marty’s pass to set C-EB back in business.

Unfortunately, Marty stiffened up and got the ball back on downs. But as Marty was moving the ball down field to threaten to score again, time was also running off the clock. In desperation to score and beat the clock, Marty launched a pass into the endzone. But preventing disaster was our No. 40 Elk Nation who once more played like he was 6’3” and not 5’3”. Elk Nation skied and intercepted the ball as the horn sounded to end the first half.

Cheyenne-Eagle Butte got the ball to start the second half and after Ducheneaux ran the ball three times, he got the ball from our 45-yard line to the Marty Braves’ 13-yard line. Coach Elwess then called upon Sampson to run the ball. Sampson didn’t disappoint and he broke the goal line to close the gap on the lead, 22-18.

Marty started off on their own 35-yard line and ran smack dab into Ducheneaux. Being pushed back caused Marty to punt once more. Then the C-EB Braves put together an 11-play drive that led to Driver busting into the endzone to give our team the lead for the first time, 24-22. This fourth touchdown came with only nine seconds left on the clock.

Following the kickoff, the fourth quarter started off with Marty in control of the ball and looking to run. But C-EB got their second wind and Marty could not move the ball much. After each team had the ball twice more with no success, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte wound up with the ball on their own 23-yard line and in a first-and-ten situation.

Sampson dropped back into shotgun formation and when the ball was snapped, he pitched it to Lance Hawk Eagle who was coming from the left side to the right. Hawk Eagle rifled a perfect pass to Driver who was wide-open in the endzone to score C-EB’s fifth touchdown, 30-22.

Immediately following the touchdown there was a dead-ball personal foul accessed against C-EB, which gave Marty great field position on the following kickoff. Nevertheless, C-EB’s hitting picked up significantly and caused a fumble that big Braylee Dog Eagle jumped on like a lion going after a gazelle.

From their own 33-yard line, C-EB got to Marty’s 12-yard line when Hawk Eagle dropped back and hit Dayson Kennedy to increase their lead 36-22. When Hawk Eagle ran in the conversion try, it pushed C-EB’s lead 38-22.

The following kickoff put the Marty Braves in a terrible situation as the clock was running out to end the game. The only thing not running out was the fight in our Braves. This was exemplified when the ball was on the 7-yard line and Elk Nation lined up as the left defensive tackle. Right before the snap, Elk Nation did his trademark barrel roll and became the nose tackle to take on an offensive player who easily outweighed him by a good 100 pounds.

When the ball was snapped, Elk Nation busted through and got in on the tackle to stop Marty and keep them in a third-down-and-third situation. The next play by Marty was stopped, and the Braves took over. With less than 30 seconds left to play in the game, coach Elwess had his team run the clock out with no further attempt to run up the score.

When the final horn sounded the old gravel road turned into a road lined in gold and our Braves had their win…and that six-hour drive home didn’t seem so long anymore.

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