The Braves hosted the 4-and-1 Standing Rock Warriors on Friday for a special and beautiful night to honor the legendary Cheyenne-Eagle Butte coach Roger “Podge” Setser, who crossed over in 2017.
The Braves have had an unbelievably tough year by being decimated with injuries and still looking for that first win. And, from the opening kickoff, it was obvious the Warriors were not going to lay down to their host when they scored their first touchdown on the run back.
Warriors No. 18 Donte Hart corralled the kickoff on C-EB’s 20-yardline, beat the initial Braves attack, and then tore down the left sideline for an 80-yard touchdown run. The conversion try was unsuccessful, but six points were put up on the visitor’s side of the scoreboard.
On the succeeding possession, the Braves ran Keenan Clark, Brock Ducheneaux, and Ayden Sampson, who all failed to make the line-to-gain. They punted on their own 36-yardline and it was a bad kick, to say the least, because it only went four yards. The great field position led to the Warriors scoring their second touchdown with less than two minutes ticked off the clock. When their quarterback, No. 5 Thane Beheeler hit his tight end No. 8 Jake Eagle, the Standing Rock lead improved to 14-0.
The Braves turned the ball over on downs again, and the Standing Rock Warriors were back in business on the C-EB’s 41-yard line. They wasted no time and scored their third touchdown on a pass to No. 1 John Luger. When No. 2 Lance Bradley caught the pass on the conversion try, the Warriors pushed their lead out 20-0 with 2:51 left in the first period of play.
On their third possession, the Braves had their pass intercepted by Bradley on the 45-yard line and he took it back to the Braves’ 23-yard line where he was forced out of bounds. Standing Rock ran three plays before the first quarter came to an end.
The second quarter started off with the Warriors scoring their fourth touchdown of the evening. This time Luger hit Beheeier from the 15-yardline and then Luger ran in the conversion try to make the score 30-0.
On the subsequent possession Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, back up on their own goal line, ran Ducheneaux again. But with the Warriors keying in on him, the Braves turned the ball over on downs again. The great field position from the Braves 10-yardline made it easy for Luger to get his third touchdown of the game, 36-0.
There is no doubt Ducheneaux was taking a physical beating, so the Braves went to No. 40 Levi Elk Nation to put in some fresh legs. The mighty Little Big Man dances better than Usher, has more heart than Chef Jose Andres feeding Hurricane Ian victims, and doesn’t know the word quit. Unfortunately, Elk Nation fell short of the line-to-gain and the ball went back to the Warriors.
Continuing their modus operandi, the Warriors scored a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage. Again, Luger galloped 42 yards into the endzone. When No. 9 George Bradley ran in the conversion try the lead ballooned to 44-0.
Trying to get something started, the Braves went to the air on first-down-and-10 from their 32-yardline. As Sampson dropped back, the Warriors’ huge defensive end No. 99 Keaton St. John crashed through and caused Sampson to fumble the ball. The ball bounced right up into the arms of St. John’s teammate, No. 72 Adam Eagle Shield, who was already in full stride. He took into the endzone to make the score Braves 0 and Warriors 50.
Needing to score; or the game would end as the final five minutes ticked off to end the first half; the Braves tried to mount an attack. They went back to running Ducheneaux. The 145-lb. back took a ton of punishment but he finally got the Braves’ first down of the game. Between Ducheneaux and Mr. Everything, Easton Lawrence, they got the Braves second first down of the contest. Unfortunately, time ran out and when the horn sounded it was over. The 50-point lead made it mandatory.
Up next for the Braves is the Little Wound Mustangs. They’ll come to town on October 7, and please come out and support the boys because you’ll see firsthand that they just don’t have any quit in them.