Miners escape Midwest, match up against Little Snake River
On Saturday the Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow (HEM) High School football team stayed on top of the Midwest Oilers 71-52, but the score does not show how close the game was until the last couple minutes.
At halftime, the Miners were ahead with a comfortable 38-19 lead. Coach Zack Scott for the Miners could be heard telling his team to keep their heads together for the second half. It was good advice, because although the Miners scored first with a fumble recovery, the Oilers answered with a kickoff return.
The crowd wasn’t worried on the Tylor Goodro’s excellent kick that had the ball on the 1-yard line of the Oilers. The good field position of Goodro’s kick was nullified by a touchdown pass to make the score 45-32.
Then as the fourth quarter started, the Miners were still ahead, but the Oilers were on a comeback with the score 45-38.
With 3:45 into fourth quarter, Conor McGraw made a key catch for a touchdown to keep the Miners ahead, but the Oilers answered in the next minute with a touchdown. The score was 57-46 and Oiler fans were getting fired up, but Conor got another touchdown and silenced the opposing fans as the score went to 64-46.
With 4:55, the Oilers answered with another touchdown making the score 64-52.
The momentum seemed to be going to the Oilers at this point even with the Miners ahead, but Scott’s words before the second half must have been in the minds of the players.
The last minutes, the Oilers threatened, but Goodro stopped a drive by getting an interception with three minutes left.
“Tylor is a great leader. He has taken this team on his shoulders. I am proud of him,” Coach Zack Scott said about his player who passed for six touchdowns. Goodro’s main receiver was Conor who passed for one touchdown.
“Conor was amazing,” said Scott. “Every one of these kids played when they had to. All are amazing.”
The next score was done by the Miners making it 71-52. Brendon Reeves got an interception and from that point on, HEM controlled the game and won.
The Oilers had come into play hard and they did, but the Miners had what it took to stay on top until the end.
“Our defense played huge,” said Scott at the end of the game. “Our kids stepped up when they had to and it was perfect timing.”
Goodro, Conor, Shane McGraw, Basil Phillips and Reeves each had an interception. Conor had 14 total tackles, Jon Nelsen had 13 total tackles and Shane had 10 total tackles.
“Our saying is dig deep, well we dug deep today,” Scott said.
Scott was aware the game started going the Oilers way, but he said the players stepped when they had to.
Shane had a 98 yard kickoff return which excited the crowd and Conor, Reeves, Phillips, Devon Grosstick and Josh Lee all got point after touchdowns. The team had 11 touchdowns with Conor getting 7 and Shane and Reeves both getting 2.
“They righted the ship,” Scott said when asked about the Oilers surge in the 2nd half. “We are 6-2 and peaking at the right time. I can’t ask for more.
The Miners will play Little Snake River at 1 p.m. on Oct. 28 in Hanna.