After playing three of the top class C teams back to back and coming up short, Lone Peak High School hosted Harlowton-Ryegate on Sept. 21.   Here defender Johnny Mysse (5’7” 145) battles for the ball with Big Horn receiver Austin Samuels (5’9” 150). This single play embodies the entire game in that the two teams were evenly matched and both fought hard.  PHOTO BY DAVID MADISONJunior Emma Flach and senior Solae Swenson joined Frankie Starz and Cole March in the 2018 LPHS homecoming court.

Big game tonight against Twin Bridges tonight

Here's what happened last week during homecoming

As an almost full harvest moon rose through a thin layer of clouds, the Lone Peak High School football team went to work under the lights against an opponent with players about the same size as the Big Horns. In fact, unlike previous weeks when the Horns faced much bigger teams, versus the Harlowton-Ryegate Engineers, one of the heftiest players on the field was LPHS’s 6’1”, 209-pound Kegan Babick. 

“The beginning of the season has been really tough for us. You know, Park City, Joliet, Tri-Cities, back to back the best teams,” said Babick, who described his team as a mix of younger and older players, with half the team being freshmen.

“And as a team full of freshmen, it’s really hard to get your guys to stay up,” said Babick, who is a leadership voice on the field. He joins fellow senior Cole March and juniors Austin Samuels and Frankie Starz at the team’s older, more experienced core.

Early in the first quarter against the Engineers, Starz hit Samuels with a long pass and it looked like the Big Horn O was clicking on all cylinders. In fact, it appeared Samuels was picking up where he left off in the previous game vs. Tri-Cities.

Against the Titans on Sept. 15, said Samuel’s dad and Assistant Coach Chris Samuels, Austin caught a pass for a two-point conversion and “had a school record 12 receptions for 80 yards! I was proud.”

In addition to Samuels’ receiving prowess, Harlowton-Ryegate also had to deal with a ground attack led by Babick. He hit the jets on a sweep, running most of the field for a touchdown. And senior Cole March claimed both an interception and a touchdown on the way to LPHS winning 38-22. 

While many of the highlights came from the older guys, Babick kept his focus on the underclassmen.

“And I think just coming out this week, motivating the guys, and the freshmen stepping up, regardless of our past games, throwing those away and just coming out here homecoming night and just winning. I think the thing I’m most proud of tonight is my team for stepping up,” said Babick. “My linemen blocking so well. Frankie throwing the ball so well and just no one gave up throughout the whole game. And that’s all I can ask for from my teammates. And doing my job is all that’s left.”

In one play, the Big Horns faced third down and 50 yards to go for a first down. Babick streaked down the field, split two defenders and at about 50 yards, quarterback Frankie Starz hit him with a precisely placed ball. Babick got his hands on the pass, but couldn’t hold on. 

“That was a close one. I wish I could have hauled that one. He threw the ball perfectly. Just got to shed that one off,” said Babick with a smile, shaking his head after the game.

When he huddled up with his team at the end, Big Horn Head Coach Adam Farr told the players, “We gutted it out. OK, it wasn’t perfect. There’s a lot to look at on film. You should feel good about it. It’s a pretty evenly matched team. You guys were the victors. Nice job.”

Then Coach Samuels chimed in: “We dominated the second half. Good job gentlemen. Good, good job. And we can have a good week of practice next week.”

Coach Farr went on to say, “Takeaways were, it’s great to play against an evenly matched team. They gritted it out when it count, especially on homecoming. They all really wanted to win this game. They looked pretty sharp. There’s definitely some things to work on still. But it was a pretty solid game all around. I’m proud of those guys.” 

Next up on Friday, Sept. 28 is Twin Bridges at home: “Also an evenly matched team. I look forward to that game here as well,” said Farr.

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