Gus Hammond shifts into an extra gear against Harlowton-Ryegate. He pulled down two passes for touchdowns in the big win.

Miners steam past Engineers

After a commanding 54-16 victory over Harlowton-Ryegate, the Ophir Miner Head Coach Ben Holst heaped praise on his team.

“Almost perfect. We did everything right on both sides of the ball,” said Coach Holst, who around mid-second quarter started cycling in younger players to give them lots of live game experience. 

“I like to put the younger guys with the older guys and gradually work the older guys out,” explained Holst.

There was still plenty of time for team leaders, like eighth grader Gus Hammond, to rack up the yardage.

Hammond scored twice against the Engineers on pass plays.

“They were on the exact same play actually,” said Hammond. “I was running a swing route like into the flats. I was open both times. It felt good. Last year, we didn’t play this team because they didn’t have a middle school team. But they were a good team for their first year.”

Hammond, 5’1” 100 pounds, “Had a very Gus Hammond game,” said Coach Holst. “He’s short, quick and fast. He spun around guys and broke tackles. He starts at wide receiver and he’s super quick.”

The Miners head to Boulder on Thursday, Sept. 27, to face a team it’s seen before. 

“We played them last year and we beat them soundly,” said Coach Holst. “I would think, we should win. We’ve been running the same offense for two weeks. We scored 39 against Joliet. Unfortunately, they scored 72. We scored 52 last week against Tri-Cities and we scored 54 today.”

Coaches also are focusing on defense, said Hammond, with an emphasis on tackling

“They’ve been helping us out on that,” he said.—DM

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