Troop loses ‘Heart’ breaker
By STU MERRY
Oh, so close, but yet, so far away.
The Garrison-Max Troopers came within an eyelash of going 3-1 on the season this past Friday night, It was in sight, but a two-point conversion for the lead was just off target giving the Heart River Cougars a hard-fought 34-33 victory.
Garrison-Max drew first blood. On third and a bunch, Trooper QB Tyler Jacobson connected with Reid Groninger. Reid did the rest, taking it to the house 57 yards. Gabe Lassila’s PAT made it 7-0 at the 1:37 mark of the first quarter.
Heart River responded when Clayton Tangen rumbled 15 yards virtually untouched. His two-point conversion put the Cougars up 8-7.
On the next possession, the Cougars held, then drove down field capped by another Tangen TD run – this time from 12 yards out. The PAT was no good, but Heart River was up 14-7.
Undeterred, the Troopers’ Noah Sloka took the ensuing kickoff 66 yards for a score. The PAT failed and the Cougars maintained a 14-13 lead.
After the second half opening kickoff, the Cougars drove to the two, but the Trooper defense stood tall, forcing a change of possession. With new life, the Troopers wasted little time. Jacobson connected with Groninger who was off to the races on an 87-yard TD.
With time running down in the fourth quarter, Jacobson found Hummel all alone. Levi gathered in the offering and scampered for a 59-yard score. The Troop was down one. It was decision time – go for the tie or the win.