BRIDGER — The top-ranked Bridger Scouts did all their scoring in the first half Friday night to defeat the visiting and second-ranked Big Sandy Pioneers 42-7 during a 6-Man quarterfinal playoff game as bundled-up fans crowded around the plowed field and clouds threatening snow sunk lower and lower.
But the matchup wasn't exactly what either coach was anticipating. Both Mike Mathis (Bridger) and Ronnie Simpson (Big Sandy) said after they thought that it was going to be a matchup of size versus speed, which was mostly true.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game. They're a lot bigger than us so we were expecting a physical game and we just showed up to play really good football," said Mathis.
The Scouts speed proved lethal though for the Pioneers. Bridger got off to an 18-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
"We were expecting speed and we got speed tonight. They just outclassed us in speed and in 6-Man, that does a lot. We couldn't catch up to number 1, that (Colter) Zentner kid. He was tough," said Simpson.
Over and over the senior ran all over the field buying time for his receivers and slipping tackles. He threw for three touchdowns in the first quarter alone, ran for two and threw one more in the second quarter. Russell Zenter was on the receiving end of three and Nick Althoff caught the other.
"We were looking forward to trying to find that open field. It took us a little bit to get going in the beginning, but then once we did it was just a wildfire," said Mathis.
And while offense lit up the scoreboard, the defense is what gave the Scouts confidence.
"That very first stop. We knew we could stop them so it just got us a little momentum every time on defense," said Colby Zentner.
Until Big Sandy scored with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Bridger had outscored playoff opponents this season 108-0.
Weston Allderdice ran it from the one-yard-line to put the Pioneers on the board and caught the extra-point.
"To make the top 8 in the state, that's a huge improvement," said Simpson.
The Pioneers started a freshman quarterback and running back this season after going 4-4 last year.
The Scouts will watch Saturday's matchups eagerly to see who their next opponent will be between White Sulphur Springs and Wibaux.