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Sliter slings Wolfpack to victory

by JOSH DUGAN
Sports Reporter | September 2, 2022 11:00 PM

The home crowd at Legends Stadium witnessed a thriller as the Glacier Wolfpack held off a second-half surge from the CMR Rustlers of Great Falls to win 42-35 Friday in Western AA football.

Senior quarterback Gage Sliter had 369 passing yards, four touchdown passes and the game winning rushing TD on the Wolfpack’s final possession.

“His leadership on that last drive, watching him gather those guys on offense, it was impressive,” Glacier head coach Grady Bennett said.

With the Wolfpack (2-0) facing a third and long situation, Sliter extended the play by rolling to his left side and connected with Bridger Smith for a shoelace catch on a heave downfield to keep the drive alive and set the Wolfpack up for the victory.

“That’s one of the best plays I’ve seen,” Bennett said. “For Gage to spill out of the pocket and throw it and Bridger Smith to come back and dig it up.”

After the crucial fourth down conversion, the Wolfpack continued to drive and sophomore running back Kobe Dorcheus broke loose for a big run to move Glacier to the Rustlers one yard line.

“Dorcheus stepped up huge at the end, he ran through contact and made second yards after contact on that last drive,” Bennett said.

From there Sliter took it himself on a quarterback sneak, extending his arm across the goal line for the game-winning score.

Bennett also gave credit to his defense for their timely turnovers. The Wolfpack defense forced four total fumbles, all of which were recovered by Glacier.

“Big time turnovers that came off big CMR plays, but we just rallied and stayed with it, forcing the turnover,” Bennett said.

Overall the Wolfpack overcame a major shift in momentum after CMR cut the lead from 35-7 to 35-35. Bennett saw it as a great learning opportunity for his young players who had their first taste of major adversity this season after a blowout win 63-0 win over Belgrade last week.

“Great lesson for our young guys… 2-0,” Bennett said. We needed that. Kudos to our kids for their courage, their fight, their heart and their determination.”

Through two games, Sliter has thrown for 11 touchdown passes while leading the Wolfpack to a 2-0 start to the season.

Evan Barnes hauled in five catches for 124 yards through the air and was on the receiving end of all four Sliter touchdown passes.

CMR senior quarterback Cole Taylor was a standout performer for the Rustlers, throwing for 401 yards passing and adding 110 yards with his legs. AJ LaFurge tallied four rushing touchdowns while picking up 75 yards on the ground.

Bennet gave kudos to the Rustlers for their ability to keep on battling throughout,

“Credit those kids and to be down 35-7 and keep fighting it says alot about their coaching and their character,” Bennett noted.

After making their home debut the Wolfpack are back on the road next week as they head to Missoula to take on the Big Sky Eagles in a Thursday night matchup on Sept. 8.

CMR 7 7 7 14 - 35

Glacier14 21 0 7 - 42

G — Evan Barnes 7 pass from Gage Sliter (Rhett Measure kick) 8:42-1Q

C — Gus Nunez 42 pass from Taylor (Eli Groshelle kick) 5:53-1Q

G — Barnes 39 pass from Sliter (Measure kick) 5:22- 1Q

G — Barnes 37 pass from Sliter (Measure kick) 8:24-2Q

G — Issac Ritter 3 run (Measure kick) 6:41-2Q

G — Barnes 36 from Sliter (Measure kick) 6:24-2Q

G — AJ LaFurge 1 run (Groshelle kick) 2:19-2Q

G — LaFurge 4 run (Groshelle kick) 5:25-3Q

G — LaFurge 4 run (Groshelle kick) 9:02-4Q

G — LaFurge 2 run (Groshelle kick) 4:24-4Q

G — Sliter 1 run (Measure kick) 1:07-4Q

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Glacier (31-178) — Kobe Dorcheus 11-81, Gage Sliter 7-41, Jackson Hensley 6-34, Issac Ritter 6-21, Xander Stout 1-1. CMR (36-200) — Cole Taylor 16-110, AJ LaFurge 19-75, River Wasson 1-15.

PASSING: Glacier — Sliter 27-42-1 for 369 yards. CMR — Cole Taylor 23-37-0 for 401 yards.

RECEIVING: Glacier — Rhett Measure 7-61, Evan Barnes 5-124, Van Scholten 4-37, Bridger Smith 3-72, Kole Johnson 2-22, Jackson Hensley 2-20, Kobe Dorcheus 2-19, Kaid Buls 1-8, Dylan Whitten. CMR — Tanner Grove 6-77, Guz Nunez 5-148, River Wasson 3-67, Zach Dean 3-42, AJ LaFuge 3-22, Cayden Doran 2-33, Josiah Triplett 1-12.

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Glacier wide receiver Bridger Smith (12) picks up yardage after a catch against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Rhett Measure (11) picks up yardage after the catch against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier lineback Cameron Shaw (18) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier's Dylan Whitten (42) celebrates with teammates after recovering an onside kick against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier defenders Kaleb Shine (16), Easton Kauffman (19) and Cameron Shaw (18) head off the field after Shine recovered a fumble against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Jackson Hensley (2) picks up yardage on a first quarter run against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Kaid Buls (14) catches a pass in the second quarter against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Kobe Dorcheus (33) picks up yardage on a run against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacer defender Carson Gulick (10) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier offensive lineman TJ Gannon (62) counts to four on his fingers after wide receiver Evan Barnes' (8) fourth touchdown reception against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Isaac Ritter (21) picks up yardage on a run against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Bridger Smith (12) picks up yardage after a catch against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Kobe Dorcheus (33) picks up yardage on a run against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier linebacker Cameron Shaw (18) rushes Great Falls CMR quarterback Cole Taylor (11) at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Evan Barnes (8) heads to the end zone on his second of four touchdown receptions against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Jackson Hensley (2) is brought down by Great Falls CMR's River Wasson (5) at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier quarterback Gage Sliter (7) rolls out to pass in the first quarter against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Evan Barnes (8) celebrates with head coach Grady Bennett after Barnes' fourth touchdown reception against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier linebackers Dylan Whitten (42) and Cameron Shaw (18) stop Great Falls CMR quarterback Cole Taylor (11) on a fourth down run at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Evan Barnes (8) heads to the end zone on his second of four touchdown receptions against Great Falls CMR at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)