FORT BENTON — The Fort Benton Longhorns are dominating fall sports throughout the state with the football team playing in the 8-man state semifinal game this Saturday as well as the volleyball heading to Bozeman to play as a one seed in the Class C state tournament.
For football, head coach Jory Thompson’s group routed the St. Ignatius Bulldogs 42-26 to get to their third straight state semifinals, where they have a rematch of last year’s semifinals against Drummond-Philipsburg. How they got there? Physicality up front and a potent run game that amassed over 400 yards on the ground in the quarterfinals.
“Our word is bludgeon. We want to bludgeon people and that’s what we did and we just keep coming at ya,” Thompson said.
As for getting to the state championship game, the Longhorns will look to keep it simple.
“For us, our big thing, we start every practice with a competition drill. It’s about competing and loving to compete,” Thompson said.
As for the volleyball team, they’ve reached the quarterfinals each of the last two years and will look to do whatever it takes to win and get over the hump.
“They’re winners, they just want to win, they will do anything for the team,” volleyball head coach Shana Diekhans said. “I moved people before the divisional tournament and said ‘OK I think this is our best chance to wi,m I think I’m going to move some people around’ and they said ‘OK whatever it takes to win.’”
Fort Benton has represented well in athletics and have shown they are the team to beat in the Northern C for all sports. Last year, the boys basketball team reached the state semifinals, while the girls won it. In addition, the boys track and field team won the team title.
“The last few years, our teams have done extremely well in basketball, in track in volleyball and football. Across the board we have owned the north," Diekhans said.
The Longhorn football team hosts Drummond-Philipsburg on Saturday at 1 p.m. while volleyball plays White Sulphur Springs in the first round of the State C volleyball tournament at Montana State University on Thursday at noon.