The 2017 Class B postseason kicked off Saturday afternoon for the Loyola Rams who hosted the Malta Mustangs at Rollin Field in Missoula and the Rams earned themselves a 48-6 win to move on in the playoffs.
Both teams came into Saturday with a 6-2 record and a common opponents in the Fairfield Eagles and the Shelby Coyotes, with the Mustangs losing to both, and the Rams falling to the Eagles and beating the Coyotes in a close game.
Malta based it’s game off it’s tough ground and pound run game with a trio of hogs in quarterback Trace Simonson, fullback Andres Lopez, and the cannon ball tailback Trey Simanton. Shutting down the Rams in their opening drive Malta marched their way down the field to score on their opening drive on the legs of Simonson from two yards out. Loyola responded with a a methodical drive of their own that resulted in a 32 yard catch and run by senior captain David Koppang.
The Rams scored on four of their first half seven possessions and held the Mustangs to just one score to lead at the half 28-6. The Twite brothers, senior quarterback Scott and junior running back Jeff, would be the highlight of the afternoon as they would connect for two one play touchdown drives.
Down 22 points to start the second half, Malta would receive the second half kickoff and moved the ball down the field with a combination of runs by Simonson and Simanton, and a few short passes to wide out Tanner Smith. The drive stalled out deep in Ram territory when Loyola safety Austin Oglivie picked off Simonson for the third Mustang turnover of the day. Loyola’s bend but don’t break defense held up through the remainder of the game and with a running clock Loyola earned their way to the quarter finals next Saturday.
Loyola will hop on the bus next weekend and travel East to Colstrip to play the Colts for a chance to go to the semi finals.