Season ends with playoff loss

Text and photos by Mike Coil Explorebigsky.com Contributor

BIG SANDY – The Lone Peak High School Big Horns ended their football season Oct. 26 with a 39-8 playoff loss to the Big Sandy Pioneers (8-1).

The Big Horns (4-5) wrapped up their second season of Class C-six man facing one of the best teams in the Eastern Division. The Big Horns scored first with a rushing touchdown by Tucker Shea early in the first quarter, and the half time score was 18-8.

A number of parents, students and fans traveled from Big Sky to cheer for the Big Horns on a cold and windy evening. It appeared LPHS had a chance to keep the game close, until the Pioneers broke it open in the third quarter, reeling off another 21 unanswered points.

In just their second season of competition, the Big Horns showed improvement over last year’s playoff appearance, an 87-0 to Denton.

At the end of his two year career at LPHS, Shea (pictured at right) is the leading rusher and has the most touchdowns. During this season Shea scored 11 touchdowns and rushed for more than 2,300 yards. Shea has also been selected as a finalist for Montana’s High School Heisman award which is sponsored by Wendy’s.

Making history again, Shea, who scored the first touchdown in Big Horns history on Sept. 3, 2011, scored the final touchdown of this season. It was also Shea’s last as a Big Horn – he graduates in the spring. The LPHS will graduate four other seniors as well.

Among the Big Horns’ 2012 season highlights was a 94-0 victory over Two Eagle River on Sept. 8, and wins against St. Regis (49-0) and West Yellowstone (55-33). The most exciting game of the season was against Lima, which the Big Horns won 41-36. Six-man football does not lend itself to low-scoring games, and the Big Horns lost big a couple of times, against Alberton (70-32) and Billings Christian (79-32).

For next season, the Big Horns expect 10 returning players, as well as coach Tony Beardsley and his staff.