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Bigfork football, volleyball teams bow out of playoffs

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | November 16, 2022 12:00 AM

It was a rough weekend for the Vikes and Vals as the Valkyries volleyball team dropped a pair of matches during their first trip to the state tournament since 2005 while the Vikings football team’s hopes of a repeat trip to the state title game were dashed by Loyola.

VOLLEYBALL

The Valkyries had a tough time at the state tournament, as did all teams from the western side of the state, as they fell to Shepherd in three sets Thursday before being eliminated with a 3-1 loss to Choteau Friday afternoon.

The Valkyries got 12 kills from Inga Turner and 18 assists from Piper Linson against Shepherd Thursday afternoon, but it was not enough as Bigfork fell 25-14, 25-15, 25-13. Zoey Albert, Ava Davey and Tessa Troyer each recorded 13 digs in the loss while Troyer and Ellie Jordt both served two aces.

Turner, Davey and Jordt each had a block in the contest.

The Valkyries took the first set from Choteau Friday but fell to the Bulldogs 25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 17-25.

Turner and Albert both finished with double-digit kills, Tuner with 18 and Albert with 15, while Linson had 37 of the team’s 39 assists.

Jordt and Linson had 15 digs each and Troyer added 10 while Turner had two blocks.

Five Valkyries picked up post-season honors as Turner and Albert were named All-State while Linson was an All-Conference First Team selection and Jordt and Davey were Second Team.

FOOTBALL

The Vikings late-game comeback bid came up just short against Loyola Saturday as Bigfork fell to the Rams 14-6 in the State B semifinals.

Down 14-0 heading into the final quarter, the Vikings used a 33-yard punt return by Jackson Nelson to set the offense up at the Rams’ 15 yard line with 10:20 to play.

Farrier got the Vikings on the scoreboard with a 2-yard run six plays later, but the PAT attempt by Herd was blocked.

Bigfork had a chance to cut into the lead or tie with a touchdown and 2-point conversion later in the quarter, but a fumble on the 2-yard line kept Loyola ahead 14-6.

Bigfork got another chance after the defense held Loyola to a 3-and-out and forced a one-yard punt, giving the Vikings the ball on the Loyola 8-yard line with 1:39 to play.

After a holding call and a sack pushed the Vikings back to the 20-yard line, a pass-interference call on fourth down (which is not an automatic first down in high school) gave Bigfork one last chance with a 4th-and-goal play from the 5-yard line.

Herd’s pass intended for Bryce Gilliard was knocked down by the Loyola defense as the Rams held on to get the win.

Bigfork was held to just 132 yards of offense in the loss, including just 38 on the ground as Loyola ran for 156 and passed for an additional 95.

Quarterback Tristen Herd finished 11 for 28 passing for 94 yards while Joseph Farrier led the ground attack with 23 yards on 18 carries.

Isak Epperly caught four passes for 26 yards to lead the Bigfork receivers.

Manny Baldi led the Bigfork defense with nine tackles, including a sack, while Wyatt Johnson had 8.5 and Gilliard had 8 tackles.

Nick Walker also had a sack in the loss.

The Vikings finish the season with 10 wins and the one loss.

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Vikings quarterback Tristen Herd looks for an open receiver in the first quarter against Loyola in the State B semifinals Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Isak Epperly looks to move up field after catching a pass for the Vikings against Loyola in the State B semifinals Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Ethan Rodriguez (66) gets help from teammates Bryce Gilliard (10) and Manny Baldi (51) to bring down a Loyola runner in the State B semifinals Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Nick Walker looks to haul in a pass against two Loyola defenders in the third quarter of the State B semifinals Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Nick Walker fights for yards along the sideline for the Vikings against Loyola in the State B semifinals Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Viking Landon Byerman battles Loyola's Malik Lyttle for a pass in the third quarter of the State B semifinals in Bigfork Saturday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Inga Turner hits the ball past Choteau's Lily Heiberg at the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Ava Davey battles for a ball at the net against Shepherd's Kayda Parker at the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Zoey Albert makes a play at the net for the Valkyries against Shepherd at the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Zoey Albert attacks a ball at the net for Bigfork as the Valkyries took on Shelby at the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman Thursday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)

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Bigfork's Ellie Jordt pushes the ball past the Choteau defense during action at the All-Class State Volleyball Tournament in Bozeman Friday. (Jeremy Weber/Bigfork Eagle)