By George Ferguson
With halfback Steven Harman running and catching passes, there was no chance for an emotional letdown as the Havre Blue Ponies rolled over the Browning Indians 42-14 in Browning on Friday night.
Harman scored four touchdowns, including a 72-yard punt return for a score in the first quarter. He also ran for two TDs and caught a 52-yard pass for a score as well.
Overall, Harman had 80 of Havre's 200-plus rushing yards. This is the second straight week that the Ponies rushed for more than 200 yards against an opponent.
Havre head coach Troy Purcell was very happy with not only the individual play of Harman, but that of his entire team.
"He (Harman) played exceptionally well," Purcell said. "Our whole special teams has been playing very well as of late. When you punt the ball to either Harman or Steve Heberly, they're definitely a threat."
The Ponies opened up the scoring early in the first quarter on a Levi Briese three-yard run. Then Harman took the game over, scoring four times before the first half was over.
His 72-yard punt return in the first quarter was followed by a 52-yard pass reception that he took to the end zone to make the score 22-0 with time left in the first quarter.
Browning got on the board just before the first quarter came to a close on a 41-yard TD pass from standout quarterback Kellen Hall to Maurice St. Goddard.
Harman would all but put the game out of reach in the second quarter, as he scored on a pair of 25-yard runs that gave the Ponies a commanding 35-6 lead at intermission.
In the third quarter, quarterback Justin Kegel hooked up with Dane Solomon on a 70-yard pass play that left the score at 42-6. That's when Purcell put the ball on the ground at let his defense do the rest. The Indians would manage one more score in the fourth quarter on a four-yard TD run by running back Shannon Kline.
"Once things got well in hand we really started running the ball," Purcell said. "Our offense played really well. We rushed the ball well and had some long pass plays."
Havre's long pass plays came on two plays as Kegel completed just two passes in the game, but they went for 120 yards. However, Purcell was still very pleased with his passing attack, despite Browning's ability to keep star wideout Steve Heberly contained.
"They had Heberly well covered with a corner and a free safety," Purcell said. "But when you have a guy like Heberly out there, it really loosens up the rest of their defense."
Purcell also liked how his defense played for the second straight week.
"We had a couple of situations where we lost coverage and they were able to score," Purcell said. "But we still played really well on the defensive side of the ball."
Despite what the scoreboard read at the end of the game, Purcell was impressed with the strides Browning has made this season.
"They are very much improved," Purcell said. "They came out and shut us down on our first offensive series, and overall they played pretty well."
The Ponies are now 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play, while Browning fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference.
"We just need to keep competing and keep improving each week and we'll be right there," Purcell said.
Next up for Havre is a big televised game against conference foe Laurel. The Ponies will host the Locomotives on Saturday night as part of Havre High homecoming festivities.