The latest football team to journey to Hot Springs came in with a 5-2 record on the season and a heady 48 points per game scoring average. With their perfect record on the line and their eye on a high state playoff ranking, Hot Springs was up to the challenge.
Behind the running and passing of senior quarterback Brandon Knudsen, the Savage Heat scorched the Hornets from White Sulphur Springs, 44-6 under the home lights Friday night.
The win upped Hot Springs to a lofty 8-0 mark in Montana 6-man football, with one regular season game remaining Thursday night against Gardiner.
Knudsen ran for four touchdowns and passed for another to lead the Savage Heat, who entered the game averaging just over 46 points a game. Senior running back Luke Waterbury added two rushing touchdowns as the Savage Heat lit up the scoreboard early in the contest.
Knudsen strolled into the end zone in the first quarter on a 6-yard run, and with the successful point after kick, the Heat were off and running.
Later in the opening quarter, Waterbury bulled over from one yard out, boosting the score to 14-0. Before the quarter ended, sophomore fullback Jack McAllister hauled in a 6-yard scoring strike from Knudsen to make it 20-0 as the first quarter expired.
Defense then took over the game as both teams dug in and produced a scoreless second quarter. The difference in the game came in the second half when the Savage Heat defense continued to shut down the high scoring visitors while Knudsen and company added steadily to their scoreboard total.
A 6-yard TD run in the third quarter by Knudsen and another 1-yard scoring plunge by Waterbury boosted Hot Springs’ lead to 32-0 by the end of the quarter.
With superior blocking from his offensive line, Knudsen was able to break away for two more touchdowns in the final quarter, one from 21 yards out, the other a 40-yard scamper to run the score to 44-0.
White Sulphur got on the board late in the game when Kaden Kerr crossed the goal line from one yard out to make the final score 44-6.
Hot Springs can now close out an unbeaten regular season Thursday night at home against Gardiner. A 9-0 mark would guarantee the Savage Heat at least one, if not two home playoff game.