04/23 MONSTERS @ GLADIATORS
GREAT NORTH CONFERENCE
Flathead Monsters-0, Great Falls Gladiators-39
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Great Falls, Montana- Memorial Stadium
Courtesy of Lee Vernoy, Sportswriter for the Great Falls Tribune.
Another game, another blowout win for the Great Falls Gladiators.
Shane Jurasek threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the Gladiators rolled to a 39-0 victory over the Flathead Monsters as the Gladiators opened their home schedule Saturday night under the rain at Memorial Stadium.
“Hey, when you’ve got your offense rolling under Jeff Evison, and you have your defense playing hard, you’re not going to lose,” Jurasek, in his 16th season as an RMFL quarterback, said. Evison is the Gladiators’ offensive coordinator. Jurasek was giving a lot of love not only to Evison and his offensive line, but also to the guys on the other side of the ball. “Those defenders are just going 100 percent every play, and they’re taking pride in the fact that they’re shutting teams out,” Jurasek said. “They’re just playing completely with their pride. It would hurt their pride if they give up points.”
Jurasek completed 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 226 yards and those four touchdowns. Corbin Newbary caught nine balls for 81 yards and two scores, both three-yard receptions in the second quarter. He has played for several teams where Evison was coaching, including the 2012 Bitterroot Blaze team that won the RMFL championship. “Evison puts me in the position, and on the right plays and puts everyone in the right position,” Jurasek added. “I have to go out there and make the right reads.”
JJ Dorsch started the scoring when he hauled in a 37-yard toss just 84 seconds into the game following a fumble recovery, and they nursed that lead into the second stanza, when they turned on the afterburners. Newbary’s scoring catches bookended the quarter. David Tate had a short-yardage reception, and Rob Taylor picked off a Sam Fernandez pass and walked it in from 11 yards out as the Gladiators took a 32-0 lead into the locker room. Richard Downing III closed out the scoring with a one-yard run to start the final quarter. The second half was played with a continuous clock, given the wet, chilly conditions that eventually became a pouring rain in the final minutes.
“Anytime you can play decently in the rain, when the receivers catch the ball and run hard afterwards, and the running backs are making plays, it makes my job 100 percent easier,” Jurasek said. Dorsch, who finished the game under center, caught five passes for 129 yards. Matt Kennerson led everyone in rushing with 74 yards on 13 totes. Dorsch had one pass that fell incomplete.
“It was cold,” Jurasek said with a laugh after sitting out the fourth quarter. “I’m glad the clock was running, because it got it over real quick.”
Monster’s running back Joey Ybarra carried the ball nine times for 62 yards, while Fernandez had a miserable night at QB, finishing on six of 23 tries with three picks—including Taylor’s pick-six in the second quarter—for 68 yards. Dan Rominger and Antney Rhanes also picked off passes, with Rhanes’ interception in the final seconds securing the shutout win.
The Gladiator kept their undefeated campaign alive with a 3-0 mark in the RMFL Great North. Flathead dropped to 1-3. Great Falls continues their three-game home-stand this Saturday night when they host the Blackfoot Anarchy at Memorial Stadium at 7pm. The Monster will go into the bye week before facing the Big Sky Avalanche on May 7th in Columbia Falls, MT at 3pm.