ST. IGNATIUS — Belt ended a nearly three-decade drought by opening the floodgates.
The Huskies overcame a four-point deficit at the break by outscoring St. Ignatius by 32 points in the second half of the 8-Man championship game on Saturday afternoon as Belt surged to a 52-24 win to claim its first title since 1994.
The Bulldogs entered the championship game as the top seed out of the Western C while the Huskies — which shutout Flint Creek in the quarterfinals and Culbertson in the semifinals — were the No. 1 seed out of the North.
Garett Metrione led the way for the Huskies with four rushing touchdowns and Ethan Triplett added a pair of late rushing scores to seal the win.
St. Ignatius hung tough with Belt for a half and struck first when Caleb Sargent recovered a blocked punt to give the Bulldogs an early 6-0 lead.
The Huskies then responded early in the second quarter with Metrione notching his first score, a 1-yard quarterback sneak on 4th and goal to put Belt up 8-6.
The Bulldogs swung back on 5-yard touchdown pass from Kellen McClure to Kenny Ness before the lead changed again as Teaghan Fox scored on a long catch and run pass from Metrione.
That made it 14-12 Belt before St. Ignatius' Chance Bockman again swung the momentum by returning an interception for a pick-6 to give the Bulldogs a 18-14 halftime lead.
After the break, Metrione and the Huskies responded, clamped down and spoiled what was St. Ignatius' first-ever appearance in the 8-Man title game.