We are now slipping into the final few days of 2012. Looking back on the year in local sports, it was a huge year with some incredible moments.
The highlight came on November 16th when Butte High won their first state football championship in 21 years beating Bozeman 38-36. It was the best high school championship game ever played in Montana.
Butte High had a 14-point lead with less than two minutes to go in the game. The Hawks marched down the field and scored with only 58 seconds left in the game. The score cut the Butte High lead down to 35-28.
Bozeman they successfully got an on-sides kick. They went down the field for another touchdown. The score came with only 22.9 seconds left in the game. Bozeman went for two and got it. They had scored 15 points in 38 seconds and Suddenly they had the lead.
Butte High came back with a strong kickoff return by Dalton Daum to the Bulldogs’ 45-yard line. Dallas Cook then ran for 16 yards and followed up with a seven- yard pass completion. It set up the most dramatic ending ever as Jack Dennehy booted a 46 yard field goal on the game’s final play.
There was an incredible eruption at Naranche Stadium as the Bulldogs won 38-36. It was their first state title in 21 years and the first time they had every won a state championship game at Naranche Stadium.
It was not only the biggest story of 2012 it may have been the biggest game and story in the history of Butte High School football.
On any other year except 2012, the number one story would’ve been the play of the Montana Tech Orediggers’ football team. After losing their opening game of the season 26-23 in overtime to Eastern Oregon, the Diggers came back with eight straight wins. Along the way, Montana Tech ended a 17-game losing streak to arch rival Carroll College. The Diggers beat the Saints 37-20 in the only meeting of the season between the two clubs at a sold out Alumni Coliseum.
Montana Tech won the Frontier Conference title and played in the NAIA national playoffs losing to Morningside in the first round of the playoffs.
One other team of note during the year was the 2012 Lady Maroons of Butte Central basketball team.
The defending state champions got beat in the semifinals of the divisional tournament to Dillon. Butte Central won three straight games after that including a ten- point victory over Stevensville in a divisional challenge game played in Anaconda.
After a pair of wins at the state tournament, the Maroons battled 2010 state champion Billings Central in the finals before a large crowd at the Civic Center. The Rams beat the Maroons 46-36 ending the hopes of a repeat by Butte Central in Class A girls’ basketball.
Looking back 2012 was a glorious year with so many fond memories and a kick that will be planted in the brains of all who saw it forever.