It’s time for the Maroons to take the field again. It turns out that will be a field in Stevensville.
Butte Central’s football team is back in action after last Friday’s meltdown against Anaconda when they take on a tough Stevensville squad in a Southwestern A game.
Air quality in the Bitteroot Valley threatened the game, and a backup plan was in place at Montana Tech. However, BC athletic director Chad Petersen said at 10:15 a.m. Friday that the game will be played in Stevensville as scheduled. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. (KOPR 94.1 FM. Click here to listen live.)
No matter where the game is played, though, the Maroons (1-4 overall and 0-1 in conference) just need to play. Getting back on the field is the best cure for a team trying to shake off the sting of blowing a 27-0 lead to the Copperheads at home last week.
“We had a good week of practice,” BC coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “We felt like we let one slip away, but the guys know that the only way to get over that disappointment is to go win on Friday.”
That won’t be easy task for the Maroons. Though the Yellowjackets were blown out 48-0 in Dillon last week, Stevensville is a highly-regarded team with some top-flight talent.
Stevensville (2-2 and 0-1) was ranked No. 5 before heading to Dillon to take on the defending Class A champions.
A week earlier, the Yellowjackets went on the road and stomped Libby 33-0 behind a 366-yard passing performance by Jared Schultz. The quarterback completed 26 of 40 passes for five touchdowns. He also ran for 108 yards on three carries.
Jesse Sims, a sophomore who is a bonafide Division I prospect at defensive end, caught five passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns in that win. Zach Gavlak, who is also a big defensive end, and Austin Lords also give Stevi big-time threats in the passing game.
“They have a very dynamic passing game that we’re concerned about,” Peoples said. “They have some great big receivers. Even when they are covered, they can go up and get the ball.”
The Maroons have some pretty solid threats themselves.
Senior quarterback Brady Tippett leads a Maroon offense that includes big-play receiver Kale Guldseth, playmaking tight end Connor McGree and game-breaking running back Joe Joyce.
The Maroons will be without senior guard Kolten Lamiaux, who suffered a concussion against Anaconda. Sophomore Liam Doran, who started two games in place of Brant Ahlborn earlier this season, will join the starting lineup, Peoples said.
Doran will start at center, while senior Frank Joyce will move to guard from center. Ahlborn will start at the other guard, while Connor Schulte and Marcus Ferriter start at tackle.
Defensively, the BC secondary of Guldseth, Northy Trethewy, Tippett and Joe Joyce will face a stiff test.
Frank Joyce, Shulte, Ferriter and McGree lead the BC defense up front. Kaemen Richards, Ben Holt and Wyatt Kingston give the Maroons a solid linebacking corps.
The game is basically a must-win for the Maroons after last week’s loss. Another loss would make a playoff appearance for the young BC squad an unlikely occurrence.
Class A football only features five conference games. After this week, the Maroons play at home against Hamilton, at Corvallis and home against Dillon.
Butte Central Maroons
Don Peoples Jr. (24th season)
QB — Brady Tippett, 5-11, 180, sr
RB — Joe Joyce, 5-10, 170, sr; Wyatt Kingston, 5-9, 170 jr
WR — Kale Guldseth, 5-8, 140, jr; Chad Peterson, 5-10, 160, so; Dalton Sessions, 6-0, 175, so; Northey Tretheway, 5-7, 155, sr
TE — Connor McGree, 6-2, 215, jr
C — Frank Joyce, 5-10, 220, sr
G —Kolten Lamiaux, 6-1, 260, sr; Brant Ahlborn, 6-3, 276, jr
T — Connor Schulte, 5-10, 220, jr; Marcus Ferriter, 6-4, 215, so
T — Schulte; Frank Joyce
E — Ferriter; McGree
ILB — Kaemen Richards, 6-1, 195, so
OLB — Ben Holt, 5-9, 188, so, Kingston
FS — Tippett
SS — Joe Joyce
C — Guldseth; Tretheway