Beavers force 7 turnovers, top Maroons

DILLON — Losing seven turnovers made playing Dillon even tougher than it would have been anyway.

Butte Central was unable to overcome. The Maroons fell 34-7 to the top-ranked Beavers to start the Southwestern A Conference season of both schools’ prep football seasons.

“I appreciate the effort of our kids and how hard they played,” DDon Peoples Jr., head coach of the Maroons said, on a chilly night at Vigilante Field right after the game. ‘I thought out defense played really well despite the 34 points.”

Fumble recoveries by Beavers Ethan Tatarka, Troy Scott, Trae Williams and Curen Feliciani, and pass interceptions by M.J. Simkins, J.D. Ferris and Mick Paffhausen loomed large in Dillon’s ability to keep Butte Central stymied, or keep the ball away from the Maroons, period.

Offense hardly generated. Butte Central gained 43 on the ground and 42 of them were by Wyatt Kingston on hard-earned strength-testing carries. Junior quarterback Danny Peoples threw for 126 yards with Kale Guldseth again leading in catches. The senior receiver snared 10 passes for n76 yards.

The Dillon offense was limited to 65 rushing yards, and the air attack gained 288.

All five Beavers touchdowns were scored on passing plays, including two halfback-type throws by M.J. Simkins. One covered 18 yards to quarterback J.D. Ferris on a throwback play, and the other was for 44 yards to Chance Kluesner on a double-pass play.

“We have a good group of players this year,” first-year head coach Rick Nordahl, a longtime Dillon assistant prior to accepting the program reins from Hall-of-Famer Terry Thomas this year, said humbly.

The other Dillon Tds were Ferris passes of 21 yards to Paffhausen and 23 to Scott, and a 75-yard strike down the east sideline to Kluesner, from Simkins, who was at quarterback at the time.

Butte Central’s only successful response was a third-quarter TD link between Peoples and Guldseth for 13 yards on a play that cut Dillon’s lead to 21-7.

“Coach Nordahll made two great trick-play calls for touchdowns in the first half,” Don Peoples Jr. said. “(Dillon’s) other touchdown in the first half came after we got a penalty because one of our assistant coaches was run into by an official who was running down the sideline.”

The call came at a very bad time for the Maroons. Ferris had just been sacked on a third-and-14. The penalty picked up 15 yards for the Beavers, placing the ball at the Maroons’ 41-yard line for a third-and-two situation, instead of forcing a probable punt.

The Beavers, leading 7-0 at the time, converted on two straight Ferrix short-yardage carries, then scored two plays later on Ferris’ flip to Paffhausen.

The Maroons, though receiving turnover breaks on an interception by Cal Hollow and two fumble recoveries by Kyle Harrington, were unable to establish an attack. Harrington’s recovery of a Dillon fumble at its own 5-yard line on the second-half kickoff, gave the Maroons prime position. However, they fumbled two plays later and Tatarka’s recovery snuffed the threat.

“Our offensive unit didn’t execute,” coach Peoples said. “We’re disappointed in the way we played. Dillon is a very good team and they deserve a lot of credit.

“Our kids played hard and now we’ll have to regroup, play one game at a time and find a way to get into the playoffs.”

Dillon’s leading ground-gainer was Colton Riebe with 45 yards on 12 carries. Nine different Beavers caught passes, led by Kluesner with three receptions for 131 yards. Simkins passed for 163, and Ferris, the starter, for 125.

Butte Central, now 2-3 overall, will try to even its conference record by trying to beat Anaconda next week in Anaconda. Dillon went to 4-0 for the season.

Butte Central 0 0 7 0 — 7

Dillon 7 14 0 13 — 34

First Quarter


— J.D. Ferris 18 pass from M.J. Simkins (Mick Paffhausen kick), 8:28. Drive — 34 yards in 6 plays. Key play — Simkins intercepted Butte Central pass at Butte Central 44-yard line and returned it 10 yartds to the 34.

Second Quarter


— Mick Paffhausen 21 pass from Ferris (run failed), 9:48. Drive — 79 yards in 15 plays. Key play — Dillon converted first down after 15-yard penalty against Butte Central on third-and-17.


— Chance Kluesner 44 pass from Simkins (Simkins pass from Ferris), 2:25. Drive — 44 yards in 2 plays. Key play — Scoring play.

Third Quarter


— Kale Guldseth 13 pass from Danny Peoples (Peoples kick), 1:31. Drive — 73 yards in 10 plays. Key play — Wyatt Kingston 13-yard run to Dillon 13-yard line.

Fourth Quarter


— Troy Scott 23 pass from Ferris ((Paffhausen kick), 11:07. Drive — 64 yards in 7 plays. Key play — Simkins 13-yard pass from Ferris on third-and-nine, combined with 15-yard penalty against Butte Central to Butte Central 23-yard line.

DIL — Kluesner 75 pass from Simkins (kick failed), 8:11. Drive — 68 yards in 3 plays. Key play — Scoring play.

BC Dil

First downs 10 17

Rushes-yards 23-43 39-65

Passes `16-43-3 16-30-1

Passing yards 126 288

Return yards 29 25

Punts-avg. 5-34.0 4-25.7

Fumbles-lost 4-3 3-2

Penalties-yards 4-45 5-35

Individual Statistics


— Butte Central, Wyatt Kingston 17-42, Danny Peoples 6-1. Dillon, Colton Riebe 12-45, J.D. Ferris 10-28, Tyler VanSlyke 3-7, M.J. Simkins 6-3, Team 3-(-5), Jason Ferris 3-(-6), Nate Simkins 2-(-7).


— Butte Central, Peoples 16-43-3-126. Dillon, M.J. Simkins 6-6-0-163, J.D. Ferris 10-24-1-125.


— Butte Central, Kale Guldseth 10-76, Dalton Sessions 3-41, Chad Peterson 2-13, Wyatt Kingston 1-(-4). Dillon, Chance Kluesner 3-131, Troy Scott 2-40, Mick Paffhausen 2-30, Justin Ferris 2-24, M.J. Simkins 2-24, J.D. Ferris 1-18, Brady Richardson 2-11, Trae Williams 1-10, Riebe 1-(-1).

Dillon’s Chance Kluesner fights for yardage against BC’s Kale Guldseth (11), Wyatt Kingston (28) and Connor McGree.

BC’s Jake Michelotti (53) looks on as teammate Kaemen Richards sacks J.D. Ferris.


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