Big plays doom Maroons

Big plays can mean the difference between winning and losing a football game.

On Saturday night, Belgrade converted on big plays and Butte Central did not thus the

Panthers walked out of Bulldog Memorial Stadium with a 33-20 victory.

There is a saying that dynamite comes in small packages. It was certainly true in this game. The big play star was Belgrade running back Zac Brady. The junior stands only

5-foot-7, weighing 150 pounds. He proved to a giant on the football field. Brady carried the ball 16 times for 190 yards, scoring three touchdowns. He tallied scores of runs of 45, 7 and 78 yards for the Panthers.

Before Brady took center stage it appeared that everything was going the way of the Maroons. They took the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. The score came on a 2-yard pass from Brady Tippett to Kale Guldseth.

The Maroons drove deep into Panther territory the next time before Belgrade could stop the Butte Central offense.

Late in the first period, the Maroons were forced to punt for the first time on the night. The running soccer-style punt by Dan Peoples traveled only 13 yards giving the Panthers good field position at their own 42-yard line.

Belgrade took advantage of the good field. The Panthers got a first down on a pass from Colton Stump to Tristan Walker down to the Maroons’ 45-yard line. Two plays later, Brady on his first carry of the night scooted off right tackle broke free and raced to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:51 left in the opening period.

The Maroons responded by driving deep into Panthers’ territory. This time the Belgrade defense made a big play. The Panthers’ Drew Fowler intercepted a Brady Tippett pass in the end zone with the Maroons on the Panthers’ 4-yard line.

Butte Central shook off the turnover by moving the ball down the field. It paid off later in the second quarter. Tippett scored from a yard out to give Butte Central a 13-7 lead.

Belgrade bounced back from that Maroons’ touchdown. The Panthers marched 80 yards in 14 plays for a score. Once again it was a big play that gave Belgrade a touchdown. Facing a fourth-and-ten situation, Stump hit Walker on a 28-yard touchdown pass. The extra point booted by Brady gave Belgrade its first lead of the night at 14-13.

Another short punt by the Maroons gave Belgrade good field position on the Maroons’ 34-yard later in the period. On their first offensive play, Stump heaved a pass that had interception written all over it, however, the ball went through the arms a BC defender and bounced into the fingertips of Walker. It gave Belgrade a first down at the Central 10-yard line.

A few plays later, Brady tallied his second touchdown of the night, rambling seven yards to pay dirt. It gave Belgrade a 20-13 at halftime.

The third period was a stalemate with both teams moving the ball, but neither team getting in the end zone.

As the fourth quarter began Brady again took center stage. He took a handoff went off the left side and raced 78 yards for a touchdown. It gave Belgrade a 27-13 lead.

Butte Central came back to close the gap down to seven points by scoring on a 15-yard pass from Brady Tippett to Connor McGree. The Panthers’ lead was down to 27-20 with 5:27 left in the game.

Belgrade moved down the field following that Butte Central score. They got down to the Maroons’ 10-line where Belgrade faced a fourth-and-ten situation. Just like they did in the first half the combination of Stump to Walker was golden as the two connected on a 10-yard touchdown pass. It gave the Panthers’ a 33-20 lead with only 3:16 left in the game.

Butte Central still had a chance when they drove into Panthers’ territory. On the Belgrade two-yard line, Maroons’ sophomore quarterback Dan Peoples had his pass into the end zone picked off by Brayton Konkol. It marked the second time in the game the Panthers had intercepted a Butte Central pass with the Maroons’ inside the Belgrade five-yard line.

The Maroons turned the ball over three times on the night. They piled up 406 total yards to only 298 for Belgrade. Yet, the Panthers made the big plays on the night and thus they beat Butte Central for only the fifth time in the series that stretches back 24 games to 1986.

Belgrade will be back in action this Friday night traveling to Laurel. The Maroons will attempt to get their first win of the 2012 season in Havre on Friday night playing the Blue Ponies.

The Butte Central game with Havre can be heard on KOPR 94.1 FM or our web site Fans can also catch a replay of the game on Wednesday, Sept. at 7 p.m. on Optimum Cable Channel 6.

Butte Central              7            6        0            7 — 20
Belgrade                      7          13        0          13 — 33
First Quarter

BC — Kale Guldseth 2 pass from Brady Tippett (Danny Peoples kick), 9:27
Bel — Zac Brady 45 run (Brady kick), 1:51
Second Quarter
BC — Tippett 1 run (kick failed), 5:20
Bel — Tristan Walker 28 pass from Colton Stump (Brady kick), 2:32
Bel — Brady 7 run (kick failed), 49.4
Fourth Quarter
Bel — Brady 78 run (Brady kick), 11:25
BC — Connor McGree 15 pass from Tippett (Peoples kick), 5:27
Bel — Walker 12 pass from Stump (kick failed), 3:16

                                    BEL                BC
First downs                 12                    24
Rushes-YDS               32-210             34-149
Comp.-Att-Int             5-13-0              23-49-3
Pass yards                   88                    257
Total yards                  298                  406
Fumbles/lost                3-1                   0-0
Penalties                      10-44               10-85
— Belgrade, Brady 16-190, Garet Folwer 10-31, Drew Fowler 5-4, Tristan Walker 1-1, Stump 4-(-16). BC, Tippett 15-66, Joe Joyce 16-63, Peoples 3-16, Wyatt Kingston 1-3.
PASSING — Belgrade, Stump 5-13-0-88. BC, Tippett 21-39-2-233, Peoples 2-10-1-24.
RECEIVING — Belgrade, Walker 2-79, Brandon Stubbs 1-9. BC, Guldseth 6-110, McGree 8-72, Chad Peterson 2-28, Kingston 4-25, Joyce 2-13, Kaemen Richards 1-5, Northy Tretheway 1-1.