Bruins hand Bulldogs 38-28 loss

HELENA – A lightning delay and a Labrador delay only served to postpone the eventual outcome, as Helena Capital drove past Butte High 38-28 in Class AA football action Friday at Vigilante Stadium in Helena.

It was Butte High’s first loss since last season at Vigilante Stadium, when the Bulldogs fell to Helena High. Butte dropped to 1-1 on the season while the Bruins improved to 2-0.

The start of the game was delayed about half an hour due to lightning, while the halftime break was also extended to give the light show time to blow away. Also, late in the game, a playful black dog took the field during Butte’s crucial final drive, giving both teams a break.

Capital defenders picked off Dallas Cook passes to end the Bulldogs’ first two drives, while the Bruin offense scored on two of its first three possessions. Capital’s second touchdown came on the Bruins’ first play from scrimmage when Bliss Collins broke three Butte tackles to charge ahead for a 90-yard scoring run.

Butte High first got on the scoreboard late in the first period when Cook connected with Cory Farstveet on a 13-yard aerial connection. That play was set up by a 32-yard Cook-to-Peter Granger toss.

Capital’s lone score in the second period came after a couple of Bulldog encroachment calls came at less-than-opportune times, and Mason Moe broke free on a 33-yard reverse.

The Bulldogs answered on the following drive with what turned out to be the last score of the half. Sitting at third-and-10 at midfield, Cook made one of his best throws of the year while in the grasp of three Bruin defenders, completing a 15-yarder to Dalton Daum for the drive-extending play. Four plays later, Cook delivered a short pass to Jake Eisenbarth, who did some good footwork to get around the edge of the defense and into the endzone from 22 yards out.

The Bruins threatened before half, marching to the Butte 3, but Chase Plum picked off a Keeley Larson pass and the teams went in for what ended up being their lightning-extended halftime break.

Butte got a break early in the third when Granger pounced on a Larson fumble, but the Bulldogs fumbled the ball back four downs later, and Collins danced around Butte’s left end to break free on a 35-yard scoring run.

A 28-yard pass from Cook to Granger set up Butte’s answer, as Cook held on for a 6-yard keeper up the middle. Cook ran the ball very effectively all night, largely out of necessity, and was credited with 113 yards on 37 carries.

That score and Sean Staples’ PAT kick brought the Bulldogs within eight, 28-20, but more costly penalties extended Capital’s next drive, which ended with a 29-yard Kyle Nickol field goal. Butte gave the ball back on downs after a 42 yard drive – set up by Eisenbarth’s 35-yard kickoff return – that stalled at the Capital 14.

A 44-yard pass from Keeley to Kyle Harrington moved the Bruins close enough that a 12-yard strike to Hunter Beto gave the receiver his second TD of the night with eight minutes left to play.

Down by 18, the Bulldogs showed no signs of quitting.

Buoyed by some key Cook runs, a nice catch by Daum and a Capital interference call, Butte pulled within 10 when Eisenbarth scored from 2 yards out, followed by Cook’s 2-point PAT dive.

However, the drive used up half of the remaining time, and though Capital gave the ball back on downs, it cost Butte’s last three timeouts. Needing two scores, the ‘Dogs gave the ball back on downs following a gritty 15-play reach for the endzone that came up short.

“I’m so proud of the kids for fighting and not quitting,” Bulldog head coach Arie Grey said after the game. “We just had too many little mistakes that you can’t do against a good team like that. We need to start out better than we did, but I was happy with how we battled. Hats off to Capital; they’re a good team.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs (1-1), who travel to Great Falls to play CMR. The Rustlers fell to 0-2 after a tough 20-14 loss to Kalispell Glacier Friday.

Butte 6 7 7 8 – 28
Capital 14 7 10 7 – 38
First quarter
CHS – Hunter Beto 21 pass from Keeley Larson (Kyle Nickol kick), 9:54.
CHS – Bliss Collins 90 run (Nickol kick), 3:58.
BU – Cory Farstveet 13 pass from Dallas Cook (kick failed), 1:19.
Second quarter
CHS – Mason Moe 33 run (Nickol kick), 3:45.
BU – Jake Eisenbarth 22 pass from Dallas Cook (Sean Staples kick), 1:39.
Third quarter
CHS – Collins 35 run TD (Nickol kick), 8:16.
BU – Cook 6 run (Staples kick), 5:20;
CHS – Nickol 29 field goal, 1:29.
Fourth quarter
CHS – Beto 12 pass from Larson (Nickol kick), 8:01.
BU – Eisenbarth 2 run (Cook run), 4:02.
Individual stats
RUSHING – Butte 37-113: Cook 15-73, Eisenbarth 15-44, Dalton Daum 7-22; Capital 54-416: Larson 12-25, Collins 15-206, Moe 4-33, Nick Wrigg 2-2, Tristan Shea 19-112, Tyler Markle 2-1.
PASSING – Butte: Cook 27-59-299-2; Capital: Larson 12-25-174-1.
RECEIVING – Butte: N/A Capital: Beto 2-28, Kyle Harrington 8-108, Brad Tiefenthaller 4-29, Shea 1(-3), Nick Wrigg 2-16.

Butte High’s Connor Lee fights off a double team.

Dallas Cook buys time to throw a pass.

Chase Plum (36) leads the celebration after Butte High recovered a Capital fumble in the second half.

Dalton Daum looks for yardage as the Bulldogs went down fighting.

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  • 16's Pop
    September 7, 2013, 1:28 pm

    Its ALL good, no we didn’t play our best football vs Capital but we played well enough to win. Were not suppose to be last year good at this point of the season, but we are close. Play hard,play fast, fight & FINISH. We started 1-1 last season also.

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