By Bill Foley
Cameron Brusven made a pretty good case for another plaque Saturday night at a wet, cool Bob Green Field.
The Plentywood star claimed the Red Team offensive MVP plaque after running for 100 yards and a touchdown to held plead the Red Team to a 46-30 win over the Blue Team in the 38th Bob Cleverley Class C 8-Man All-Star football game.
Brusven should have won a plaque for special teams, too.
The future University of Mary player booted four extra points in the victory. Oh, and he returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
The kick return was the back-breaking score of the game, which was played in Butte for the 32 straight time.
The score came after the Blue Team pulled to within 34-24 when Jacob Gauthier of Park City hit Nathan Schraeder of Thompson Falls for a 23-yard touchdown with 13 minutes, 11 seconds left in the game.
Just 13 seconds later, Brusven was in the end zone.
“It opened up for me,” Brusven said of the touchdown. “I had great blocks from my teammates. I just it the right cut, and it was to the house.”
Brusven also played a role in a special teams play that went the way of the Blue, giving the stars from the Southern and Western Divisions reason for hope early.
A snap sailed over Brusven’s head, but he managed to recover and somehow get off a punt to avoid a safety.
However, the ball only made it out to the 10-yard line, where Gauthier picked it up and returned it to the 1. One play later, Jacob Johnson busted into the end zone for a score.
The point after failed — as did all the Blue Team’s extra points — making it a 6-0 lead.
The Red Team, which was made up of stars from the Northern and Eastern Divisions, took the lead for good with 21 points in the second quarter.
After Brusven scored from 11 out to put Red on top, Kyler Kempton of Culbertson scored on a 4-yard run, and Colter Oie of Scobey busted in from 1 yard out for a 21-6 halftime lead.
The Red made it 27-6 with a clock-killing drive to open the third. Turner Tooke scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 18-play, 73-yard drive. The possession took 8 minutes, 50 seconds off the clock.
Blue pulled within 27-19 with a pair of big plays. Preston Smith of Darby scored on a 66-yard run. Then Gauthier hit Kaiden Batzler of Sheridan for a 67-yard touchdown pass.
Tooke scored on a 4-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 34-18, before Shraeder appeared to get the Blue back in the game.
After Brusven’s return, Oie pushed in for his second1-yard run of the game.
Batlzer caught a 20-yard pass from Gauthier to cap the scoring. It was the third TD for Gauthier, who passed for 175 yards in the loss.
Batzler, who caught four passes for 133 yards and the two scores, was named offensive MVP for the Blue. Charlo’s Coyle Nagy took home the Blue defensive MVP.
Fort Benton’s Timothy Lane had a monster game on the defensive line to claim Red defensive MVP accolades.
Brusven said it was nice to close out his high school career with a victory.
“It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “It’s the last time under high school lights. It’s a great time. A great time. It’s great to see your team on top, and it’s good to go out with a win.”
The game capped a week of training in the Mining City for the Red and Blue. It played out just like founder Bob Cleverley planned. The game was named after Cleverley — very much against his wishers — in 2007.
Cleverley died following a battle with cancer later that year.
“It’s so much fun,” Brusven said. “It was a great experience with all these guys. It’s been a hell of a week.”
Blue 6 0 12 12 — 30
Red 0 21 6 19 — 46
Blue — Jacob Johnson 1 run (kick blocked), 4:46
Red — Cameron Brusven 11 run (Brusven kick), 13:36
Red — Kyler Kempton 4 run (Brusven kick), 11:51
Red — Colter Oie 1 run (Brusven kick), 10:00
Red — Turner Tooke 2 run (kick blocked), 6:10
Blue — Preston Smith 66 run (Run failed), 5:46
Blue — Kaiden Batzler 67 pass from Jacob Gauthier (pass failed), 2:44
Red — Tooke 4 run (Brusven kick), 14:56
Blue — Nathan Schraeder 23 pass from Gauthier (run failed), 13:11
Red — Brusven 96 kickoff return (kick blocked), 12:58
Red — Oie 1 run (kick blocked), 9:37
Blue — Batzler 20 pass from Gauthier (pass failed), 1:24
RUSHING — Blue, Smith 5-68, Johnson 4-21, Charley Adams 4-13, Trae Tilmony 3-6, Gauthier 3-8, Adams 3-2, Coyle Nagy 3-(-2), Avery Metesh 1-9, Batzler 1-4, Silas Acker 1-(-3), Team 3-(-31). Red, Brusven 15-100, Colter Ball 14-70, Tooke 9-51, Oie 6-36, Reese Wirtz 6-(-7), Kyler Kempton 3-8, Kyle Harmon 4-11, James Kirkaldie 2-8, Michael Leach 2-3, Tugg Taylor 2-1, Oskar Pula 1-13, Carter McDowell 1-9, Erik Field 1-8, Toby Niederegger 1-2, Kanyon Taylor 1-0, Team 3-(-9).
PASSING — Blue, Gauthier 12-21-1-175, Naby 5-11-0-63, Smith 2-4-0-9, Brand Ostler 2-3-0-17. Red, Taylor 1-6-0-20, Wirtz 2-4-0-13, Tooke 0-3-0-0, Brusven 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Blue, Batzler 4-133, Schraeder 4-57. Braydon Zempel 4-31, Ostler 2-21, Metesh 2-10, Andrew Robbins 1-9, Smith 1-2, Johnson 1-1, Zakary McCormack 1-0, Adams 1-0. Red, McDowel 2-13, Feld 1-20.