Bulldog gridders hit the road

The road awaits Butte High’s football team, which will face Missoula Big Sky Friday at 7 p.m. at Missoula County Stadium.

(KBOW 550 AM. Click here to listen online.)

The Bulldogs, who have climbed to No. 3 in the Class AA poll, will aim for their fifth straight win with a meeting against the 3-3 Eagles. Butte High sits with a 5-1 record, as does No. 1 Great Falls Russell and No. 2 Helena High, though the Rustlers and Bengals will also meet Friday evening at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls.

Butte High head coach Arie Grey said he expects nothing less than a solid challenge from Big Sky.

“They’re a very talented football team,” Grey said of the Eagles. “They’ve got an athletic quarterback and a plethora of receivers. They have a big offensive line and a strong running back, and then a lot of them start on defense too, so they’re solid. This should be a great test for us.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a big win over then-No. 4 Bozeman, as Butte High had to come from behind to post a 28-19 victory. It was the smallest offensive output of the season for a team that averaged almost 47 points per game coming in.

Big Sky last week hung a 41-21 win over crosstown rival, following losses to Bozeman and Great Falls Russell. The Eagles beat Billings Skyview and Kalispell Flathead after a season-opening overtime loss to Helena Capital.

Dallas Cook threw for three touchdowns – two to Zach Bunney and another to Dalton Daum – though it was a solid Butte High defense that kept the Bulldogs in the game. Bryce Armstrong blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown by Jason Vesco, and the Bulldog defense got a game-high nine tackles – six solo – from defensive lineman Billy Robinson, who also accounted for a sack.

Butte High got a nice defensive effort from Tyler Earles, who has been effective this season at linebacker. He scored a pair of sacks in the win over Bozeman, but was also a force at tight end and slot receiver on offense.

Grey also lauded the defensive play of Nate Matteson, Anthony Moritz and Andre Vialpando in last week’s win.

“You look at last week, and the kids found a way to stick it out and handle adversity,” Grey said. “They played hard and physical and did a good job dealing with things. We’ve had a good week of practice. The kids are focused on improving.”

Butte High at Missoula Big Sky
QB — Dallas Cook, 6-4, 210, jr.
HB — Dalton Daum, 6-1, 165, so.
FB — Zach Bunney, 5-7, 165, sr.
WR — Jon Allen, 5-11, 165, sr.
WR — Bryce Armstrong, 5-10, 165, sr.
TE — Tyler Earles, 6-3, 190, jr.
LT — Zack Erickson, 6-0, 220, sr.
LG — Drew Schleeman, 6-3, 215, sr.
C — Dustin Lamiaux, 6-0, 240, jr.
RG — Anthony Moritz, 6-1, 280, sr.
RT — Nick Butorovich, 6-4, 300, sr.
NG — Anthony Moritz, 6-1, 280, sr.
DE — Daniel Kloepfel, 5-11, 200, sr.
DE — Billy Robinson, 6-0, 225, sr.
OLB — Nate Matteson, 5-10, 175, sr.
ILB — Mason Woods, 5-11, 180, jr.
ILB — Blake Kraus, 5-8, 190, sr.
OLB — Tyler Earles, 6-3, 160, jr.
CB — Zach Bunney, 5-7, 165, sr.
SS — Jarret Rowling, 5-11, 150, sr.
FS — Tanner Tregidga, 5-11, 170, sr.
CB — Andre Vialpando, 6-0, 160, sr.