-Butte High will aim for its third straight Class AA football victory Friday at Naranche Stadium, as the Bulldogs host Kalispell Glacier for their 2013 homecoming game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the radio call coming on KBOW (550 AM and 101.5 FM) from Paul Panisko and John Thatcher. (Listen live)
Both teams come in with a 3-1 league ledger, though neither has played a common team and both have a loss to a top-2 team. Butte High’s only loss was at Helena Capital, while the No. 5 Wolfpack fell at Bozeman.
With only three undefeated teams (Capital, Helena and Bozeman) and three 3-1 squads (Butte, Glacier and Skyview), Friday’s game at Naranche will have far-reaching effects on the playoff picture in November.
“It’s just another step toward the goals we’ve set for ourselves,” Butte High head coach Arie Grey said, though he noted that his team expects a thorough challenge from the visitors. “Glacier plays hard-nose football and they play extremely fast. But this is where we want to be. We want to be playing top teams and getting better.”
Glacier is coming off a 40-0 whipping dealt to Missoula Hellgate (0-4) last Friday at Legends Field in Kalispell. Though the Wolfpack was held scoreless in the first quarter, a touchdown pass from Brady McChesney to Evan Epperly was the first of four Glacier TDs in the second quarter. McChesney finished with four scoring passes – three to Epperly.
“He’s a talented receiver,” Grey said of Epperly. “They like to get the ball to him.”
The Wolfpack also boasts a physical defense that’s big and strong up front.
“These guys are going to come at us,” Grey predicted. “They’re going to blitz everywhere, so we really need to come out and set the tempo on offense.”
Butte High got its offense tuned up in last weekend’s 41-14 win over Billings West, though players and coaches alike expressed a need for improvement following the rout.
“I think the kids are a lot better in the discipline area,” Grey said. “They’ve made some big strides. I think we know our assignments, and now we just need to go out and do our jobs.”
Record-setting Butte High quarterback Dallas Cook is coming off a performance in which he recorded five touchdown passes and 377 yards passing with no interceptions. Cook also led all rushers with 11 carries for 82 yards. Brody Hart was on the receiving end of two of the scoring aerials, while Jake Eisenbarth, Dalton Daum and Tyler Earles each hauled in a TD pass as well. Eisenbarth also plunged in on a 2-yard scoring burst.
Sophomore Paul Campbell is no longer a secret for Butte High, as he snagged 11 catches for 163 yards.
Butte High’s defense will also look for a continuation of last week’s play. Inside linebackers Mason Woods and Keiffer Hepola continued solid play this season, while safety Clay Dean has been making plays all over the field.
“They’ve got a good offense and dynamic special teams,” Grey said of the Wolfpack. “We just need to come out and play four quarters and battle each down.”