Bulldogs fall to Great Falls Bison 41-17

The Bulldogs came into tonight’s game against the Bison riding high off last week’s come from behind win jumping to an early lead, but the Bison’s second half stampede got them the win 41-17 over the Bulldogs.

The Butte High Bulldogs traveled up to Great Falls and Memorial Stadium for the 112th meeting between the Bulldogs and the Bison in a classic Friday night lights showdown. The Bulldogs came into tonight’s game with a big win last week over Billings Senior 36-28, while Great Falls had a similar story coming back against the Helena High Bengals 30-27.

The Bulldogs received the ball to start the game and marched all the way down the field to a field goal by Tyler Duffy for an early 3-0 lead.

The ensuing kickoff was fumbled and recovered by the Dogs and a big 23-yard reception from Jace Stenson to Cameron Gurnsey moved the Bulldogs down to the 12, and then the Bulldogs were able to capitalized on the short field with a Trey Hansen one yard touchdown run to go up 10-0.

The Bison finally had their first full drive of the game as the second quarter began and a long drive was finished off with a 24-yard touchdown run by Rafe Longin.

The Bulldogs bit back with a quick 70-yard screen pass from Jace Stenson to Rueso Battermann to put the Bulldogs up 17-7, however the Bison would answer this big play with one of their own as the following kickoff was taken 80 yards to the house by Longin bring the Bulldogs lead to 17-14.

The Dogs were starting off a nice drive towards midfield when it was stopped short by a Jace Stenson fumble, as he was tackled from behind at the Bulldog 38 yard line, and the Bison wasted no time taking the lead for the first time off a 38-yard touchdown pass from Ashton Platt to Reed Harris to go up 21-17 and would head into the locker room with the lead and set up to receive the second half kickoff.

The second half started with two turnovers on downs as the Bulldogs stopped the Bison on the 29 yard line but were stopped themselves on a 4th and 14 from the 19 yard line. The Bison couldn’t get any traction on their next set of downs and had to punt the ball back to the Bulldogs after a 3 and out.

The Bulldogs were putting together a few nice plays and had driven across mid field when a deep ball from Jace Stenson intended for Cayde Stajcar was picked off by Gatlin Sutherland at the 15 and returned all the way back to the red zone where the Bison took full advantage of the turnover and Longin made his way into the end zone with a touchdown from 2 yards out. (28-17)

The Bulldogs went three and out on the following possession but jumped on a muffed punt at the 46-yard line. The offense were unable to move the ball down the field and had to punt once again to end the third quarter.

The Bison started the 4th quarter with a bang off a 88-yard touchdown run by Reed Harris on the jet sweep around the end to go up 34-17

The Bulldogs got the ball back and in desperation mode went for it on 4th down and 4 at their own 33-yard line but came up short, and once again, the Bison took advantage of the short field with a score one play later by Longin to get to 41-17 where they would close out the game.

Oliver Steele was able to jump on a fumble at the 37-yard line, and the Bulldogs were ready to push their way just outside the end zone as the final horn blew closing out the Friday night match up.

The Bulldogs ended with 321 yards of total offense (258 through the air and 63 on the ground).

Jace Stenson was 23/40 for 258 with 1 TD and 1 INT

Trey Hansen had 13 carries for 37 yards and a TD while the receiving was lead by Cameron Gurnsey 11 catches for 122 yards.

Rueso Battermann also had a great night with 6 catches for 111 yards and a 70 yard TD.

Kyler Stenson had four tackles on the night and Zach Tierney and Johnson Ray also had a great games for the Bulldogs with 3 tackles apiece.

The Bison ended with 326 yards of total offense (111 rushing and 183 passing)

Rafe Longin had 97 yard rushing and 4 touchdowns.

The Bison air attack had Ashton Platt 7/8 for 183 yards and Reed Harris leading the charge with 5 catches for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns

Butte High will go to Helena to start the AA-West conference play next week against the Bengals of Helena High.