By Ron Davis
The Butte High Bulldogs dominated the Flathead Braves Friday night to even their record at 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Western AA.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to get on the scoreboard taking the opening drive 74 yards in 15 plays for the first score of the game. The Bulldogs running game, led by a 14 yard run from Kale McDonald and a 19 yard run from Trey Hansen, moved the dogs inside the 5 yard line of Flathead. With just over four minutes off the clock, Trey Hansen finished the drive with a 3 yard plunge over the left side of the offensive line. That was the first and longest of 4 touchdown runs for Hansen. Tyler Duffy put the point after through the up rights and the dogs were up 7-0.Game Stats
Flathead returned the kickoff to the Bulldog 35 yard line and on their first play from scrimmage ran a reverse to junior Brody Thornsberry for a touchdown but a holding call brought it back. Three plays later Ben Bliven again found the end zone on an end around that was also called back by a holding call. Butte High corner Kale McDonald intercepted a pass from Flathead quarterback Nate Skonard in the end zone to stop the scoring threat. That turned out to be the only time the Braves would threaten.
The Butte offense took over on the 20 yard line following the only turn over of the ball game and put together another clock eating drive to end the first quarter with the score 7-0.
The second quarter started with the Bulldogs deep in Flathead’s red zone. Facing a 4 and 2 from the 14 yard line, Jace Stenson followed the lead block by Hansen over the right side of the Bulldog line to the 12 yard line for a Bulldog first down. Two plays later, with the ball at the Flathead 10 yard line, Stenson took off to the left on a keeper finding an open lane to the goal line for the Bulldog’s second score of the game. A motion penalty on the extra point moved the ball back 5 yards and Tyler Duffy’s attempt was blocked by Trevor Burke making the score 13-0.
The Braves got the ball back but once again, the Bulldog defense made life tough on Skonard, with a couple big hits in the pocket by Zach Tierney and Kyler Stenson. Tierney spent more time in the Braves backfield in the first half then the Braves running backs, he took Flathead quarterback down on almost every pass attempt and keeper in the first half.
Ethan Cunningham returned the Skonard punt to the Dogs 35 yard line. The offense moved the ball into the Braves side of the field but one of the Bulldogs nine penalties found them back their own 40 yard line. Jace Stenson rolled to his left and found a wide-open Sean Ossello at the Braves 40, Ossello dodged the first would be tackler and raced for a 57-yard gain to the Braves 3-yard line. Two plays later Trey Hansen took it into the end zone from the 2. Duffy added the bonus kick and the Boys from Butte were up 20-0 with six minutes left in the half.
The Bulldog Defense once again held Flathead to a three and out giving the Offense the ball back with 3:22 to play in the half. Following another Cunningham return to the opponents 48, the Offense took just six plays in just over a minute for another score. The bulk of the yards came on a Stenson flare pass to running back Karson Pumnea who dodged tacklers for a 35 yard gain to the Braves 13. Three plays later and Trey Hansen was in the end zone for the third time in the game from a yard out. Duffy added the bonus point and Butte went to the half up 27-0.
Flathead received the second half kick off. On the opening drive Flathead was facing a fourth and 4 from their own 36. The Braves lined up to punt but attempted a fake that the Bulldogs seemed ready for. The ball carrier got back to the line of scrimmage and the Bulldogs got the ball back on downs.
Eight plays later, with the ball down to the Flathead 3-yard line, Jace Stenson rolled to his right finding Jonas Sherman in the end zone for the score. Stenson finished the game 19/28 for 218 yards and a touchdown. Once again Tyler Duffy’s kick was blocked by Trevor Burke and Butte was up 33-0.
Both teams went three and out with Flathead punting back to the Bulldogs with just over three minutes left in the third. The final drive was an 11 play 68 yard clock eater with most of the yards coming on Stenson to Stajcar connections. Trey Hansen took it across the goal from 2-yards out for his fourth touchdown of the game and the final score. Hansen ran the ball 18 times for 71 yards for his biggest night of the year. Duffy added the point and with 10:48 to play in the game the Bulldogs were up 40-0 with a running clock.Scoring Summary
Both teams gave the young men who work hard every day at practice their time under the lights to end the game.
The Bulldogs ended with 393 yards of total offense and their best night of rushing this season gaining 175 yards on the ground. The Dog Defense held Flathead to just 163 yards of total offense 85 passing and 83 rushing.
The Bulldogs are home again next Friday hosting Missoula Big Sky at 7pm. The night will honor the Butte High Silver B’s.
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