Butte High will put its No. 5 ranking and 3-1 record on the line Friday when the Bulldog football team travels to Billings to take on the Senior Broncs (2-2).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Daylis Stadium, as Butte’s game is the nightcap following a 4 p.m. matchup of Billings West and Missoula Hellgate. (KBOW, 550 AM. Click here to listen online.)
Billings Senior is coming off a tough 54-26 loss at a resurgent Great Falls Russell, which has won three straight games after losing 41-20 the openeing weekend in Butte. Butte High, on the other hand, posted a 45-13 win over then-fifth ranked Billings West last weekend.
Butte High head coach Arie Grey said he expects nothing less than a challenge from the Broncs.
“That’s the great thing about our league,” Grey said. “Each week is a battle.”
Grey said that keys for a Bulldog victory begin with the defense.
“Number one, we have to do a good job on D,” he said. “We need to pursue to the ball because they have a very good running back.”
Indeed, Nick Saraceni has averaged 193 yards per game rushing and has scored nine touchdowns to lead the Broncs.
“We have to be disciplined on defense and physical up front,” Grey said. “And we have to be ready for trick plays, and they run quite a few.
“Special teams need to limit the big play and offensively we have to be able to control the clock,” he continued. “We have to move the ball and get first downs, and we need to have success in the red zone.”
Grey has emphasized to his team the need to focus on the present, whether it’s a play in a game or a practice leading up to the event. That, he says, will help the Bulldogs give a good effort following the big win over West last Friday.
“We had great week of practice,” he said. “We’ve done good things and the kids have had good energy all week long. We’ll live one day at a time and tomorrow is another step in getting better.”
Grey said he was pleased with the play last Friday from tight end Tyler Earles and receiver Bryce Armstrong.
“They did well catching the ball and getting yards after the catch,” he said. “I’m happy with what they’re doing.”
Defensive captain Daniel Kloepfel drew praise from Grey, as did linebackers Nate Matteson and Bo Taylor.
“Those guys are getting better every day,” Grey said. “We’re progressing to where we want to be.”
Butte High is 3-0 in the home friendly atmosphere of Naranche Stadium, while the Bulldogs’ lone loss came on the road — also at Daylis Stadium to the Skyview Falcons. Grey said his team relishes the chance to make a better showing after a bus ride.
“The kids understand last time we didn’t play well, and they want to get that taste out of their mouth,” Grey said. “They’re ready to come down and play and give temselves an opportunity to be successful. They want to play Senior, and they want to play them tough.”
Butte High at Billings Senior
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 — Bo Taylor, 5-8, 150, sr.
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.