It’s no secret that Butte High’s defense struggled in last week’s 55-48 loss at Billings Skyview. The Bulldogs gave up 461 yards rushing to the Broncs at Wendy’s Field.
Bulldog coach Arie Grey said that defense is eager to show people that they are better than that when Butte High returns to Naranche Stadium to take on Missoula Hellgate at 7 p.m. Friday. (KBOW 550 AM. Click here to listen online.)
What better time to make such a statement than Silver B’s Night, when the Bulldogs welcome back former players from the school’s storied history.
“Silver B’s is a great night,” Butte High coach Arie Grey said. “It means so much to our guys. It means so much for the former players who come to town.”
The Bulldogs (1-1) faced a pair of running teams in the first two games.
They’ll face another team that likes to run the ball in Hellgate (0-2).
Coach R.L. Booyles’ Knights, who opened the season with a 34-6 loss to Helena High, ran the ball 41 times for 197 yards in last week’s 15-12 loss to Missoula Sentinel.
They passed the ball 20 times, with quarterback Luke Bewley completing 6 of 20 passes for 57 yards. He was picked off twice.
Bewley ran 17 times for 47 yards. John Dalpiaz and Zach Bauer also carried a big load for the Knights. Dalpiaz chalked up 75 yards on 14 carries. Bauer ran nine times for 86 yards.
Grey said last week’s defensive problems came down to undisciplined play.
“Hellgate will give us lots of looks, so we’ve got to stay disciplined,” Grey said. “Last week we weren’t disciplined in all three areas.”
The Bulldogs will start Daniel Kloepfel, Billy Robinson and Anthony Mortitz up front in their 3-4 defense.
Nathan Matteson and Bo Taylor will play outside linebacker, while Mason Woods and Blake Kraus will get the start in the middle.
Tanner Tregidga, Jarret Rowling, Zach Bunney and Andre Vialpando make up the starting secondary.
Butte High’s offense is coming off a big-time performance at Skyview.
Junior quarterback Dallas Cook passed for a school-record 521 yards, completing 41 of 62 passes for two touchdowns.
Cook has some serious weapons to work with.
Sophomore speedster Dalton Daum has racked up 255 yards on the season. Last week he caught 10 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Bryce Armstrong caught 10 passes for 129 yards a week ago, while classmate Jon Allen caught eight passes for 46 yards. Grey said Allen will get his first start of the season at the slot position Friday.
Tyler Earls, a 6-foot-3 junior, is also a threat for Butte High’s fast-paced spread option.
Senior Zach Bunney and junior Jake Eisenbarth start at running back behind a massive, experienced Moritz, Zach Erickson, Drew Schleeman, Dustin LaMiaux and Nick Butorovich.
Taylor comes in during short yardage situations. Last week he ran the ball five times for 20 yards. He put up some serious fantasy points, though, scoring four touchdowns.
Butte High is one of eight Class AA teams with a 1-1 record. Great Falls High, Kalispell Flathead and Hellgate are the only winless teams.
Billings West, Bozeman and Helena Capital are 2-0.
West will be at Naranche next week, as the Bulldogs celebrate homecoming with the Bears in town.
Butte High Bulldogs
Arie Grey (5th season)
QB — Dallas Cook, 6-4, 210, jr
RB — Zach Bunney, 5-7, 165, sr; Jake Eisenbarth, 5-7, 160, jr
WR — Dalton Daum, 6-1, 165, sr; Jon Allen, 5-11, 160, sr
Slot — Jon Allen, 5-11, 160, sr
Z —Bryce Armstron, 5-10, 165, sr
LT — Zach 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
TE — Tyler Earles, 6-3, 190, jr
E — Daniel Kloepfel, 5-11, 200, sr; Billy Robinson, 6-0, 225, sr
NG — Moritz
OLB — Nathan Matteson, 5-10, 175, sr; Bo Taylor, 5-8, 150, sr
ILB — Mason Woods, 5-11, 180; Blake Kraus, 5-8, 190, sr
S — Tanner Tregidga, 5-11, 170, sr; Jarret Rowling, 5-11, 150, sr
C — Bunney; Andre Vialpando, 6-0, 160, sr