Butte High’s fast-pace offense was anything but Friday night during the Bulldogs’ annual Purple and White Game at Naranche Stadium.
The main reason for that was Bulldogs used a huddle, something not seen in the five years Arie Grey has been head coach.
“We decided to huddle,” Grey said with a smile after the game that was clearly better at the end than it was in the beginning. “We didn’t want Jack to see anything.”
Grey was talking about Great Falls Russell coach Jack Johnson, who will be on the opposing sideline next Friday night when the Bulldogs open the season at home against the Rustlers.
It’s not that Grey was accusing the Rustlers of sending a mole to Naranche. You just can never be to safe, and the Bulldogs didn’t want the Rustlers to have an easy opportunity to steal offensive calls and signals.
The slower pace also gave the Butte Athletic Council more time to serve burgers on a night that featured volleyball, soccer and cross country scrimmages at the high school.
For the Bulldog fans, the plays that didn’t count are the ones that will likely stand out.
One play saw Kaedon Caprara catch a short pass from quarterback Dallas Cook and take it 81 yards for a touchdown that was called back by an illegal procedure penalty.
Another saw Cory Farstveet score on an 80-yard pass from Marcus Madrazo. Because of a block in the back call, the Bulldogs had to settle for a long gain instead of a score.
“It’s nice to see those guys make some plays in space and be able to do some things,” Grey said. “Obviously we’ve got to shore up some things penalty-wise. We told them (the officials) to call it tight because we’ve got to make sure we know what we’re doing and we’re ready to roll. It was just mental mistakes like not getting up on the ball or doing something like that.
“It was a learning experience. We get to go see where we’re at on film, make some adjustments and make ourselves better.”
The Bulldogs, though, made some other nice plays that weren’t interrupted by a penalty flag.
Jake Eisenbarth scored on a run of about 15 yards, while Cook had his hand in a couple of scores that counted.
Cook hooked up with Bryce Armstrong for a deep pass down the left sideline — going west to east — for a scoring play that went 80 yards.
Cook also scrambled for 59-yard touchdown run.
“Dallas played really well,” Grey said of his 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior quarterback. “He did a great job managing what we’re doing. He commands a lot of respect in the huddle and does a great job in the huddle with the kids.
“We’re going to lean on him to do some big things for us, and we’re excited for where he’s at. He’s definitely put the time and effort in to get himself better.”
Grey praised the running of Eisenbarth, a junior, and senior Zach Bunney.
“They’re really running extremely well for us,” the coach said. “They’re give us the dimension to be able to have a burst and go.”
The coach also pointed to his offensive line that returns four starters — seniors Zack Ericson, Drew Schleeman, Anthony Moritz and Nick Butorovich — and Dustin LaMiaux. (Moritz didn’t play Friday because he had a death in his family).
Butte High’s other touchdown came when Zach Johnson hit Sean Doyle for a 17-yard TD strike.
“We were able to weather the storm and get better as the scrimmage went on and relax a little bit,” Grey said. “As it went on it got a little bit better and I thought we did some good things.”
Grey really liked what he saw on defense.
“Defensively we got to the ball and did some things,” the coach said. “The defense has played all week with tons of passion — passion that we haven’t seen here in a couple of years. Defensively those guys are playing extremely hard.”
Grey singled out the play of Jake Dennehy, Daniel Kloepfel and Caprara on that side of the ball.1 comment