Bulldogs Strike for Season Opener Victory

Stormy skies and lightning delays couldn’t stop the Bulldogs as they defeat the Billings Senior Broncs in their season opener. The ‘Dogs sent the Broncs home with a 36 – 28 loss Thursday night. This was the 106th time the two teams met, and after a 7 game losing streak, the Bulldogs were thrilled to celebrate a win over the Billings team.

Butte was off to a slow start, giving up a 68 yard touchdown to Senior’s BB Bergen with 6:30 left in the first quarter. Bergen caught an errant hand-off in the air and raced it to the end zone.  With the extra point, Senior led Butte 7 – 0 at 3:54.

Butte got on the board after Billings handed them a safety when they sent a punt snap through the endzone. They headed into the second quarter with a score of 7 – 2.

The Broncs came out fighting in the second quarter. They put points on the board within the first minute with a 44 yard touchdown pass from Peyton Oakley to Bergen. Burckley put in the kick to give the Broncs a 14-2 lead.

With 5:26 left in the first half, the officials called a game delay due to lightning within 10 miles of Naranche Stadium. After 30 minutes in the locker room, the Bulldogs came out eager to get back to the game. A strong drive put the Bulldogs within scoring distance with 1:35 left in the half. Jace Stenson threw a 10 yard touchdown to freshman Hudson Luedtke to get the ‘Dogs back in the game. Unfortunately, the extra point sailed left of the uprights, making the score 14 – 8 at the half.

Second Half

Threat of another lightening delay kept both teams in their locker rooms for an extended halftime. The Bulldogs made their entrance with plenty of energy!  Stenson found Rueso Batterman with 8:00  left in the third, putting Butte in the lead for the first time. Duffy’s kick was good, for a score of  15 – 14. Senior answered when Oakley passed to Maclain Burckley for a touchdown less than two minutes later. Oakley hit Burckley again on the two point conversion, putting the Broncs back in the lead 22-15.

That didn’t discourage the Bulldogs! In fact, 12 seconds later Stenson found freshman, Cayde Stajcar running down the middle of the field for an 80 yard touchdown. Tyler Duffy completed the extra point to tie the game 22 – 22.

With a 3:21 left in the third, Bulldog Kale McDonald stepped in front of an Oakley pass on the Senior sideline, and raced 45 yards for a pick-6.  The extra point was good,  giving the Bulldogs a 29 – 22 lead that they would never relinquish.

To top off the exciting and rainy third quarter, quarterback Jace Stenson used his legs to dodge tacklers in the backfield. He found a lane to the end zone taking the Bulldogs to a 36 – 22 lead.  Stenson had a busy night with 3 passing touchdowns and  his third quarter ending scamper for 6.

Opportunity for the Younger Players

The younger Bulldogs got a chance to hit the field in the fourth quarter.  Junior Bo Demarais stepped up to lead as quarterback. The Bulldog defense kept the Broncs at bay, only allowing one touchdown with 1:15 left in the game. The final score was 36 – 28.

The Bulldogs covered the onside kick, but an offside call on the kicking team gave the Broncs a second chance to get the ball back. The pooch kick was covered by the Bulldogs in the final play. The crowd at Naranche had plenty of reasons to celebrate!

The Bulldogs will be on the road next Friday for a non-conference game against Great Falls High.

1ST  2ND  3RD FINAL

Butte High            2      14       36      36

Billings Senior     7       8        22       28

 

#19 Rueso Batterman
#69 Zach Tierney challenging the Bronc O-Line
#30 Trey Hansen runs the ball
#41 Adien Cuchine jumps to receive the kickoff
#2 Jace Stenson hands off to #46 Kaleb Paddock
Bulldog Offensive Line
#17 Cameron Gurnsey punts the ball
#4 Kale McDonald in pursuit
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