Copperheads stun Maroons

Consider this rivalry duly stoked.

Anaconda’s 28-27 victory over Butte Central burned the football souls of the Maroons and provided the salve for wounds the Copperheads have had inflicted on theirs by BC in recent times. The Friday night Anaconda win at Bulldog Memorial Stadium snapped a five-year victory string Butte Central had enjoyed in the series and it was also the Copperheads’ first victory since 1998 over the Maroons in a varsity football game played in Butte.

The clash was the first of the Southwestern A Conference for both teams. Anaconda is now 3-2 overall this season while BC sports a 1-4 mark.

Anaconda’s elation and Butte Central’s distraught stemmed from the same Eric Boyd-led Copperhead comeback in the fourth quarter. The Maroons had owned a 27-0 cushion heading into the last period, only to see Boyd, a senior quarterback, run for two touchdowns and pass for two more, including a 34-yard connection with Cory Stanberry with 32.6 seconds left in the game that pulled the Copperheads to within 27-26 of BC.  Boyd and Stanberry then hooked up for the two-point conversion to put Anaconda ahead and Boyd sealed the deal by intercepting a Butte Central pass near midfield with only 10 seconds to go in the game. The defensive play sealed the deal for the Copperheads.

“We are very disappointed for our kids,” said Don Peoples Jr., head coach of the Maroons. “Give Anaconda all the credit.”

Boyd sneaked through from one yard out of the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter to tally the Copperheads’ first points of the game. He also bolted up the middle on a 63-yard scoring breakaway and tossed a 28-yard TD pass to Kelley Krumm in the fierce Anaconda comeback.

“The line gave me all the time I needed,” Boyd said. “I saw Kelly breaking out and I lined it out to him.”

The quick and speedy Boyd also gave the line credit for his long bolt up the middle and said the interception at the end of the game was like a center fielder’s play in baseball. Fittingly, he plays center field for the Anaconda A’s American Legion baseball team.

“I knew (Danny) Peoples is a good kicker and I didn’t want him to get in good field goal position,” Boyd said. “This was a needed win, much needed.”

The outcome erased what had been an impressive display by Butte Central. Parts included  the scoring plays — a 10-yard touchdown carry by quarterback Brady Tippett, a 9-yard dash by Joe Joyce and a 21-yard Tippett throw to tight end Connor McGree that took the Maroons to a 21-0 halftime advantage. Tippett’s QB sneak of 1 yard in the third quarter helped up the margin to 27-0 before the Copperheads found their passing game and took advantage of their own quickness.

“We had done a good job on their passing offense,” Don Peoples Jr. said. “We had a late turnover ad they got a couple of deep balls over on us. That gave them confidence. We were doing the right things — trying to run out the clock.

“We were pleased that we played 3 ½ quarters of great football. But this is as tough a loss as we’ve had. Give them the credit.”

It took BC a minute and a half to put points on the board. A first-possession march featured a 17-yard pass play to Kale Guldseth from Tippett that set up Tippett’s 10-yard TD pack. Anaconda blocked the extra-point tip and Butte Central led 6-0. The BC defense stifled Anaconda for three quarters, giving the Butte Central offense room and time to operate.

Big plays on defense included an interception by Northey Tretheway of the Maroons, and picks by Stanberry and Boyd for Anaconda. Besides Boyd’s interception just before the final buzzers, the other huge play on defense was an Alex Ronning fumble recovery for the Copperheads. It gave the ball to the hot-handed Boyd and the Anaconda attack that checked a BC chance to run out the clock. The Boyd scoring throw to Krumm followed the change of possession and positioned the Copperheads for overtaking the Maroons.

Anaconda forced BC to punt with under 2 minutes on the clock. A penalty against Butte Central placed the ball at the BC 34-yard line and Boyd found Stanberry on the next step to set up the winning string of events that followed.

Boyd finished with 121 yards rushing and 90 as a passer. Tippett totaled 266 yards through the air by completing 20 of 39 passes. Guldseth had nine catches for 156 yards.

Anaconda          0     0     0     28 — 28

Butte Central    14     7    6       0 — 27

First Quarter

BC — Brady Tippett 10 run (kick blocked) 10:30

Drive — 65 yards on 7 plays. Key play — Kale Guldseth 17-yard pass from Tippett to Anaconda 13-yard line.

BC —  Joe Joyce 9 run (Danny Peoples run) 2:36

Drive — 82 yards on 6 plays. Key — Guldseth 39-yard pass from Tippett to Anaconda 38-yard line.

Second Quarter

BC — Connor McGree 21 pass from Tippett (Peoples kick) 11:01

Drive– 54 yards on 6 plays. Key play — Guldseth 12-yard pass from Tippett to Anaconda 21-yard line.

Third Qua4ter

BC — Tippett 1 run (kick blocked) 4:30

Drive — 79 yards on 8 plays. Key play — Guldeth 54-yard pass from Tippett to Anaconda 16-yard line

Fourth Quarter

ANA — Eric Boyd 1 run (pass failed) 11:57

Drive — 58 yards on 10 plays. Key play — Dylan Flack 9-yard run to Butte Central 1-yard line.

ANA — Boyd 63 run (Cory Stanberry pass from Boyd) 3:39

Drive — 66 yards in 4 plays. Key play — Scoring play.

ANA — Kelley Krumm 28 pass from Boyd (kick blocked)

Drive — 28 yards on 1 play. Key play — Alex Ronning recovers Butte Central fumble at Butte Central 28-yard line.

ANA — Cory Stanberry 34 pass from Boyd (Stanberry from Boyd) :33

Drive — 49 yards on 2 plays. Key play — Scoring play.

Ana BC

First downs 18 18

Rushes-yards 43-224 32-103

Passes 7-19-1 20-40-2

Passing yards 90 266

Return yards 51 53

Punts-avg. 4-35.0 3-43/3

Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-1

Penalties-yards 7-76 6-58


RUSHING — Anaconda, Eric Boyd 19-121, Dylan Flack 10-90, Ethan Reich 12-20, Team 1-(-2), Jayce Barclay 1-(-5). Butte Central, Joe Joyce 13-46, Brady Tippett 14-46, Wyatt Kingston 4-10, Ben Holt 1-1.

PASSING — Anaconda, Boyd 7-19-1-90.  Butte Central, Tippett 20-39-2-266, Danny Peoples 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING — Anaconda, Cory Stanberry 4-41, Kelley Krumm 1-28, Reich 1-8, Flack 1-7. Butte Central, Kale Guldseth 9-156, Kingston 3-38, Connor McGree 3-35, Northey Tretheway 2-31, J. Joyce 3-6.