Experienced crew dominates Butte Central scrimmage

Disappointing outcomes to playoff games the past two seasons have provided the motivation for a better result this year, Don Peoples Jr., head coach of the Butte Central high school football program said Saturday after his team’s Maroon-and-White Scrimmage.
He added that, at least, such is a hope. The Maroons looked sharp, big, fast and quick in the first unit despite rainy conditions on the Bob Green Field at the Montana Tech campus where the scrimmage was held.
The scrimmage was moved there after the steady rain rendered Torger Oaas Field adjacent to the Maroon Activities Center (MAC) muddy and unplayable. The BC program gained permission to use the artificial surface at Montana Tech as an alternative.
The Bob Green Field is where Butte Central began playing its home games last year, switching from Bulldog Memorial Stadium at East Middle School.
An important project for the Maroons this early fall, going on the display Saturday, will be coaching a promising group of sophomores and freshmen up to capable backup varsity status. The No. 1 unit was dominant on both sides of the ball in the scrimmage, showing a noticeable gap between starters and reserves.
“We did a lot of good things today,” Peoples said, “even though the ball weighed 100 pounds.”
The added weight came from the rainwater and made for a slippery ball surface, too. The players seemed to adjust nicely. The skill position personnel presented a varied attack.
“We feel we have a lot of weapons on offense,” Peoples said. “We have good speed. We think we have three or four backs who can run the ball for us and five or six receivers.”
Such is the way it looked on Saturday, too.
The first-team defense held the backup offense scoreless. When second-year starter and fourth-year veteran Danny Peoples, son of the head coach, took over the controls, BC was unstoppable on the attack.
A talented, veteran group joined him on the field and provided good results, even though returning senior receiver Dalton Sessions missed the scrum with an ankle injury.
Peoples scored on keepers of 3, 30 and 10 yards, and completed TD pass plays of 15 yards to Kaemen Richards and 16 to Chad Peterson. Sprinter Kyle Harrington busted a 45-yard touchdown run.
The first score of the day was by Richards, playing linebacker on the first defense, with a 29-yard fumble recovery and return.
Two potential Peoples scoring passes were dropped in the end zone. No. 2 quarterback Tanner Kump, a sophomore, hooked up with Cal Hollow on a 60-yard touchdown connection while playing with the first unit.
“That’s why it was important that we scrimmaged today,” coach Peoples said. “We needed to find out where we need to improve.
“We appreciate our partnership with Montana Tech that allowed us use of this facility today when it was decided ours couldn’t be used because of the weather.”
Even playing in the difficult conditions might have been a plus, throwing a little more adversity at the Butte Central players and seeing how they responded.
The Maroon roster shows eight seniors, all with considerable previous varsity experience, in the 6-foot-1, 145-pound Peoples, 6-2, 220-pound Richards, 5-10, 165-pound receiver/linebacker Mike Cooney, 6-2, 185-pound Sessions, 6-1, 210-pound tight end/defensive end Frank Hendrickson, 6-1 190-pound Peterson, 5-11, 220-pound two-way lineman Tw Bolton, 6-4, 220-pound two-way lineman Marcus Ferriter and 6-0, 205-pound lineman Liam Doran.
Ferriter and Richards are fourth-year starters. Peterson, Bolton and Doran played on the first unit last season.
Another returning starter is Hollow, who earned honors at free safety last year as a sophomore. The 5-8, 160-pound speedster is part of the offense’s Fast H’s brigade with fellow burners Harrington and Cole Harper, a 6-0, 170-pound receiver and cornerback, who gained much varsity time last year also as a backup quarterback.
Jake Michelotti, a 6-0, 245-pound junior, also started on the line last year and junior Kyle Schulte is a returning starter at linebacker. The 6-2, 200-pounder also plays tight end.
Harrington, 6-0, 180, also saw starting time and at several positions as a sophomore. Ethan St. John, 6-3, 260, is another junior lineman with varsity playing time.
Other juniors looking for time include 5-11, 170 pound receiver/cornerback Colin McArthur and 5-9, 205-pound lineman Liam Devine.
Sophomores Nate McGree and Ryan Richards are also expected to see plenty of varsity duty, Peoples said. McGree is a 6-0, 170-pound running back/linebacker and Richards is a 6-0, 280-pound lineman.
The Maroons will open their season Friday at Belgrade in a non-conference game.

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