Fast start sends Whitefish over Butte Central

Fast start sends Whitefish over Butte Central

By Bruce Saylor

WHITEFISH – Senior quarterback Flynn Ridgeway ran for three touchdowns and senior running back Ty Schwaiger powered for a pair as Whitefish beat Butte Central 34-20 Friday night in Western A Conference high school football game at Memorial Field.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Ridgeway, a fourth-year starter at QB, clicked off runs of 13 and 1 yards in the first quarter after Schwaiger plunged a yard into the end zone as Whitefish got off to a 21-0 start. A Butte Central fumble recovered by the Bulldogs set up Ridgeway’s first TD, and Dane Hunt’s interception of a Maroons pass positioned the second.

Butte Central came back with one of its own about midway through the second period when senior Kyle Holter dashed a yard for a touchdown off a pitch from junior quarterback Jack Keeley. Keeley’s pass to Rye Doherty keyed the drive along with runs by Holter and Keeley.

The Maroons looked poised to climb back into the game when Justus McGee picked off a Ridgeway pass and returned to the Whitefish 45-yard line. A touchdown run by Konnor Pochervina was called back on a BC penalty and the threat died on a missed 35-yard field goal try.

Butte Central did score just before halftime, though, when tight end Eric Loos gathered in a pass from Keeley on a crossing route and bashed into the end zone. A rash of penalties against the Bulldogs helped keep the Maroon drive alive.

Ridgeway broke loose for a 50-yard touchdown sprint to return the momentum to Whitefish late in the third quarter.

The Maroons rallied close one more time when Holter caught a 4-yard pass from Keeley in a crowd and Ethan Andersch kicked the extra point to narrow the gap to 27-20. Little time remained and the Bulldogs were able to seal the victory when Schwaiger, a Washington State baseball commit, tunneled into the end zone from a yard away after Mason Kelch killed a BC drive with an interception.

Butte Central will celebrate homecoming next weekend with a Friday night game against reigning state Class A champion Hamilton on the Bob Green Field at Montana Tech.


Butte Central     0              13           0              7 – 20

Whitefish            21           0              6              7 – 34

WHI – Ty Schwaiger 2 run (Mason Kelch kick)

WHI – Flynn Ridgeway 13 run (Kelch kick)

WHI – Ridgeway 1 run (Kelch kick)

BC – Kyle Holter 1 run (kick failed)

BC – Eric Loos 8 pass from Keeley (Ethan Andersch kick)

WHI – Ridgeway 50 run (kick blocked)

BC – Holter 4 pass from Keeley (Andersch kick)

WHI – Schwaiger 1 run (Kelch kick)


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