BOZEMAN – The Homestake trophy changed hands again Friday, as Bozeman hung a 38-7 defeat on Butte High in a Montana Class AA football clash at Bozeman’s VanWinkle Stadium.
Butte High head coach Arie Grey handed the traveling trophy to Bozeman counterpart Troy Purcell after the game, as Bozeman improved to 3-0 on the season while the Bulldogs fell to 1-2.
Bozeman quarterback DJ Perdaems threw for three touchdowns – two to Bennett Hostetler – while Balue Chapman had scoring runs of 1 and 86 yards. Trace Bradshaw also scored on the ground for the Hawks.
Butte High’s lone touchdown came on a 10-yard scoring strike from Ty Peterson to Kiley Caprara, who led all Bulldog receivers with nine catches for 65 yards. Jake Salmonsen had four snags for 52 yards and Matt Merzlak hauled in three catches for 16 yards, while Peterson completed 21 of 37 passes for 175 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“We did some good things tonight,” Grey said, choosing to focus on the positive aspects of the game. “Our defense made some key stops early on and we’re getting better. We’ll just keep on working on improving every day.”
The Bulldogs got a couple of early breaks, as bad snaps snuffed Bozeman’s first drive, and then a muffed punt snap ended up as a Butte first down, but a slow-starting Butte High offense was unable to capitalize on the situation. Butte managed only three first downs in the first half – one of which was when Nate Ferguson advanced a bad long punt snap 9 yards – and saw the defense give up 15 plays that went for at least 10 yards in a tough battle against a bigger and healthier team.
“The kids never stopped battling,” Grey observed. “I’m proud of them for that.”
Bozeman ran the ball very effectively, as a big and experienced offensive line was able to open holes for three big and powerful running backs in Chapman, Bradshaw and Payton O’Reilly.
Butte’s defense saw a big effort from Kaleb Ferriter, who tallied a pair of tackles for loss, while Quinn Dennehy came up big with a red-zone interception to snuff a Bozeman scoring drive on the first play of the second quarter.
Injuries continued to take a toll on the Bulldogs, as senior captain Riley Vaughn left the game at halftime with an injury to his left foot. The offensive guard was to have X-rays on the foot upon his return to Butte. There has been no word of a timetable for his return, which might leave Butte High with two senior captains sidelined, as quarterback Dylan Cook is healing a broken collarbone suffered in the the first quarter of the first game of the season.
Elsewhere in Class AA action, Kalispell Glacier (1-2) edged Helena Capital (2-1) 7-3, Great Falls Russell (2-1) knocked off Helena High (2-1) 40-14, Missoula Sentinel (2-1) downed Missoula Big Sky (0-3) 26-22, Kalispell Flathead (2-1) pounded Great Falls (2-1) 41-12, Billings Skyview (1-2) throttled Missoula Hellgate (0-3) 41-13 and Billings Senior (3-0) blanked crosstown rival Billings West (0-3) 27-0. The Broncs have yet to give up a touchdown this season, outscoring their three opponents 94-3.
The Bulldogs play host to Billings Senior next Friday for homecoming. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Naranche Stadium.
Butte 0 0 0 7 — 7
Bozeman 6 12 13 7 — 38
Boz — Bennett Hostetler 26 pass from DJ Perdaems (kick failed) 3:40
Boz — Balue Chapman 1 run (run failed) 7:53
Boz — Hostetler 22 pass from Perdaems (pass failed) :16
Boz — Chapman 86 run (Connor Coles kick) 6:30
Boz — Trace Bradshaw 5 run (kick blocked) 3:12
Butte — Kiley Caprara 10 pass from Ty Peterson (Nathaniel Ferguson kick) 9:18
Boz — Bailey Paddock 12 pass from Perdaems (Coles kick) 5:41