The Butte Central Maroons played their best game at the best time Friday night.
Sophomore Ryan Moodry ran for three touchdowns and the Butte Central football team fired on all cylinders in a 42-19 Southwestern A Conference win over Hamilton on Bob Green Field at Montana Tech.
The win gave the Maroons at least second place in the Southwestern A and a home playoff game. It also sets up a de facto conference championship game next Friday in Dillon.
Moodry scored on runs of 4, 57 and 27 yards in the win. Tanner Kump and Cole Harper hooked up on TD strikes of 80 and 26 yards.
The 80-yarder closed the first half with the Maroons up by 21-12. The 26-yard scoring pass opened the third quarter.
Kump also scored on a 7-yard run to start the scoring.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” BC head coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “We’d been really searching for that formula to play a full, complete game. Although there room for improvement, we came close to completing a full game tonight.”
Butte Central showed its speed and athleticism in racking up the Senior Night victory, one that may have been surprising by the width of the gap in the final score. The line shined both ways, with good blocking, especially in the passing game, on offense, and with its constant pressure on Hamilton quarterback Bret Huxtable on defense.
Senior ends Colin McArthur and Kyle Schulte kept Huxtable well hemmed in while the middle of the defense held the Broncs in check almost all of the second half. Senior Cal Hollow set up a touchdown with a kickoff return, intercepted a pass on defense and caught seven aerials on offense in a starring role.
His interception and runback was one of three touchdowns the Maroons had called back on penalties. They also lost a TD on a fumble at the goal line that bounded into the end zone for a touchback.
Penalties were a problem for BC. The team suffered 12 markoffs for infractions.
The Butte Central line play seemed to improve as the game progressed. It was dominant in the second half, especially on the defensive side and in passing situations.
“We all worked hard,” said McArthur, who moved from his cornerback spot of last year to inside linebacker to start this season, then being switched again, to defensive end, after Kyle Harrington suffered a season-ending knee injury.
“We stepped it up,” McArthur continued. “We got some new formations and got it working tonight. We all just rushed, worked hard on getting off our blocks.”
He had at least two solo sacks and was in on several other big plays, defensively.
Peoples said he believed the key part of the game was scoring just before halftime to gain a touchdown lead to take into the locker room, then scoring right away when the second half started. Both TDs were passes from Kump, the junior quarterback, to Harper, who piled 118 receiving yards. The 80-yarder was to Harper going down the west sideline. After grabbing the pass, he wheeled a spin move that rid the defender and then dashed untouched to the end zone. The catch at the beginning of the second half was of a loft deep into the end zone that settled perfectly into Harper’s hands.
Moodry showed power and speed during his 97-yard rushing performance.
“The touchdown before halftime was big,” Peoples said. “It gave us the momentum going into the locker room. Then, we came out and got a stop on defense, then another touchdown. The kids put in a great effort.”
Hamilton lost two fourth-down gambles that led to Butte Central touchdowns, the first coming when punter Bridger Bauder decided to try to run for first down, but was stopped short by Nate McGree. The turnover on downs positioned the Maroons at the Broncs’ 4-yard line. After a penalty moved the ball back,
Kump scored on a keeper. Senior Tyler Kump, the QB’s older brother, booted his first of six extra points.
Hamilton responded immediately as Huxtable hit Bauder on a 70-yard scoring pass play. Bauder got behind the BC defense and eluded would-be tacklers. However, they missed the point after touchdown, allowing the Maroons to keep the lead.
Moodry’s 4-yarder ut his team back ahead by a touchdown, 14-6. However, the Broncs responded with a long drive and capped it with a 3-yard touchdown run by Alex Draper, who led all rushers with 121 yards. Hamilton attempted a two-point conversion, but Butte Central stopped the run in front of the goal ine.
Twelve seconds of game time later, Kump and Harper connected on the 80-yarder and BC had its 21-12 halftime advantage.
Hamilton tried again on a fourth-down run on its first possession after intermission, but Butte Central linebacker Sam Johnston tackled Bauder before he could reach the marker. Kump threw to Harper on the next play for the 26-yard TD play.
Moodry broke his 57-yard scoring scoot on the Maroons’ next possession and their lead was more comfortable at 35-12. The Broncs finished their scoring on a 29-yard pass Huxtable threw to tight end Josh Triplett near the end of the third quarter. The Maroons finished with Moodry’s 47-yard touchdown run set up by Hollow’s 45-yard kickoff return.
“We’ll enjoy this for about 24 hours,” Peoples said, “then get back to work. Dillon is incredible.”
Dillon and Butte Central last met last November on the Bob Green Field for the state Class A championship. The Beavers avenged a 31-29 regular-season loss with a 29-28 win to capture the crown, their second consecutive title.
The winner of next Friday’s Butte Central-Dillon game will receive a first-round bye in the playoffs and the loser will be home in the first round against an opponent to be decided. The Maroons are the defending Southwestern A champions. Butte Central is 6-2 for the season, 3-0 in conference. Dillon is 7-0 and 3-0. Hamilton fell to 6-2 and 2-2.
Hamilton 0 12 7 0 — 19
Butte Central 0 21 14 7 — 42
BC — Tanner Kump 7 run (Tyler Kump kick), 10:50. Drive — 4 yards in 2 plays. Key play — Nate McGree tackled Hamilton punter Bridger Bauder on a fake punt play at the Hamilton 4-yard line on fourth down.
HAM — Bridger Bauder 70 pass from Bret Huxtable (kick failed), 9:48. Drive — 72 yards in 2 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
BC — Ryan Moodry 4 run (Tyler Kump kick), 3:23. Drive — 61 yards in 9 plays. Key play — Cole Harper 10-yard pass from Tanner Kump to Hamilton 5-yard line on 3rd-and-5.
HAM — Alex Draper 3 run (run failed), 1:03. Drive — 75 yards in 8 plays. Key play — Jonathan Ringer 15-yard run to Butte Central 3-yard line on 3rd-and-7.
BC — Cole Harper 80 pass from Tanner Kump (Tyler Kump kick), :51. Drive — 80 yards in 1 play. Key play — Scoring play.
BC — Harper 26 pass from Tanner Kump (Tyler Kump kick), 10:27. Drive — 26 yards in 1 play. Key play — Sam Johnston tackles Hamilton punter Bauder on fake punt play at Hamilton 26-yard line on 4th-and-2.
BC — Moodry 57 run (Tyler Kump kick), 3:41. Drive — 69 yards in 5 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
HAM — Josh Triplett 29 pass from Huxtable (Bauder kick), 1:20. Drive — 80 yards in 7 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
BC — Moodry 27 run (Tyler Kump kick), 11:47. Drive — 47 yards in plays. Key play — Cal Hollow 45-yard kickoff return to Hamilton 47-yard line.
First downs 15 18
Rushes-yards 40-211 35-227
Passes 11-23-1 16-24-2
Passing yards 158 202
Total yards 369 431
Return yards 3 18
Punts-avg. 2-43.0 2-24.0
Fumbles-lost 3-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-25 12-98
RUSHING — Hamilton, Alex Draper 19-121, Manny Rivera 5-49, Jonathan Ringer 1-15, Christian Ellis 2-13, Bret Huxtable 10-13, Bridger Bauder 3=0. Butte Central, Ryan Moodry 7-97, Blake Burton 18-86, Tanner Kump 10-44.
PASSING — Hamilton, Huxtable 11-23-1-158. Butte Central, Kump 15-23-2-166, Cole Harper 1-1-0-36.
RECEIVING — Hamilton, Bauder 4-97, Josh Triplett 3-37, Ellis 1-16, Draper 2-7, Ringer 2-3. Butte Central, Harper 4-118, Cal Hollow 7-61, Nate McGree 3-42, Sam Johnston 2-18.
TURNOVERS — Fumble recoveries: x-0. Pass interceptions: Hamilton 2 (Draper 1, Ringer 1), Butte Central 1 (Hollow). x-Butte Central fumble traveled into end zone for a touchback, possession to Hamilton at the 20-yard line. 1 comment