Maroons eye win vs. Rangers

Friday night at 7 p.m. cannot come fast enough for the Butte Central football team.

That is when the Maroons hope they can finally erase the memory of last week’s 20-12 season-opening loss to Belgrade.

Butte Central plays host to the Livingston Rangers in a non-conference game Friday night. For the second straight week, the Maroons will play on their new home field at Montana Tech. (Radio: KOPR 94.1, listen live)

“We have a group of kids who worked hard for this season,” BC coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “We’re really disappointed and we’re anxious to get back on the field and show what we’re made of.”

Both teams are 0-1 entering Friday’s tilt. The Rangers fell 7-6 to Sidney at home on Saturday.

The Maroons can point to just a few plays that cost the team the win the opener. The Maroons gave up scoring plays of 60, 51 and 58 yards to the Panthers. Peoples also points to several times when the BC offense struggled picking up the blitz, killing scoring chances.

“We had red-zone opportunities and we got blow up by blitzing linebackers,” the coach said. “If we can clean that up, we’ll have a good team.”

Friday’s challenge will be quite literally a big one. The Rangers rely on size and a tightly-bunched Wing-T offense that is built to pound their opponent.

“They’re big and what they try to do is build a big pile of guts in the middle of the field,” Peoples said. “They try to get four or five yards on every play. They don’t like to punt, either. They go for it on fourth and 1 or 2. You have to defend them for four downs.”

Bobby Emter, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior is the focal point of the Rangers offense. In the loss to Sidney, he carried the ball 24 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.

In all, the Rangers ran the ball 48 times, with Cade McComber getting 11 carries for 32 yards and Cole Jesson running seven times for 38 yards.

Senior quarterback Colton Holdorf attempted just five passes — completing two for 10 yards. He also ran five times for 8 yards.

BC’s defensive front of tackles Connor Schulte and Liam Doran, ends Connor McGree and Marcus Ferriter and linebackers Kaemen Richards, Kyle Schulte, Wyatt Kingston and Chad Peterson will need to be up for the challenge.

They’ll get help from corners Dalton Sessions and Kale Guldseth and safety Cal Hollow.

The availability of the other safety, junior Danny Peoples, is uncertain for the Maroons.

That, though, is a bigger concern on the offensive side. The junior quarterback suffered a high-ankle sprain Friday night and is questionable to play this week.

“He gutted it out, but it really limited our offensive production in the second half,” coach Peoples said about his quarterback and son.

If Danny Peoples cannot go, BC will turn to sophomore Cole Harper to run the show. Coach Peoples called Harper fast and elusive.

“Cole is a great athlete and he had a great week of practice,” Peoples said. “We’re in good hands if we go with Cole.”

Peoples passed for 214 yards and a touchdown last week. He hit Peterson for an 11-yard strike after suffering the injury. Peoples also ran for 21 yards.

Senior receiver Kale Guldseth picked up where he left off in his record-setting junior year, hauling in six passes for 78 yards. McGree caught six for 71 and Sessions grabbed two for 45.

Senior Wyatt Kingston led the BC ground game, rushing for 84 yards on 15 carries. That includes a 23-yard TD run behind an offensive line made up Doran, Ferriter, Connor Schulte, Tw Bolton and Brant Ahlborn.

Butte Central suffered a disappointing loss to Belgrade in last year’s season opener, too. The Maroons rebounded to make a playoff run.

This year, Peoples said his team had a much better effort, even though the result was the same.

“We felt like we played harder this year than last year, when our youth jumped up and got us,” the coach said.

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for the Maroons, who head to Billings to take on Billings Central next Saturday. The Maroons return home Sept. 20 to play Hardin for homecoming.

On Sept. 27, the Maroons open Southwestern A play at Dillon.

“These games are important,” Peoples said. “We’ve got to get some wins.

 Butte Central schedule

Livingston roster

Butte Central roster

BC starters

QB — Danny Peoples, 6-0, 175, jr or Cole Harper 6-0, 150, so
C — Liam Doran, 6-0, 195, jr
G — Tw Bolton, 5-10, 215 jr; Brant Ahlborn 6-3, 305, sr
T — Marcus Ferriter, 6-4, 210, jr;  Connor Schulte 6-0, 235, sr
TE — Connor McGree, 6-3, 215, sr
RB — Wyatt Kingston, 5-9, 185, sr
WR — Chad Peterson, 6-1, 175, jr; Kale Guldseth, 5-10, 160, sr;  Dalton Sessions, 6-2, 175, jr

E — Connor McGree, 6-3, 215, sr; Marcus Ferriter, 6-4, 210, jr
T — Connor Schulte 6-0, 235, sr; and Liam Doran, 6-0, 195, jr
MLB — Kaemen Richards, 6-2, 210, jr; Kyle Schulte 6-2, 180, so
OLB — Wyatt Kingston, 5-9, 185, sr; and Chad Peterson, 6-1, 175, jr
C — Dalton Sessions, 6-2, 175, jr and Kale Guldseth, 5-10, 160, sr
S — Danny Peoples, 6-0, 175 jr; Cal Hollow 5-8, 160, so

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