Maroons head to Dillon

If Butte Central is going to become the football team so many people think it can be, Friday night would be a good time to do it.

The Maroons (2-2) open the Southwestern A season on the road Friday against No. 1-ranked Dillon (3-0). Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Vigilante Field. (Radio: KOPR 94.1, listen live)

“We keep saying we’re on the verge of being a good football team,” BC coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “We can’t stay on the verge. We have to take the next step.”

The Maroons are coming off a 41-12 beating of Hardin in last week’s non-conference finale. Dillon is coming off a 31-14 win over then-No. 1 Billings Central in a rematch of the 2012 Class A state title game.

The Maroons are playing the No. 1 team on the road for the second time in three weeks. BC fell two weeks ago to Billings Central in Billings.

“Any time you play a great team it raises your level of play,” Peoples said. “Hopefully our experience of playing Billings Central will make us a better team this week.”

To beat the Beavers, the Maroons will have to be nearly perfect on both sides of the ball.

Dillon’s aggressive 3-4 defense will test a Maroon offense that turned the ball over a couple of times last week.

Junior quarterback Danny Peoples looked sharp, passing for 364 yards and three touchdowns. The son of the head coach passed for 758 yards and seven touchdowns in the past two games.

He hit Kale Guldseth 11 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns last week. Connor McGree caught his 17th career touchdown, while Dalton Sessions and Wyatt Kingston each caught three passes.

Coach Peoples pointed to another aspect of the receivers that is a key to the game.

“They block downfield really well,” the coach said. “That is a strength of our team.”

That helped Kingston rack up 182 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries last week.

Of course, the offensive line had a thing or two to do about that.

The Maroons switched up their line for last week’s game, moving Tw Bolton from guard to tackle and Connor Schulte from tackle to guard.

Along with solid play from Liam Doran, Brant Ahlborn and Marcus Ferriter, the BC hogs have emerged as a strong group.

“We’ve had some great moments from our offensive line,” coach Peoples said. “They’ve been solid all year. To win tomorrow they’ll have to play a great game.”

The Beavers had six players catch passes last week — Troy Scott, M.J. Simkins, Colton Riebe, Mick Paffhausn, Chance Kuesner and Connor Cox. Quarterback J.D. Ferris passed for 146 yards with an efficient 12-for-17 effort.

Dillon also got 78 yards and two touchdowns from running back Colton Riebe.

“They’ve been very balanced,” Peoples said. “We’re very impressed with their running game and they’ve got a very good crop of receivers. It’s hard to pick which ones to double team because we don’t have 18 guys.”

The Maroons will start McGree and Marcus Ferriter at defensive end, while Schulte Doran Jake Michelotti will play inside.

Kaemen Richards, who has battled through an array of injuries, will play linebacker along with Kyle Schule, Kingston and Chad Peterson.

The starting secondary is made up Sessions, Guldseth, Peoples and Cal Hollow.

“We have to play even better than we did last week,” Peoples said. “You have to play really well to beat a team like Dillon, especially on their home field.”

The Beavers, who won five state titles since 2000, are directed by first-year head coach Rick Nordahl. Nordahl, a long-time Dillon assistant, took over for Terry Thomas this season.

So far, the results haven’t changed.

“We’ve had the chance to see them on tape, and they’re very good,” Peoples said. “They are well coached and they don’t make mistakes. They’ve been such an outstanding program for the last 10 to 12 years.”

The Maroons will play at Anaconda next week before returning home to play Stevensville on Oct. 11. After a trip to Hamilton, BC closes out the season at home against Corvallis.

All those opponents except Corvallis have at least received votes in the AP power poll this season.

“We’re going to find out how good we are right away,” Peoples said.

Butte Central starters

QB — Danny Peoples, 6-0, 175, jr
C — Liam Doran, 6-0, 195, jr
G — Connor Schulte, 6-0, 235, sr; Brant Ahlborn 6-3, 305, sr
T — Marcus Ferriter, 6-4, 210, jr;  Tw Bolton, 5-10, 215 jr
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 or Jake Michelotti, 6-0, 225, so
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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