Maroons leave Blue Devils seeing green

Going green for Butte Central meant going the distance Friday night as Corvallis took the Maroons there.

The BC team fought off as good as an 0-5 football team as one could likely imagine with the 35-21 victory over the Blue Devils on Shamrock Night at the Bob Green Field on the Montana Tech campus.

Butte Central honored St Patrick Grade School, the first Catholic grade school in Butte, by inviting alumni of the old school to carry the ‘We Are BC” flag to midfield before the game, and by wearing green jerseys with white pants for the special occasion.

The Maroons take the field with their St. Patrick's uniforms.

The Maroons take the field with their St. Patrick’s uniforms.

It is probably safe to say the alumni were more pleased with the Southwestern A Conference high school football victory than any other part of the celebration.

The win was a might harder to collect than many might have thought it would be.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Don Peoples Jr., head coach of the Maroons, said and added that it might have been hard at first to convince the BC players.

“It’s human nature to read a team is 0-4 (and think it might be easier),” he noted.

“But I’m proud of our guys,” the coach continued. “They played really hard and they made plays. I think our offense executed, but hurt itself with turnovers and penalties. Otherwise, the offense had a nice day.

“With our running game defense, we have to go back to the drawing board on that.”
The win guarantees the 5-1 BC club a winning record and improves its chances for a postseason berth to be determined by power ratings. The offense churned out 529 yards in total offense, 335 of it from the passing game, and tallied five touchdowns. It lost two fumbles.

The defense had good and bad moments, too. Corvallis sophomore running back Wyatt Haldorson, a natural at the position, gouged the Butte Cental defense for 293 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries, but the Maroons gave up little else to anybody. A pass rush led by senior ends Colin McArthur and Kyle Schulte harassed Blue Devil quarterback Spencer Jessop every time he tried to set up in the pocket. Schulte sacked him three times and teamed with McArthur for two more.

“Coach (Mike) Paffhausen is good at teaching the speed rush,” Schulte credited his position coach. “It’s two steps and a bull rush to the quarterback and it was working well tonight.

“That running back (Haldorson) is going to be a player. Coaches told us every player needs to be on him. All 11 players needed to be on him.”

This is Schulte’s first season at defensive end after starting two years as an outside linebacker.

“I’m still getting used to it,” he said. “I’ll play wherever they want me.”

He did the same on offense, moving from use at tight end and fullback to inside as a tackle.

Offensively for BC, junior quarterback Tanner Kump threw a pair of touchdown passes to Cal Hollow, and running back Blake Burton carried for two touchdowns while piling 175 rushing yards. Receiver Cole Harper scored the other TD on an end-around play.

Burton’s first TD was a 75-yard dash down the middle of the field right after the Blue Devils had taken a 7-0 lead on a 69-yard scoring sprint by Haldorson up the west sideline.

Kump connected with Hollow on a 55-yard play to take the lead in the second quarter. Hollow outjumped two defenders for the ball and then broke their tackles on his burst to the end zone. Kump was then the receiver for a toss from Harper on a reverse play that worked for a two-point conversion.

Butte Central enjoyed a 20-7 halftime lead after Kump found Hollow open at the goal line from 30 yards away. The pass was a tad short and Hollow wound up stooping for it, catching it between his knees and falling backwards with it across the goal line.

A Ryan Ashby interception set the Maroons up at their own 44-yard line. They capped their march with a play similar to the conversion, except that Harper kept the ball off the flip from the back and ran it in for a touchdown. Kump threw to Hollow for the two-point conversion and the BC lead was 28-7.

Harper and Hollow each had more than 120 receiving yards in the contest. Harper led all in catches with seven.

A long, 14-play drive gave Corvallis control of the tempo and the Blue Devils finished it off with a 5-yard blast by Haldorson. The quarter ended with Corvallis lurking, but behind on the scoreboard by 28-14.

Defenses were stingy in the final quarter and neither offense scored until the game had less than a minute left in it. BC sophomore linebacker Ryan Moodry picked off a Jessop pass in the middle of the field and took it 40 yards back before being caught at the Corvallis 19. Burton took it in from 16 yards out two plays later. Moodry booted the extra point while filling in for Tyler Kump, who was playing for BC in the state Class A golf tournament this week in Sidney and unable to kick for the football team.

With only 50 seconds left, the win was pretty much cinched.

However, having Haldorson in the huddle kept it interesting. He sped 52 yards on first down after the kickoff to the Butte Central 2-yard line and a penalty moved it to the 1. Haldorson then crashed into the end zone with 6 seconds on the clock. Trailing 35-21, the Blue Devils tried an onside kick, but Butte Central covered it. Time ran out on the next play, knelt out by Kump.

“A win is a win and we have a smile on our face,” Peoples said. “We’re guaranteed a winning season, but we have three monster games left to play on our schedule. One more win should put us in position for a wild card (playoffs spot), but there’s a lot of football left to be played.”

The Maroons (5-1, 2-0) will play at Polson next Friday, then face league rivals Hamilton at home and Dillon on the road to complete the regular season.

Corvallis        7          0          7          7 — 21
Butte Central 6          14        8         7 — 35

First Quarter
COR — Wyatt Haldorson 69 run (Cayden Ayers kick), 9:21. Drive — 80 yards in 4 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
BC — Blake Burton 75 run (kick failed), 9:03. Drive — 75 yards in 1 play. Key play — Scoring play.
Second Quarter
BC — Cal Hollow 55 pass from Tanner Kump (Kump pass from Cole Harper), 8:54. Drive — 83 yards in 4 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
BC — Hollow 30 pass from Kump (pass failed), 3:28. Drive — 78 yards in 8 plays. Key play — Hollow 15-yard pass from Kump to Corvallis on 3rd-and-16, setting up 1-yard first-down play.
Third Quarter
BC — Cole Harper 6 run (Hollow pass from Kump), 8:07. Drive — 56 yards in 6 plays. Key play — Ryan Ashby pass interception at Butte Central 44-yard line.
COR — Haldorson 5 run (Ayers kick), 2:23. Drive — 68 yards in 14 plays. Key play —Haldorson 9-yard run to Butte Central 16-yard line on 4th-and-4.
Fourth Quarter
BC — Burton 16 run (Ryan Moodry kick), :50. Drive — 19 yards in 2 plays. Key play — Moodry intercepted pass and ran it back 40 yards to Corvallis 19-yard line.
COR — Haldorson 1 run (Ayers kick), :06. Drive — 56 yards in 2 plays. Key play — Haldorson 52-yard run to Butte Central 2-yard line.

Cor                   BC
First downs                      24                     21
Rushes-yards                   48-302              34-194
Passes                              19-35-2             19-25-0
Passing yards                  161                   335
Total offense                   463                   529
Return yards                    20                     40
Punts-avg.                       1-39.0               2-42.5
Fumbles-lost                   0-0                    4-2
Penalties-yards                7-65                  7-41

Individual Statistics
— Corvallis, Wyatt Haldorson 34-293, Hunter Humphrey 4-19, Ridge Albright 1-10, Zach Jessop 1-9, Spencer Jessop 8-(-29). Butte Central, Blake Burton 20-175, Nate McGree 3-11, Tanner Kump 7-11, Cole Harper 1-6, Team 1-(-2), Cal Hollow 2-(-7).
PASSING — Corvallis, S. Jessop 19-35-2-161. Butte Central, Kump 19-25-0-335.
RECEIVING — Corvallis, Danner Miller 6-65, Humphrey 4-40, Garrick Richardson 5-23, Albright 2-22, Haldorson 1-10, Cole Wohltman 1-1. Butte Central, Hollow 5-124, Harper 7-122, McGree 5-69, Sam Johnston 2-20.
TURNOVERS — Fumble recoveries: Corvallis 2 (Blaine Winsett 1, Cole Schmitt 1), Butte Central 0; Pass interceptions: Corvallis 0, Butte Central 2 (Ryan Ashby 1, Ryan Moodry 1).

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