This is where the Butte Central football schedule gets really tough.
The Maroons (1-1) will play host to perennial power Billings Central in the “Bishop’s Bowl” at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Memorial Stadium. (KOPR, 94.1 FM. Click here to listen online.)
The Rams (2-0), who won the Class A State title in 2007 and lost the state championship game every year since, are favored by many to win it all this year.
“They’re really good,” Butte Central coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “It’s basically the same Billings Central team — minus Ryan Burke and a couple other kids — as last year. Our kids know what they’re about. They’re big and physical and well coached.”
Jacob Stanton, the son of head coach Jim Stanton, took over for Burke, who is now a Montana Grizzly, as the Rams switched back to their more traditional Wing-T offense. The last couple of years they ran a combination of the spread and Wing-T.
They used that offense to rack up 403 total yards in last week’s 50-13 win over Anaconda.
“He looked really good against Anaconda,” Peoples said of Stanton. “He had some good, hard runs. He ran over people.”
Led by Connor Cerkovnik’s 11 rushes for 66 yards, nine different Rams carried the ball in that win.
The Rams also return nine starters on defense.
“They’re loaded,” Peoples said. “They’ve been touting this senior class since they were freshman.”
The Maroons are also coming off an impressive win. BC bounced back from a disappointing season-opening loss to Belgrade by going on the road and thumping Havre 61-19. BC rolled up 500 yards of offense and didn’t punt once in the win.
Joe Joyce ran for 148 yards behind an offensive line consisting of Frank Joyce, Kolten Lamiaux, Brant Ahlborn, Connor Schulte and Marcus Ferriter.
Ahlhorn, a junior, will miss Saturday’s game with a minor injury. Sophomore Liam Doran will start in his place at guard.
Quarterback Brady Tippett completed 15 of 20 passes for 242 yards in the win. Tippett hit Connor McGree six times for 148 yards. Kale Guldseth, Kaemen Richards and Wyatt Kingston also caught passes.
“We came off a good win on the road against a young team, but we have to step up and compete against a team like Billings Central,” Peoples said. “Just to find out where we’re at, we’ve got to step up and play great teams like that. It will be a good challenge for us.
” We’ve had a good week of practice, and I think our kids are focused. We had some real bright spots, but we’ve got a lot of room to get better still.”
The Maroons head to Laurel next week to take on another traditional power.
Butte Central Maroons
Don Peoples Jr. (24th season)
QB — Brady Tippett, 5-11, 180, sr
RB — Joe Joyce, 5-10, 170, sr; Wyatt Kingston, 5-9, 170 jr
WR — Kale Guldseth, 5-8, 140, jr; Chad Peterson, 5-10, 160, so; Dalton Sessions, 6-0, 175, so; Northey Tretheway, 5-7, 155, sr
TE — Connor McGree, 6-2, 215, jr
C — Frank Joyce, 5-10, 220, sr
G —Kolten Lamiaux, 6-1, 260, sr; Liam Doran, 5-11, 195, so
T — Connor Schulte, 5-10, 220, jr; Marcus Ferriter, 6-4, 215, so
T — Schulte; Frank Joyce
E — Ferriter; McGree
ILB — Kaemen Richards, 6-1, 195, so
OLB — Ben Holt, 5-9, 188, so, or Peterson; Kingston
FS — Tippett
SS — Joe Joyce
C — Guldseth; Tretheway