Maroons run past Broncs

The bitter cold at Bulldog Memorial Stadium produced a bitter pill for Hamilton as the Broncs lost 52-29 to host Butte Central in a Southwestern A Conference high school football game Friday night.

Seeming to expect an aerial assault from league passing leader Butte Central, the Broncs from the Bitterroot Valley were instead undone by the run.

Quarterback Brady Tippett ran for four touchdowns as the Maroons rolled to 247 ground yards. The attack included Tippett’s scoring keepers of 23, 12, 16 and 5 yards, along with Wyatt Kingston TD carries of 6 and 16 yards, and a 2-yard plunge into pay dirt by Joe Joyce. BC’s other TD was a pass, Tippett to tight end Connor McGree that measured 27 yards on the play.

“I’m really proud of how we ran the ball tonight,” Butte Central head coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “The conditions dictated that whoever ran the ball best would win the game.”

The Maroons didn’t attempt to unleash much of a passing game, but were effective enough with it. Tippett connected on 10 of 23 throws, including some at key moments of the game. He suffered one interception. A McGree-led pass rush frustrated Hamilton’s aerial attack, another prolific offense  in most instances. The rush harassed Hamilton quarterback Josh Bauder, causing him 16 yards in losses on six sacks. The BC defense picked him off four times with Kale Guldseth, Ben Holt, Danny Peoples and Northey Tretheway all grabbing interceptions.

Tippett said he, too, thought that Hamilton was expecting Butte Central to pass.

“Our offensive line did a great job of blocking and that’s what got our running game going,” said the senior quarterback, who finished with 133 yards rushing and 159 passing.  “Our running backs did a good job making their cuts and our receivers did a great job on their blocks.”

Tippett said his quarterbacking of the offense, he thought, was improved over the past week.

“I thought I made my reads, of when to keep and when to give, a lot better,” he said. “I kind of messed that up last week and so we practiced on it a lot this week.”

Tippett scored the first three touchdowns of the game. Guldseth’s interception stopped a Hamilton drive at the Maroons’ 20-yard line and started a drive that ended with Tippett’s 23-yard scoring scamper.

Punting was a problem for both sides as the kickers battled a strong, southerly wind. The Broncs’ first two punt tries ended up being an 11-yarder and a fumbled snap and so they opted to go for a first down on fourth down most of the way. BC fared a little better, but saw one attempt travel but three yards.

Tippett scored his second touchdown on the second play of the second quarter after Hamilton had turned the ball over on downs. The Broncs got on the board with a Bauder pass to Teague Blome, keeping them in the game early.

However, Butte Central led 26-7 by halftime as a Tippett TD capped a march and then the Broncs gave up their next possession on downs and Joyce scored for the Maroons seven plays later.

The difference went to 32-7 after Holt’s pick set BC up at the Hamilton 39-yard line and Kingston finished off the short march with a touchdown run.

The Broncs remained dangerous, however, and battled back.

“Their quarterback is a very good player,” coach Peoples said. “Our defense sucked it up and got some interceptions. Overall, it was a team effort.”

Hamilton scored two quick touchdowns on a 20-yard run by Adam Smith and a 14-yard pass Bauder threw to Teague Blome, buoyed by big plays on the arm of Bauder in  both drives. Butte Central held a 32-21 edge after three quarters.

The Maroons, though, opened up a gap again as Tippett linked with McGree for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Kingston ran for a score not quite two minutes later after Danny Peoples’ interception inside the Broncs’ 40-yard line.

Bauder threw for 201 yards, going 15-for-38, but suffered the four picks while being chased by a torrid BC pass rush. Marcus Ferriter, Frank Joyce and Kaemen Richards also played leading roles in the rush.

“This was a big win for us and we need one more win to clinch a spot in the playoffs,” coach Peoples said. “We’re really proud of the kids.”

The 52 points were the most Butte Central ever tallied in 18 games against the Broncs.

The Maroons are 2-1 in Southwestern A play and 3-4 for the season. They will play at Corvallis next Friday. Hamilton fell to 1-2 and 2-4, and will meet rival Stevensville next Friday with hopes of keeping its playoff hopes flickering.

Hamilton                    0          7           14            8     –    29
Butte Central            6          20          6           20      –   52

First Quarter
BC  Brady Tippett 23 run (kick failed), 4:23
Drive  77 yards in 6 plays. Key play Joe Joyce 42-yard pass from Tippett to Hamilton 40-yard line.
Second Quarter
BC  Tippett 12 run (pass failed), 11:26
Drive  61 yards in 7 plays. Key play  Connor McGree 10-yard pass from Tippett to Hamilton 18-yard line.
HAM  Teague Blome 15 pass from Josh Bauder (Karill Apedaile kick), 8:25
Drive  69 yards in 11 plays. Key play  Blome 25-yard pass from Bauder to Butte Central 15-yard line.
BC  Tippett 16 run (Danny Peoples kick), 3:38
Drive  82 yards in 11 plays. Key play  Wyatt Kingston 14-yard run to Hamilton 17-yard line on third-and-four.
BC  Joe Joyce 2 run (Peoples kick), :56
Drive 41 yards in 6 plays. Key play  Wyatt Kingston 14-yard run to Hamilton 13-yard line.
Third Quarter
BC  Wyatt Kingston 6 run (kick failed), 7:47
Drive  39 yards in 3 plays. Key play  Ben Holt pass interception at Hamilton 39-yard line.
HAM  Adam Smith 20 run (Apedaile kick), 6:46
Drive  63 yards in 4 plays. Key play  Kris Cleveland 21-yard pass from Bauder to Butte Central 20-yard line.
HAM  Blome 14 pass from Bauder (Apedaile kick), 4:07
Drive  49 yards in 4 plays. Key play  Kris Cleveland 34 pass from Bauder to Butte Central 15-yard line.
Fourth Quarter
BC Connor McGree 27 pass fback to from Tippett (kick failed), 11:51
Drive  73 yards in 8 plays. Key play  Kale Guldseth 33-yard pass from Tippett to Hamilton 32-yard line.
BC  Kingston 16 run (Peoples kick), 9:46
Drive  33 yards in 3 plays. Key play  Danny Peoples pass interception at Hamilton 39-yard line and returned to Hamilton 33.
HAM  Hunter Kerr 11 pass interception return (Kris Cleveland pass from Bauder), 5:45.
Drive  none. Key play Scoring play.
BC  Tippett 5 run (Peoples kick), 2:41
Drive  17 yards in 2 plays. Key play  Connor Schulte tackles Hamilton quarterback Bauder at Hamilton 17-yard line on fourth down, causing turnover on downs.
                                               Ham                          BC
First downs                             15                                  21
Rushes-yards                        29-66                          45-247
Passes                                   15-38-4                       10-23-1
Passing yards                      201                                 159
Total yards                           267                                  406
Return yards                         11                                     16
Punts-Avg.                             1-11.0                            3-23.0
Fumbles-lost                         4-0                                   1-0
Penalties-yards                       5-30                            3-24
RUSHING  Hamilton, Adam Smith 11-70, Mathew Turley 7-21, Dylan Pigman 1-(-9), Josh Bauder 10-(-16). Butte Central, Brady Tippett 15-133, Wyatt Kingston 12-77, Joe Joyce 15-53, Team 3-(-16).
PASSING Hamilton, Bauder 15-38-4-201. Butte Central, Tippett 10-23-1-159.
RECEIVING  Hamilton, Kris Cleveland 7-101, Teague Blome 5-66, Hunter Kerr 2-28, Dylan Pigman 1-6. Butte Central, Connor McGree 6-71, J. Joyce 2-48, Kale Guldseth 1-33, Kingston 1-7.

Butte Central’s Connor Schulte (60), Joe Joyce (2) and Wyatt Kingston (28) converge on Hamilton running back Mathew Turley.
Hamilton’s Jesse Mason defends as BC’s Kale Guldseth looks for a pass from Tippett.