Maroons take step forward in Maroon and White Game

Maroons take step forward in Maroon and White Game
Butte Central scrimmaged for an hour and a half Saturday at Torger Oaas Maroon Field. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

Butte Central will get a late start to the 2017 football season, and that is just fine with the Maroons.

They plan to take full advantage of the extra time.

The Maroons scrimmaged for an hour and a half Saturday morning on Torger Oaas Maroon Field, and 28-year head coach Don Peoples Jr. said his team took a big step toward being ready for its season opener Sept. 1 at Ronan.

However, the coach said his team needs some more work.

“The scrimmage set is a situation really used to identify the things you need to work on, and we did find a bunch of things that we need to get better at,” Peoples said. “They’re all correctable, youthful mistakes.”

For the first time in several years, the Maroons will not play a game on the optional “zero week,” so they’ll have an extra seven days to get ready to go live for the first time. Peoples said that week will be well utilized.

“We’re really young, but a lot of good things happened out there,” the coach said. “We’ve got a lot to do. This is a year where it’s great to have an extra week of practice before the first game. We’ve got to get the young kids to step forward and get a better grasp of our offense and defense. I think we have the chance to be a pretty good team.”

The Maroons might need the extra time to get their uniforms, too. BC didn’t have a roster for the spectators Saturday because the numbers aren’t set. The uniforms are back at the factory getting new numbers because last year’s numbers were too hard to read.

Two numbers that were focused on during the rosterless scrimmage were No. 2 and No. 10. Those belonged to junior Cade Holter and sophomore Thomas McGree. The two are battling for the No.1 quarterback spot.

That is going to be a tough decision, because both players looked good on Saturday.

“It’s a luxury. We might see both of the out there,” Peoples said. “They’ll both be a receiver when they’re not at quarterback. We’re going to try to develop both of them and make a decision on game week. It’s exciting because both can play multiple positions. They won’t leave the field.”

Peoples praised BC’s men up front.

“Our offensive line got fatigued a little big, but they’ve got some good size and potential,” Peoples said. “Aaron Richards, Zeb Antonioli and Dylan Shea looked good. Hunter Hartwick moved to offensive line, and he’s doing well.”

Richards is a sophomore, while Antonioli, Shea and Harwick are seniors.

While the Maroon receivers dropped a few passes, the running game looks to be in solid hands with senior Ryan Moodry and junior Clay Fisher. Both boke some big runs.

While Fisher showed off his shifty moves and speed, Moodry had the look of the bruising back he was two years ago. That was before he had back surgery following his sophomore year.

“He ran like that his sophomore year a lot,” Peoples said. “Last year he came back at about 80-85 percent. It’s exciting to see him back at 100 percent. He’s feeling good and running strong.”

Peoples said his receivers will be ready for the opener.

“We’ve got some young receiver kids who just have to get a little more comfortable,” he said. “We’ve got some good size and speed in our receiver corps. It’s just a matter of getting more reps.”

The Maroon defense is solid at the back end and at linebacker. Peoples said it is important that BC gets solid contribution from the defensive line.

“We didn’t get enough from that group last year,” he said.

The coach said he is confident the group will be solid this time around. Saturday was a step toward getting just that.

“It was a good scrimmage because we had a lot of kids playing hard and doing some good things,” Peoples said. “We identified a whole lot of things to work on. That’s why people scrimmage.”

The Maroons will hold a controlled scrimmage next Saturday on their home turf, Montana Tech’s Bob Green Field.

BC’s first home game is Sept. 8 against Whitefish.



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