Naranche Stadium set to host Class C championship

Naranche Stadium set to host Class C championship
Naranche Stadium is shown in this Butte Sports photo.

When the high school football season began, 41 teams from 48 schools dreaming of winning the Class C 8-man state championship.

That field is now down to two teams as the Flint Creek Titans and the Great Falls Central Mustangs meet at 1 p.m. Saturday on the turf of Naranche Stadium in Butte.

For the first time, the game will be played in the Mining City thanks to the work of Advantage Butte. The game will alternate between Butte and Billings each year.

Flint Creek, a co-op between longtime rivals Drummond and Philipsburg, is the defending state champion. Coach Mike Cutler’s 12-0 Titans come town riding a 24-game winning streak after going on the road and beating Shelby 28-20 in last week’s semifinals.

Great Falls Central, coached by Greg Horton, is making its first trip to a state championship game since the Mustangs fell to Great Falls High in the Class AA title tilt.

The Mustangs are seeking their first state championship since winning the Class A title in 1962.

Central is 10-1 after last week’s 28-18 home win over Fairview in the semifinals. The Mustangs bounced back from a 34-0 loss at Shelby on Oct. 12 to beat Clark Fork 57-14 and Scobey/Opheim 52-22 to advance to the semifinals.

Drummond won five titles in the first decade of the 21st Century, winning it all in 2003, 04, 05, 07 and 09. Last year’s crown was the first for Philipsburg.

The Titans Beat Choteau 50-14 and Culbertson 74-14 before knocking off Shelby last week.

Flint Creek beat Forsyth 44-30 at home in last year’s title game. Central bowed out with a 44-16 loss to Fairview in last year’s first round.

Since 8-man games are played on a field that is 80-yards long and 40 yards wide, alterations will be made to the Naranche Field, which is permanently painted for a field 100 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide.

Butte High activities director Chuck Merrifield said the thick, white cords that were used during the Bob Cleverly Classic the last few years at Montana Tech will mark the skinnier sidelines for the game. The east end zone will be used, and a temporary end zone will be set up starting on the 20-yard line on the west end of the field.

A temporary goalpost brought in from Great Falls will be used on the west side.

The game will actually mark the second time each team has played in Butte this season. Flint Creek beat Clark Fork 50-16 Aug. 25 at Naranche Stadium. Great Falls Central beat Twin Bridges 46-0 the night before on Montana Tech’s Bob Green Field.

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