Panthers hold off Maroons in opener

BELGRADE — The season debut could have been a lot better — and a lot worse — for Butte Central as the Maroons lost 34-20 to Belgrade Friday night in a Class A high school football nonconference season-opener.
A rash of early penalties crippled the Maroons and helped Belgrade and its star quarterback, Brayden Konkol, put the BC bunch in a hole the beginning moments of the contest on a warm summer night at Jason Green Memorial Field.
Butte Central was charged with 85 yards worth of penalties in the first half. The earliest ones proved to be the most crucial. The first one, a 15-yarder, buoyed Belgrade’s first scoring drive, setting the Panthers up at the Maroons’ 36-yard line. From there, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Konkol, a senior, sprinted to the end zone an for a 7-0 Belgrade lead.
A 72-yard kickoff return by Cole Harper, freed at the Maroons’ 40-yard line by a Frank Hendrickson block, put BC at the Panthers’ 23-yard line. Quarterback Danny Peoples carried to the 16 on a keeper, then to the end zone on second down. However, the officials spotted a hold committed by a Butte Central player and the touchdown was nullified.
The Maroons, hurt by another holding infraction, failed to score on the possession, winding up turning it over on downs at the 12.
The Panthers punted after a series and BC had the ball on the Belgrade 36. A penalty moved Butte Central back five yards and the Maroons lost the possession four snaps later on an incomplete fourth-down pass.
Konkol hooked up quickly with Tanner Campbell for a 44-yard pass to the Maroons’ 23-yard line. Two players later, Konkol threw a touchdown pass to Derek Marks covering 21 yards. Belgrade owned a 13-0 lead with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.
The BC team regrouped and played pretty evenly with the Panthers, outplaying them in some parts, but was never able to make up the early two-touchdown deficit built on Butte Central mistakes and Konkol-led Belgrade’s ability to capitalize on the errors.
Konkol finished with two touchdown runs and three touchdown passes. He ran for 82 yards, including scoring carries of 36 and 5 yards. He totaled 295 yards in passing, completing 13 of 18 attempts. His scoring tosses were the 21-yarder to Marks along with a 32-yard link with Marks and a 37-yard connection with Campbell.
Konkol was intercepted once — by Cal Hollow in the end zone to thwart another scoring drive — and was sacked twice for 20 yards in losses.
“It was a strange game,” Don Peoples Jr., head coach of the Maroons, said after the game. “Our kids played really hard. But the real story of the game was we beat ourselves. We had a touchdown called back on a penalty and then we had multiple penalties in the red zone.”
It certainly was not all bad for the BC team, though. Butte Central trailed 20-0 at halftime after Knokol hit Marks with the 32-yard scoring pass, then the Maroons came back in the second half to limit the Panthers to a pair of third-quarter TDs with strong defensive play led by Marcus Ferriter, Chad Peterson and Kaemen Richards.
Meanwhile, Danny Peoples tallied on runs of 27 and 9 yards, and found Dalton Sessions for a 25-yard TD pass play.
“I think our run defense was very good all night,” coach Peoples said. “Obviously, we need to shore up our pass defense. That was a factor in the game.
“I thought it was a real positive that the kids came out and played so well in the second half.”
The Maroons’ first score was Peoples’ 27-yard keeper at 8:39 of the third quarter, capping a drive that overcame a 5-yard penalty but benefited from a 17-yard run by Kyle Harrington. The junior running back had 109 yards rushing on 17 carries in the game for a BC positive.
The march cut the difference to 20-7, but Belgrade galloped back to a three-TD advantage on the next series as Konkol completed four of five passes on a drive that ended with him dashing 16 yards for a touchdown.
Harrington, though, blasted a big return to the Panthers’ 47-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. After an incompletion on first down, Butte Central went to the ground attack for six straight plays, the last a 9-yard scoring keeper by Peoples. The Maroons had come back to within 27-14 with 2;47 left in the third quarter.
Belgrade would not succumb and got a kickoff return from Konkol on a reverse that took the Panthers to the BC 30-yard line. Then, Koby Ruff was stopped for a yard loss on a carry and Ferriter sacked Konkol for a loss of six more. The Panthers overcame with a Konkol pass to Campbell that went the 37-yard distance for a touchdown.
Butte Central responded with a touchdown of its own. The 11-play drive finished with Peoples going to Sessions for the 25-yard TD pass. It was the last scoring play of the game as Belgrade burned time off the clock and forced the Maroons to punt twice.
Belgrade proved itself to be a good team and Butte Central showed it has talent and resiliency. The Maroons will work on the weak points this coming week before heading to Livingston for a Friday night non-conference game versus the Rangers.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint — that’s what we told the kids,” coach Peoples said. “You have to be at the front at the finish line (for it to matter).”

Butte Central 0 0 14 6 — 20
Belgrade 13 7 14 0 — 34

BEL — Brayden Konkol 36 run (Shane Huntsman kick), 8:51.
Drive –59 yards on 3 plays. Key play — 15-yard penalty against Butte Central to Butte Central 36-yard line.
BEL — Derek Marks 21 pass from Konkol (kick failed), :22.
Drive — 67 yards on 4 plays. Key play — Tanner Campbell 44-yard pass from Konkol to Butte Central 23-yard line.
BEL — Marks 32 pass from Konkel (Huntsman kick), 1:51.
Drive — 30 yards on 2 plays. Key play — Koby Ruff pass interception at Butte Central 30-yard line.
BC — Danny Peoples 27 run (Peoples kick), 8:39.
Drive — 53 yards on 7 plays. Key play — Scoring play.
BEL — Konkol 5 run (Huntsman kick), 5:05.
Drive — 80 yards in 9 plays. Key play — Marks 9-yard pass from Konkol to Butte Central 16-yard line on 4th-and-4.
BC — Peoples 9 run (Peoples kick), 2:47.
Drive — 47 yards on 7 plays. Key play — Kaemen Richards 12-yard run to Belgrade 11-yard line on 3rd-and-3.
BEL — Tanner Campbell 37 pass from Konkol (Huntsman kick), 1:06.
Drive — 30 yards on 3 plays. Key play — Konkol 60-yard kickoff return to Butte Central 30-yard line.
BC — Dalton Sessions 25 pass from Peoples (pass failed), 9:46.
Drive — 73 yards on 11 plays. Key play — Peoples 11-yard run to Belgrade 25-yard line on 4th-and-8.

BC Bel
First downs 21 13
Rushes-yards 47-230 28-98
Passes 12-26-1 13-18-1
Sacks-yards lost 2-16 2-20
Passing yards 136 275
Return yards 0 17
Punts-avg. 2-32.5 5-33.8
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 10-90 10-67

Individual Statistics
RUSHING — Butte Central, Kyle Harrington 17-109, Danny Peoples 23-92, Kaemen Richards 5-28, Chad Peterson 2-1. Belgrade, Brayden Konkol 19-82, Kaleb Foley 2-6, Koby Ruff 6-6. Evan Luhrsen 1-4.
PASSING — Butte Central, Peoples 12-26-1-152. Belgrade, Konkol 13-18-1-295.
RECEIVING — Butte Central, Dalton Sessions 6-76, Peterson 2-33, Cal Hollow 1-13, Tanner Kump 1-12, Richards 1-11, Cole Harper 1-7. Belgrade, Tanner Campbell 5-118, Keldon Lamb 3-88, Derek Marks 3-62, Ruff 2-27.

BC quarterback Danny Peoples rolls out looking for a receiver.

Maroon ball carrier Kaemen Richards fights for yardage.

Belgrade’s Matthew Walker (25), among others, hits BC’s Dalton Sessions after a reception.

BC defenders Marcus Ferriter, left, and Mike Cooney converge to sack Brayden Konkol at the Belgrade 1-yard line.

BC receiver Cal Hollow looks up field after hauling in a pass.

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  • Vina Dugan
    August 31, 2014, 12:34 am

    It was Kyle Harrington that made the first touchdown for the Maroons, and yes it was nullified.


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