UPDATED: The Butte Central high school football debut on Bob Green Field Friday night did not go so well.
The Maroons were unable to convert key plays at key times and fell 20-12 to Belgrade in a Class A non-conference contest.
The game marked the beginning of BC’s stay in its new athletic “Digs,” located on the Montana Tech campus and replete with DiggerVision scoreboard and artificial turf, one with kind of an Easter grass feel to it.
Belgrade’s showing was impressive. The Panthers kept Butte Central out of the end zone, leaving the Maroons empty on four possessions in which BC threatened to score. They were stopped three times by possessions turnovers on downs and once on a fumble. Twice, they were inside the 10-yard line.
Belgrade, on the other hand, did not threaten so much with long marches, but found the end zone three times on big plays, using the excellent athleticism of junior quarterback Brayden Konkol.
The Panthers struck on dashes of 60 and 58 yards by Konkol, and on a 52-yard pass play to Tristan Walker from Konkol.
Konkol’s first get away staked Belgrade to a 7-0 halftime edge. His throw to Walker made it a 13-0 game early in the second half. The 58-yard dash kept his team out of reach of Butte Central late in the contest.
Maroon responses included a 23-yard run by Wyatt Kingston and an 11-yard pass to Chad Peterson from Danny Peoples. Both occurred in the fourth quarter.
Kingston;s nifty legwork on his 23-yard score was rewarded with a freeing block by Peterson at about the 5-yard line.
Blocking in other areas of the BC game were a problem, however, said head coach Don Peoples Jr.
“The biggest factor was we didn’t block up front, offensively,” he said. “We missed opportunities we were getting by wither getting beat on our blocks, or by missing assignments.
We’d drive it right down (to near the goal line) and miss a blocking assignment and have a big loss.
“We are really disappointed in our offensive line, right now.”
Konkol finished with 192 yards of Belgrade’s 244 total rushing. He also threw for 70 and did a nice job in the defensive secondary. Danny Peoples had 21 yards in rushing and 214 passing for BC. Kingston led the ground game with 84 yards on 15 totes. Seniors Kale Guldseth and Connor McGree each pulled in six of Peoples’ 18 completions (on 37 attempts). Guldseth’s receptions were good for 78 yards total, McGree’s for 71.
“The defense played really well,” coach Peoples said. “They worked really hard.”
Dalton Sessions picked off a pass for the Maroons, and Connor Schulte, Marcus Ferriter, Liam Doran and McGree were among the forces up front. Schulte smothered an extra-point attempt. Kaemen Richards and Kyle Schulte were in on several stops at inside linebacker while Kingston and Peterson were strong on the outside. Sessions and Guldseth played the corners and limited Belgrade’s passing chances while Cal Hollow made his high school football debut at safety and proved to be a sure tackler.
The first Maroons’ touchdowns capped the only two successfully sustained march of the game. It covered 51 yards in nine plays and saw the set-up to be a Peoples pass to McGree for 14 yards, putting the team in position for Kingston’s scoring carry.
BC’s other touchdown saw Peoples connect with Sessions on a 34-yard aerial gain just before firing the strike to Peterson at the goal line.
The first missed opportunity ended on incompletions after Butte Central traveled to the Belgrade 29-yard line. The Maroons reached the Belgrade 25 before two incompletions finished the drive as Belgrade tightened its defense and applied fierce pressure when back up to near its own end zone. The BC team reached the 4-yuard line just before halftime before the Panthers kept three more aerial tries from getting to Butte Central receivers.
The Panthers’ Garet Fowler scooped in a loose ball after a fumbled snap in the fourth quarter when the Maroons were against at the Belgrade 4.
“The kids will bounce back,” coach Peoples said. “They’ll work really hard and come back strong next week,”
BC will be home against Livingston next Friday in another non-conference game on Bob Green Field, which is ecognized by commemorative lettering as big as the man’s voice.
Belgrade 7 0 6 7 — 20
Butte Central 0 0 0 12 — 12
BEL — Braydon Konkol 60 run (Shane Huntsman kick), 4:47. Drive — 76 yards in 4 plays. Key play — scoring play.
BEL — Tristan Walker 51 pass from Konkol (kick blocked), 9:37. Drive — 63 yards, 5 plays. Key play — scoring play.
BC — Wyatt Kingston 23 run (kick blocked), 11:23. Drive — 51 yards, 9 plays. Key play — Connor McGree 14-yard pass from Danny Peoples to Belgrade 23-yard line.
BEL — Konkol 58 run (Huntsman kick), 8:55. Drive — 64 yards in 2 plays. Key play v scoring play.
BC — Chad Peterson 11 pass from Danny Peoples (pass failed). Drive — 60 yards in 3 plays. Key play — Dalton Sessions 34-yard pass from Peoples to Belgrade 11-yard line.
First downs 10 18
Rushes-yards 45-244 26-113
Passes 5-13-1 18-37-0
Passing yards 70 214
Return yards 23 11
Punts-Avg. 8-35.6 5-35.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-1
Penalties-Yards 6-55 2-10
RUSHING — Belgrade, Braydon Konkol 21-192, Garet Fowler 19-52, Ryan Evans 4-5, Shane Huntsman 1-(-5). Butte Central, Wyatt Kingston 15-84, Danny Peoples 10-21, Chad Peterson 1-7.
PASSING — Belgrade, Konkol 5-13-1-70. Butte Central, Peoples 18-37-0-214.
RECEIVING — Belgrade, Tristan Walker 3-62, Seth Bethke 1-7, Fowler 1-1. Butte Central, Kale Guldseth 6-78, Connor McGree 6-71, Dalton Sessions 2-45, Peterson 1-11, Kingston 3-9.