Resilient ‘Dogs Heading North to Glacier

Resilient ‘Dogs Heading North to Glacier

-By Ron Davis

The Butte High Bulldogs hit the road again this weekend looking for their first travel win of the season.  Last week, the road continued to cause difficulties for the ‘Dogs.

The undefeated Capital Bruins didn’t make it any easier.  The Bruins quarterback, Joey Michelotti, connected on all but one of his 15 passes. He threw for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Tom Carter busted a 94-yard touchdown dash moments after the Bruins stopped a serious Bulldog scoring threat. Carter finished the night with 171 yards and and incredible three touchdowns. Joey Lauerman ball-hawked for a fumble recovery, a pass interception, and a punt block that he scooped up for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs had scoring opportunities during the game. They put together a drive from their own 15-yard line all the way to Capital’s 4, but couldn’t find the end zone. The ‘Dogs ended up turning it over on downs at the Bruins’ 6 yard line. Butte High entered the Capital red zone two more times on the night but failed to turn them into points.

Jace Stenson threw for 156 yards and ran for a team-high of 34. Stajcar was his main receiver with three catches for 87 yards. “Our guys came back Monday and got right to work getting ready for Glacier,” Coach Grey commented during a Thursday morning phone call. “This team is very resilient, I think that’s a great Butte trait.  The ability to get over a situation and focus on what’s next.”

Moving Forward

The Boys from Butte are moving forward and turning their attention to Friday night’s match-up with the Glacier Wolf Pack.

Grady Bennett’s team lost their last three games and are hungry for a win.  The Wolf Pack fell to Helena High at home 24-21 last week. In the past 3 weeks, they also had tough losses to Capital 35-27 after leading by 17; and to Missoula Sentinel 38-31.

Coach Grey broke down the Wolf Pack, “They like to throw the ball with Gage Sliter tossing it to a lot of great receivers and just when you focus on the pass they break a run.” He also said, “Defensively they play so hard. They move around a lot trying to confuse the offense.”

The Pack attack is lead by Senior quarterback Gage Sliter; who has been offered a scholarship from the Grizzlies. He has completed 119 of 190 pass attempts for 1,884 yards.  He averages 314 yards per game and 15.8 yards per reception, and 19 passing touchdowns.

His lineup of outstanding receivers makes Sliter’s job much easier. Kaid Buhls has 25 receptions with 5 touchdown grabs; Junior Evan Barnes has grabbed 4 end zone scores, and Coehen Kastelitz put up 3 touchdowns.

The running game is also spread out evenly. Jackson Hensley and Kobe Dorcheus take the bulk of the hand-offs.  They are averaging 121 yards per game and have rushed for 14 scores.

Kaleb Shine leads the the defense with 56 total tackles, with an average of 9 per game.  Cameron Shaw from the rush-end position and tackle Dylan Whitten are averaging almost 6 tackles per game.

“Our focus is to take care of advantages when we get those, we have to take advantage of them.”  Coach Grey added, “We have to handle adversity during the game and how we do that will determine the out come of the game.”

Bulldog Recap

The Bulldogs have seen strong performances by Jace Stenson. He has completed 109 of 193 attempts for 1,540 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Stenson has tossed 6 interceptions on the season with more than half from scramble plays. He is also the leading rusher on the team with 378 yards on 79 carries and 3 touchdowns.

The Bulldogs have handed the bulk of the running back duties over to Trey Hansen over the past 3 games.  He has carried 74 times for 270 yards and 7 touchdowns. Four of those touchdowns came in the game against Big Sky.

The Butte High offense was missing Russo Batterman in the Capital game and relied on it’s two outstanding freshmen, Cade Stajcar and Hudson Luedke, to take up the slack.  Cameron Gurnsey also had a tough game. He played through double-team coverage and a lot of physical contact by the Bruins. He was still able to come up with 2 big catches for 51 yards.

The Bulldog defense was missing key starters at Capital.  Most notable was Interception leader and lock down corner Kale McDonald.  The ‘Dogs gave up over 500 yards to Capital with 247 passing and 260 on the ground. 138 came on two long runs by Tom Carter. Coach Grey said, “On defense, we are focused on eliminating the big plays, we need better effort and focus on not missing assignments.”

The two teams meet with Identical 3-3 overall records with the Bulldogs sitting at 2-2 in conference and the Wolf Pack at 1-3.  This game is very important in the AA playoff picture. A win will lock in a first round playoff home game for the Butte High.

The game can be heard on KBOW 550 AM/101.5FM  or online at  I will be joined in the booth by Montana coaching legend, Mick Delaney, for the call.



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