Rustlers pull away from Bulldogs

GREAT FALLS —The drive up I-15 didn’t treat Butte High particularly well Friday, as the Bulldogs gave up a 35-point third quarter in a 59-7 defeat at the hands of Great Falls Russell.

The loss was the fourth straight for the Bulldogs (1-4).

Lane Jensen threw three touchdown passes to Karl Tucker II and Andrew Grinde ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Rustlers.

CMR also got a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. Dyllon Scott and Kaleb Kindler each had a pick 6.

Kiley Caprara caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ty Peterson for Butte High’s lone score. The Bulldogs trailed 17-7 at halftime.

“That third quarter kind of snowballed out of control,” said Butte High head coach Arie Grey. “We missed some early opportunities, but I thought we played a pretty good first half.”

The Bulldogs suffered from a slow start Friday. Butte gambled and lost on a failed fourth-down conversion on their opening possession, and CMR went to Grinde for all three plays it took to drive the 29 yards to the Rustlers’ first score.

Butte High got a boost minutes later when Quinn Dennehy picked off Jensen, but the Bulldog drive stalled at the Rustler 13 and Nate Ferguson’s 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

The Rustlers then drove 68 yards in 15 plays, but had to settle for a 30-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.

On the opening play of the second quarter Butte quarterback Ty Peterson was intercepted by Wyatt Blesken, setting up a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jensen to Tucker, and in less than a minute, CMR’s lead increased by 10 points.

Peterson settled in on the next drive, completing his longest pass of the night to Mason Ruppell, which set up a touchdown catch from 25 yards out to Caprara on a fourth-and-9 play. Caprara was well covered, but the pass was perfectly placed for Butte’s lone touchdown of the game.

Butte went into intermission with a bit of momentum, but the pendulum swung hard the other way in the third quarter. Jensen found Tucker again on an 11-yard TD pass, and then big defensive lineman Dyllon Scott stepped right in front of Peterson’s first pass of the half for an easy six points.

Within 12 seconds, the Rustlers went from a 10-point lead to a 24-point lead, and it got worse from there for Butte. Grinde scored again, and then Kindler returned another interception for a touchdown. Yet another pick a series later resulted in the third scoring connection between Jensen and Tucker, and CMR led 52-7 just 12 minutes after they held just a 17-7 lead.

“That could be the best team we’ll see all year,” Grey conceded. “They had a good tempo on offense from the start. Still, I’m proud of our guys for the things we did right. We just made too many little mistakes and you can’t do that against a team like CMR.”

Caprara led Butte’s offense with 11 catches for 121 yards while Will O’Connell and Matt Merzlak had three catches each. Peterson completed 21 of 42 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs will go back to the drawing board in preparation for Billings West, whom Butte will host next Friday evening at Naranche Stadium.

“We’ll come back and work on getting better,” Grey said. “We have to continue to improve and work on putting a complete game together.”

Butte               0          7          0          0 – 7
CMR               10        7          35        7 – 59
First quarter

CMR – Andrew Grinde 8 run (Dylan Sandefur kick)
CMR – Sandefur 30 field goal
Second quarter
CMR – Karl Tucker II 53 pass from Lane Jensen (Sandefur kick)
Butte – Kiley Caprara 25 pass from Ty Peterson (Nathan Ferguson kick)
Third quarter
CMR – Tucker II 17 pass from Jensen (Sandefur kick)
CMR – Dyllon Scott 16 interception return (Sandefur kick)
CMR – Grinde 1 run (Sandefur kick)
CMR – Caleb Kindler 25 interception return (Sandefur kick)
CMR – Tucker II 19 pass from Jensen (Sandefur kick)
Fourth quarter
CMR – Isaiah Chargois 36 run (Sandefur kick)

                                             BUTTE              CMR
First Downs                            18                       25
Total Net Yards                      278                     436
Rushes-Yards                         27-18                  43-245
Passing                                    260                     191
Comp-Att-Int                          23-45-5              13-24-2
Punts-Ave                               4-32                    2-33
Fumbles-Lost                         3-0                      2-1
Penalties-Yards                      5-47                    4-45
: Bo Mortensen 9-28, Mason Ruppel 5-21, Willie Anderson 6-17, Nathan Ferguson 1-5, Anthony Cooney 1-(-3), Ty Peterson 5-(-50). CMR: Grinde 22-137, Lane Jensen 9-50, Isaiah Chargois 3-39, Connor McAllister 4-21, Tucker II 3-1, Derrick Price 1-(-3).
PASSING: Butte: Peterson 21-42-5-217, Caprara 1-1-0-33, Ferguson 1-2-10. CMR: Jensen 13-24-2-191.
RECEIVING: Butte: Caprara 11-121, Will O’Connor 3-22, Matt Merzlak 3-12, Jake Salmonsen 2-13, Ruppel 1-40, Brian LaFond 1-33, Will Brandon 1-10, Bo Mortensen 1-9. CMR: Tucker II 8-153, Grinde 4-24, Trevor Pepin 1-14.

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