Track season is still months away, but from the running and throwing going on Friday night at Naranche Stadium, a person could make a mistake regarding the sport being played.
Kalispell Glacier’s final winning score of 58-41 might even bring to mind a basketball game.
With more than 1,200 yards of total offense recorded, cross country runners could likely see similarities.
In Butte High’s homecoming football game, however, too many mistakes cost the Bulldogs as the Wolfpack left town as only the second team to defeat Butte High at the newly-renovated Naranche Stadium.
Glacier’s defensive secondary picked off five Dallas Cook passes – three for touchdowns – and helped the Wolfpack offense outpace what turned out to be a record-setting night for a couple of Bulldogs.
Though he’d certainly take a win instead, Cook did break a number of school records in the contest. The same could be said for junior receiver Dalton Daum, who has already established school career marks at his position.
Daum shattered the school records for receptions in a game and yards gained receiving in a game with 20 catches for 286 yards. The previous best marks were 13 catches and 231 yards. The junior speedster is also now the career leader in catches with 114 and receiving yards with 1,531.
Cook’s five touchdown passes Friday tied Josh Paffhausen’s record that Cook tied for the first time just last week. He also set a new school record for total yards of offense in a game with 606 – breaking his own mark of 574 yards gained last year against Billings Skyview.
Butte High defender Chase Plum also tied a school record with three interceptions in the game.
“I told the kids this week that it was going to take all 48 minutes,” said Glacier head coach Grady Bennett. “We got 31, then 38, then 45 and then 51 points, and it was never enough. We know they can score in 30 seconds. We knew how good Butte was coming in, but it isn’t until you see them that you understand.”
The first two minutes of the game gave a preview for what was in store for the remaining 46.
Glacier quarterback Brady McChesney took the opening snap of the game and ran 56 yards to the Butte 9 yard line. Seconds later, McChesney’s pass into the end zone was picked off by Plum.
The Bulldogs made the most of the situation, driving to midfield where Cook connected with Peter Granger on a 53-yard scoring play just a minute and a half into the contest.
The Wolfpack came back with an 82-yard kickoff return by Evan Epperly for a touchdown that was called back due to a clip. Glacier then had to drive 93 yards for their first score, a 17-yard connection between McChesney and Sam McCamley.
Minutes later, Epperly returned a Butte punt for a touchdown, though that was also called back by a block in the back. It only took two plays for McChesney to find Logan Jones on a 45-yard scoring aerial, and the Pack took the lead, for good, as it turned out.
Plum notched his second interception of the night just before the end of the first quarter, but five plays later Todd Ogden stepped in front of a Dallas Cook rifle shot at midfield and took the ball in for a 21-7 Wolfpack lead.
Glacier extended its lead with a 29-yard Brandon Purdy field goal, though the Bulldogs took momentum into intermission when Cook ran the ball in from 32 yards out.
Butte opened the third with a strong drive, but gave the ball away on downs at the Glacier 14. The Wolfpack scored on its first play of the half when McChesney connected with Jones on an 86-yard scoring pass.
The Bulldogs answered less than a minute later when Cook scrambled to lob the ball to Jake Eisenbarth, who bulled over three defensive backs en route to the end zone. Butte’s defense forced a punt, but the Pack got the ball back after a Bulldog fumble. Plum returned his third interception 25 yards, but Cook was again the victim of a pick-six when Cain Boschee went 55 yards with the stolen ball.
Undaunted, Butte came back with a scoring drive punctuated by a 29-yard scoring pass from Cook to Eisenbarth. The stocky running back was wide open over the middle, and sped in to cut Glacier’s lead to 38-27.
A third Cook interception for a touchdown – a 40-yard return by Epperly – seemed to spell the end for Butte as the Wolfpack led 45-27 with 10 minutes left to play.
No one told the Bulldogs, though, and Cook helped engineer a 73-yard scoring drive that included a nice 39-yard bomb to Paul Campbell. The touchdown came as Cook connected with Daum on a 21-yard strike to the corner of the end zone.
Glacier countered with a 38-yard touchdown run from Noah James, though Butte quickly answered when Cook and Daum again teamed up for a 41-yard trip to paydirt. That score left Butte trailing 51-41 with 5:36 left on the clock and a chance at an unlikely comeback.
Glacier’s offense accepted the challenge, and after recovering an onside kick attempt, the Wolfpack burned up five minutes on a 58-yard scoring drive that effectively ended the game.
“We had a lot of little things here and there that hurt us,” Butte High head coach Arie Grey said after the game. “We were undisciplined. The stuff we did well, we did really well. The stuff we did bad was really bad, but we’ll take some positives from this one.”
In addition to Plum’s heroics in the defensive backfield, linemen Johnny Walker and Connor Lee played a solid game up front. Jason Vesco also showed his mettle with a few key stops for the Bulldogs.
Granger finished with six catches for 98 yards while Campbell had five snags for 85 yards.
“We’ll come back and get to work starting tomorrow morning,” Grey said. “We need to get back to the basics. We’re going to come away from this one tougher and more disciplined. We will get better.”
Butte High, which fell to 3-2, will be on the road next Friday against Missoula Hellgate. Glacier improved to 4-1 with the win.