BUTTE – Hamilton running back Bridger Bauder racked up 260 yards rushing on 23 carries as the Broncs blew by Butte Central, 40-19.
The Maroons remain without quarterback Cade Holter, who is sidelined with an injury he suffered last week against Frenchtown. With Holter out, running back Ryan Moodry was the workhorse, toting the ball 44 times for 189 yards and two of Central’s three touchdowns.
“He was a warrior and I was proud of how he ran the ball tonight,” Maroons head coach Don Peoples Jr. said of Moodry after the game. “All our kids played really hard. We were undermanned tonight but I was proud of our effort.”
Camron Rothie hauled in a 22-yard pass from Broncs’ quarterback Carson Rostad to open the scoring after Butte Central punted on its first drive. The Maroons responded with a grinding 13 play, 67-yard drive that included eight runs from Moodry and was capped with a two-yard score from the senior running back.
The Maroons didn’t find the end zone again until the third quarter as Hamilton rattled off five straight touchdowns.
It was the Broncs first win against Central in Butte since 1997.
“Whenever you come in to Butte, it’s hard to win. That’s a really, really well coached team,” Hamilton head coach Bryce Carver said. “Obviously they’re missing some kids tonight, but they had some great young kids step up for them tonight. Our mindset from the beginning of the week is that when we go in there it’s going to be a battle.
“That’s exactly what it was.”
Bauder scored two touchdowns for the Broncs, including an 85-yard run in the second half. He had 155 yards by halftime and also had a single reception that went for 26 yards.
Central struggled to slow Bauder down and in turn it opened the field up for the Broncs passing attack. Hamilton was explosive and had three passing touchdowns of 30 yards or longer.
“Our O-line was busting those holes and it was open all night,” Bauder said. “Honestly without our wide receivers or quarterback it wouldn’t open up the running game, all thanks to them.”
Rostad had four passing touchdowns on the night, with three of them going to Tyler Chouinard, who finished with four catches for 190 yards.
The Hamilton quarterback ended the night with 269 passing yards on just seven completions.
“Offensively we just did a great job running the ball and when they started bringing some blitzes and some guys in the box, our line was able to pick those up and we were able to throw the ball,” Carver said. “We had to put our foot on the gas.”
Central fought hard and Hamilton led just 20-7 at the half. Outside of Moodry, however, Butte struggled to move the ball.
Maroons quarterback Thomas McGee went 15 for 31 and had 185 yards passing but also threw three costly interceptions, including one in the red zone. McGee is an athletic player and racked up 76 yards on the ground – 70 of those coming in the second half – but sometimes struggled to put the needed touch on the ball.
Wide receiver Matt Simkins was also a major positive for the Maroons, hauling in nine passes for 144 yards in a mostly slot roll.
The loss drops Butte Central to 3-3 on the year while Hamilton moves to 6-1.
“Hamilton’s a good team and they deserve the credit,” Peoples Jr. said. “They have the most skill position players that we’ve seen all season.”