BUTTE – On Butte Central’s first drive of the night against Whitefish, it went 79 yards down the field in 10 plays and scored.
The methodical and well-executed march set the tone for the rest of the night as the Maroons rolled the Bulldogs 49-7 in Class A football. Central had exactly one negative rushing play on the night and just two incompletions on 10 passes. It was a nearly flawless game from the Maroons, who move to 2-0 on the year.
“We said all week we wanted to get better in all three phases of the game,” Central head coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “We executed in all phases of the game, but we have a long ways to go to get to where we want to be.”
Central racked up 374 yards of offense, with 328 of those yards coming in the first half. Junior quarterback Cade Holter was impressive for the Maroons, racking up 69 yards rushing and throwing for 155 yards. He finished with five total touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).
All five of his scores came in a big first half that saw the Maroons score 14 points in the first quarter and then blow the doors off with 21 in the final 12 minutes of the half.
“We’re really thrilled with the way he’s playing right now,” Peoples said. “This was his third game and he’s doing a great job with the option, making heady pass plays and buying time, he’s just doing a great job.”
Several times during the night Holter escaped a sure sack to deliver a well-thrown ball. He spread it around too, hitting five different receivers. Clay Fisher caught two of Holter’s passes for touchdowns, including a 35-yard Hail Mary at the end of the half.
Fisher had 102 all-purpose yards and was a constant presence and threat during the game. Running back Ryan Moodry added eight rushes for 65 yards and tallied Butte Central’s final touchdown, a five-yard plunge late in the third quarter.
As good as the Central offense was, its defense was just as impressive. The Maroons allowed 10 total yards in the first half and picked off Bulldog quarterback Forrest Kolbet twice.
It was a frustrating night for Whitefish, who was unable to string more than a couple positive plays in a row. Starting eight sophomores, it’s a young squad and plenty of simple mistakes were made.
“We couldn’t line up in the right spot, we couldn’t tackle,” Whitefish head coach Chad Ross said. “Not taking anything away from BC, they beat us anyways, but we have to do basic stuff, being in the right spot when we lineup, knowing where we’re supposed to go and going when the ball’s hiked.”
Kolbet did nearly everything for the Bulldogs and finished with 14 carries for 64 yards and the loss certainly wasn’t due to lacking effort.
Central simply was able to execute better.
Now sitting at 2-0 on the year, Central is trending in the right direction. In their two wins, they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined 88-14.
It’s early in the year – something both coaches noted – but currently, Central looks like it has the makings of a team that can make some serious noise in Class A.
Peoples just wants his team to stay grounded and keep things at one game at a time.
“We just got to tell them to keep working hard and getting better. If we get better, that’s all we can do,” Peoples said. “We have to concentrate on Libby and that’s all we can do right now. Down the road there’s going to be some great football teams we’ll have to be a lot better to beat.”