LIBBY — For three quarters it looked like Butte Central had a legitimate shot at pulling off a stunner in the first round of the Class A football playoffs.
But in the final quarter, Libby shut down that opportunity.
The Loggers poured on 21 points in the fourth quarter on three touchdown runs from Dawson Young as second-seeded Libby pulled away from the No. 6 Maroons for a 49-28 victory on Saturday.
Central ends its season a 5-5. The Maroons muscled their way into the playoffs after opening the season with three-straight losses.
"I was just really proud of our kids," Central coach Don Peoples Jr. said. "They battled the whole game and overcame some adversity. They played hard and I'm proud of that."
Following a 2-yard touchdown run from Egan Lester, the Maroons found themselves down 28-21 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Young—who totaled four rushing touchdowns on the day—then went on a tear, scoring on rushing plays of 40, 2 and 28 yards to take a 49-21 lead and put the game on ice.
After watching Young score his first touchdown of the day on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, Thomas McGree—who was limited to playing defense last week with an injured hand—hit Trevor Neuman for a 52-yard touchdown the Maroons first points of the game.
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In the second quarter, McGree connected with Egan Lester for a 21 score and Guido Osello punched in the 2-point try to give Central a 14-13 lead.
Libby's Jay Beagle then hit David Patterson for a 30-yard touchdown pass to give the Loggers a 28-14 lead at halftime.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Lester hit paydirt for his 2-yard run and Central was within one possession with plenty of time remaining.
Then Libby made a momentum-shifting play.
A misfired double-pass by Central was scooped up for a score and the Loggers were suddenly up 35-21. Young reeled off his three touchdowns, and what looked to have the makings of a upset spiraled into a runaway win for the Loggers, who will face Laurel next week.
McGree finished the game with 368 yards, three touchdown passes and three interceptions. Trevor Neuman hauled in five catches for 205 yards and Braydon Harrington had five receptions for 111 yards.
"It wasn’t easy to hang it up," Peoples said. "Today was another example of adversity but our kids fought hard and never quit. Our senior kids were a great group of kids. They battled every second and that’s something we’re really proud of.”