The Hamilton Broncs football team is going into the eighth week of the season and they haven’t lost a game. Their record is 7-0.
“We are fortunate to be undefeated,” said head coach Bryce Carver. “The team has played pretty well. We’ve beaten other teams by more than 24 points in every game.”
Carver said there are still four undefeated Class A teams in the state. Three are in the Western conference: Polson, Whitefish, Hamilton. In the east is undefeated Laurel, last year’s state champ.
Carver said media polls have ranked Hamilton number 1 in the state, but he doesn’t put much store in that. The rankings could change, as two of the undefeated teams play each other this week, so someone will end up with a loss.
There are only two games left in the regular season. Hamilton will take on Libby at Libby on Friday for game #8. The last game before post-season play will be at home against Columbia Falls next week, “also a really good team,” said Carver.
The Broncs haven’t yet played Polson or Whitefish who are in their conference and both undefeated as of yet. “There are 13 teams in the Western conference but you only play nine games in the regular season so there are always some teams you don’t play,” said Carver, unless those teams make it into the playoffs.
“We’ve got a good group of players, a pretty good mix of older and younger,” Carver said. “Tyson Rostad, a senior, at quarterback and safety, is the leader on our team. He has committed to play for the Grizzlies. Also, there are some newer guys that have done a really good job.”
Rostad has thrown the ball for 70 completions and 106 incompletions, for 1108 yards and 16 touchdowns. His throws have only been intercepted twice. He’s also run the ball 39 times for 312 yards.
Running back Tim Zohner, another senior, has run the ball 57 times for 572 yards. “That’s pretty good,” said Carver. He said Zohner is in his first year starting at running back.
The Broncs’ leading receiver is Liam O’Connell, with 20 catches for 380 yards.
“We’ve outscored teams 346 to 60 through six games,” said Carver. “In that, we had one shut-out, one team scored 6 and one scored 8.”
Carver also mentioned the exceptional Bronc defense – Jonas Johnson and Andrew Burrows and Derek Saltzman. “Our three defensive linemen have done a really good job up front.”
Carver said a game that stands out for him is when they played Dillon. “We went to Dillon and won 48-6. They’ve always been a big rival, a perennial powerhouse.”
This is Carver’s eighth year at Hamilton, his fifth as head coach. Last year the Broncs finished 10-1, losing out in a semi-final game against Laurel by 7 points. Laurel went on to win the state title.
In the last five years, the Broncs are 46-6. “We’ve played for two state titles,” said Carver, “and made it to the semi-finals the last four years.”
This year could be the one for the Broncs under Carver’s watch. “That’s the plan for sure,” he said. “The kids have done a really good job at doing the right things and putting us in a position to win. We’ve just played well, scored more than 44 points in every game we played, and never given up more than 20 in a game.”
Carver also mentioned the great support from the fans. “Hamilton football’s a big thing. When we have our home games, we’ve had great support. We’ve also had good support when we travel too. That really helps us continue on our winning streak.”