by Scott Sacry
The Hamilton Broncs football team is in a familiar spot – they are the #1 ranked team in the 406mtsports.com Class A power poll. Bryce Carver is in his 7th year as Hamilton’s head coach and has high praise for the maturity of this year’s team. “We have a very experienced team this year with 20 seniors,” said Carver. “Since they have been Freshman, this group has only lost 2 games in their career, which is very impressive.”
One of those losses came in last year’s semifinal game against Billings Central. “The loss definitely motivated us over the summer,” said Carver, “but now that the new season has started it’s not something we really think about.”
The Broncs are once again favorites to make a deep run in the state playoffs, but Carver isn’t one to look too far in the future. “We don’t really talk about the future or playoffs,” said Carver. “Everyone in our conference is good and we respect every opponent. So in order to be successful we have to take it one week at a time.”
On Saturday, September 8th, they had their first big test of the year as they took on #3 Bigfork. The Broncs controlled the game throughout, and at the end of the 3rd quarter they led 28-0. Bigfork scored a couple times in the 4th quarter to make the final score 35-14.
Hamilton’s offensive and defensive lines controlled the line of scrimmage and helped Hamilton outgain Bigfork 482-301 in total yards. “Our offensive and defensive lines are a big reason for our success so far this year,” said Carver. With the win Hamilton improved to 3-0 on the season.
Senior QB Tyson Bauder once again had a big game. He threw for 282 yards with 2 TDs and rushed for 93 yards with a TD. Senior RB Andrew Fredrick ran for 101 yards with a TD and also caught a TD pass. Senior WR Hunter Stewart caught 7 passes for 155 yards.
Hamilton plays at Stevensville on Friday, September 15th at 7 p.m.
The Florence Falcons are the #1 ranked Class B team in the latest 406mtsports.com poll. On Friday, September 8th, they played Huntley Project. Florence and Huntley are 376 miles apart, but met halfway in Bozeman and played at the Bobcat Stadium.
Florence held a 23-14 halftime lead, then exploded in the 3rd quarter, scoring three touchdowns to lead 44-14 going into the final quarter. Huntley closed the gap in the end, but the Falcons prevailed 44-27 to go 3-0 on the season.
Mason Arlington had a massive game, completing 23 of 28 passes for 365 yards and 4 TDs, he also rushed for 81 yards and a TD. Tyler Abbott continued to impress, catching 9 passes for 157 yards with a TD.
Florence hosts Conrad at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 15th.
Corvallis hosted Whitefish on Friday, September 8th, and won 7-0. Corvallis’s lone TD came on a 4-yard run by Charlie Chavez in the first quarter. From then on it was a defensive struggle, as Corvallis’s defense held the high powered Whitefish offense scoreless and forced 4 interceptions. Corvallis is 3-0 on the season and will play at Butte Central on September 15th at 7 p.m.
Stevensville traveled to Browning and lost 27-49 on Friday, September 8th. Stevensville’s Gunnar Larson rushed for 228 yards and scored 2 TDs for the ‘Jackets in the loss. Stevensville will host Hamilton on Friday, September 15th at 7 p.m..
Darby traveled to Arlee on Friday, September 8th, and lost 20-56. Darby’s McCoy Townsend did a bit of everything: he rushed for 144 yards and scored 3 TDs, had 50 yards receiving, and passed for 48 yards. On the defensive side, Colter Brantley had 10 tackles.
Victor will host Darby at 1 p.m. in Victor on Saturday, September 16th.