BUTTE — A pair of deep field goals, a safety and a lateral pass play made for a thrilling Friday evening at Naranche Stadium where the Bulldogs defeated the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack 20-17 on Silver B Night.
Former Butte football players from 1995 and 1996 were honored throughout the night as they earned their Silver B status. While the celebration was special for many, it was the Wolfpack that found momentum early.
Kalispell Glacier’s Gage Sliter found wide receiver Jake Turner 30 yards downfield early in the first quarter. Turner found some space and used his speed to run 20 yards after the catch and into the end zone.
The Bulldogs put together a long drive in the first quarter but the Wolfpack forced a fourth down. Bulldogs kicker Casey Kautzman then drilled a 45-yard field goal that would have been good from 50 yards, which brought the Bulldogs within four points.
After forcing a punt, the Bulldogs had a chance to score again in the first quarter. But Glacier’s Levi Frost intercepted Jace Stenson’s pass which Connor Sullivan turned into points on a deep touchdown pass from Sliter. Kautzman added three points for the Bulldogs to bring the score to 14-6 Glacier at halftime.
Stenson and the Bulldogs made a long drive downfield but were stopped at the one-yard line on fourth down. Fortunately for Butte, the run to the one-yard line earned them a first down, which Stenson used to run into the end zone. After a failed two-point conversion, Butte trailed 14-12.
After Kautzman’s impressive field goal, Glacier’s Patrick Rohrbach made an even longer field goal from 51 yards to give Glacier a 17-12 lead. But an interception on their next drive gave the ball back to Butte offense to begin the fourth quarter.
Stenson ran for another short touchdown to give Butte its first lead of the night. After the failed two-point conversion the Bulldogs led 18-17.
Butte’s defense pushed Glacier all the way to their own one-yard line. On a third and long, holding was called in the end zone which resulted in a safety for Butte.
The Bulldogs’ 373 yards outgained the Wolfpack’s 279 yards. The bulk of the Bulldogs’ offense came on the ground where they rushed for 196 yards.
Jace Stenson had a stellar game both through the air and on the ground. He passed for 177 yards and rushed for 84 yards and two crucial touchdowns. Butte’s Gavin Vetter led all rushers with 177 yards.
Casey Kautzman made two field goals while Glacier’s Patrick Rohrbach made the sole 51-yard field goal.
Butte (5-2) will play a road game against Missoula Hellgate on Thursday at 7 p.m. Kalispell Glacier (4-3) will play Kalispell Flathead Friday at 7 p.m.
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