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Stevensville edges Hamilton in tough battle

Stevensville’s Jared Schultz tries to avoid Hamilton’s Zack Brown in Friday’s Battle of the Bitterroot game. Stevensville won, 14-0. Jean Schurman photo


The Stevensville Yellowjackets had a strong second quarter and held on for a Southwest A conference win in Hamilton on Friday night, defeating the Broncs, 14-0. The game was a defensive battle from the start with both teams battling for the ball and position on the field.
Stevi quarterback Jared Schultz hit Zach Gavlak from 15 yards out for the first touchdown of the game. Chris Bergman’s kick was good for the PAT. A few minutes later, Schultz zeroed in on Austin Lords for a 22 yard scoring pass. The Bergman kick was good.
Schultz completed 14 of 29 passes while spreading the passes around. Dylan Reed caught seven passes for 69 yards. Kyle Behner was the workhorse for the ‘Jackets on the ground. He pounded away at the defense and put his team into scoring position.
Coach Hank Praast was pleased with how his Yellowjackets played, saying they played ‘greedy’ but yet controlled the ball. “We only had one turnover and we’ve been averaging four. We had over 200 yards last week but we had five turnovers, good ball security this time.”
Hamilton’s defense played well and kept Schultz and company contained for much of the game. The Bronc offense made some drives up and down the field and were in the red zone more than once but just couldn’t push through to the end zone.
“Our kids played hard, their kids played really hard,” concluded Hamilton coach Travis Blome. “Some things didn’t go the way we wanted them to but it’s a fun rivalry. Hats off to Stevensville, they played really hard tonight. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. They did everything they possibly could tonight and I commend them for it. “Once again, Hank (Praast) had his guys ready to go. It was fun.”
Corvallis had their hands full against Butte Central but made a valiant effort in their final home game of the season. The Maroons defeated the Blue Devils, 50-20. Corvallis was held scoreless in the first quarter but came back and scored in each of the final three quarters. Quarterback Brandon Butt completed 17 of 31 passes for 262 yards. He called his own number for the first Blue Devil touchdown when he rushed 15 yards for the score. He also scored the 2-point conversion. Butt threw to Blake Sylvester from 22 yards out for a touchdown in the third quarter but the conversion was stopped. Sam Burdette put his head down and plowed through from seven yards out for the final Blue Devil score.
Florence gave themselves a bit of a scare against Ronan on Friday night. The Falcons spotted the Ronan Chiefs 22 points in the first quarter and didn’t get into the end zone themselves until the second quarter. Florence’s first points on the scoreboard happened when Keenan Hendricksen got a safety against Ronan. That broke open the scoring for Florence. Derrick Brown caught a 12-yard pass from Aaron Ward. Minutes later, Ward hit Tanner Cobbs from eight yards out for another six points. After the half, the Falcon defense buckled down and held the Chiefs scoreless for the rest of the game while the offense went to town. Brown was on the throwing end and hit Tommy Shepard from 10 yards out for a touchdown. Ward scored the next touchdown with a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Tanner Cobbs kicked the PAT. Browns scored twice more, once with a pass reception and once from the ground. Tanner Cobbs scored the final touchdown when Ward hit him from 10 yards out.
With the win, the Falcons remain tied with Loyola for the top spot in the conference. The two rivals will meet this Friday night in Florence for a showdown.
Darby picked up a nice win over Seeley-Swan on Friday. The Tigers ran over the Blackhawks, 56-14. The Tigers opened up the scoring when Dylan Knox returned the kickoff for 75 yards and a touchdown. He completed the 2 point conversion and the Tigers were off and running. Knox caught a 22-yard pass from Joe Caicedo in the second quarter. Caicedo also had scoring passes of 18 yards to Ryan McCrossin, 10 yards and 37 yards to Tyler Weidiger, Garrett McCormack from 8 yards out, and Matt Robbins from 18 yards out.
Victor got off to a slow start but made up for it in the third quarter when they scored 40 points en route to a 66-46 win over Arlee. By the end of the game, the Pirates were almost out of powder for the cannon that is shot after each touchdown.
Quarterback Matt Kittel went to the air for six touchdowns and 442 yards. He completed 34 of 52 passes. One of his favorite targets was Kyle Ball who pulled down scoring receptions of 17 yards, 54 yards, 31 yards, and six yards. Ball had 191 yards receiving on 10 passes. Zac Agee had a five-yard scoring run, a 13-yard rushing TD, and caught a six-yard pass from Kittel for another score. Bryce Kraut caught a Kittel pass from 33 yards out and Robert Schmidt had a two-yard plunge for the final touchdown. Corey Deering sacked the Arlee quarterback for a safety. Victor is now 6-2 in conference and overall play. They finish their season this Friday on the road against Seeley-Swan.

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