Dillon Beaver “D” dominates Butte Central

Photo: Jess Alberi


The Dillon Beaver defense paved the way, and the offense took advantage of opportunities as the home team posted a convincing 34-7 victory over Butte Central in the Southwestern A Conference opener for both schools.  Dillon enjoyed the added excitement of participating in their Homecoming game.

Dillon’s defense stopped the Maroon offense in its tracks, allowing just 50 rushing yards on 22 carries, and 131 passing yards on 41 throws.

“They’re good,” said Dillon coach Rick Nordahl of Central’s offensive attack out of the spread formation.  “The quarterback came in with a lot of yards and the running back was cracking off big yardage coming in.  To defend the run like we did without packing the box and to defend the pass like we did was incredible.  We mixed up the blitz and we mixed up the coverages.”

The Beaver defenders forced 7 turnovers – four fumbles and three interceptions – and denied Central a score on a first and goal from the Dillon five following a Dillon turnover on the second half kickoff.   On Central’s second play, the Beavers forced and recovered a fumble to snuff the Central scoring opportunity.

Dillon’s Trae Williams, Donovan Hucke, Troy Scott and Curen Feliciani recovered fumbles, and M.J. Simkins, J.D. Ferris and Mick Paffhausen interecepted passes.  Inside linebacker Carson King tipped one ball to Simkins, and dropped at least two more picks on a night the Central quarterback could not decipher Dillon’s sophisticated defensive adjustments.

Dillon led 21-0 when Central reached the endzone with just 1:31 left in the third quarter.

Central’s defensive front was impressive and suppressed Dillon’s running attack at 76 yards, but the balanced scheme allows the Beavers to go to the weakness and they found it through the air, piling up 294 yards and five touchdowns via the forward pass.

In the early going, yards were tough and Dillon went to trickeration to get on the board.

“In the first half, we had to work to get the passes going,” said Nordahl.  “I thought coach Vezina did a great job of picking out the opportune time to run the gadget plays and they really helped us out in the first half.”

Slot receiver M.J. Simkins found his niche as a Maroon slayer, completing a big pass on a trick play for the second season in a row.  Simkins, the back-up quarterback, came out of the slot and took a handoff from J.D. Ferris on a play that looked like a speed sweep.  Simkins then turned and threw back to the quarterback who strolled into the end zone from 18 yards out to give Dillon a 7-0 lead.  

Early in the second quarter, Ferris completed a scoring pass to Mick Paffhausen and Dillon settled down with a 13-0 margin.

Late in the second quarter, offensive play-caller Vezina dialed up another trick play, a double pass.  Ferris threw a backward pass to Simkins on what looked to be a bubble screen, and with Central’s defense flying up, the senior captain lobbed a ball to a wide open Chance Kluesner who sprinted off 44 yards to give Dillon a 21-0 lead following a Ferris to Simkins, two-point conversion pass.

In the fourth quarter, Ferris completed a 23-yard scoring pass to Troy Scott.  Ferris would later leave the game following a late, helmet to helmet hit from a Central defensive lineman.  The penalty was called, but Ferris was still out of the game as a precautionary measure from Nordahl.

In relief, Simkins torched Central once again, with a scoring pass play to Kluesner that covered 74 yards.

Dillon (4-0) plays at Stevensville  (3-1) Friday  night at 7 p.m.


First Quarter

DIL – JD Ferris 18 pass from M.J. Simkins (Mick Paffhausen kick) 8:28.

Second Quarter

DIL –Paffhausen 21 pass from Ferris (kick failed) 9:48.

DIL –Chance Kluesner 44 pass from Simkins (Simkins pass from Ferris), 2:25.

Third Quarter

CEN – Kale Guldseth 11 pass from Danny Peoples (Peoples kick),1:31.

Fourth Quarter

DIL –Troy Scott 23 pass from Ferris (Paffhuasen kick) 11;07.

DIL – Kluesner 74 pass from Simkins (kick failed), 8:11.

Team statistics


First downs 15 9

Runs-yards 36-76 22-50

Comp. -att.-yards 16-30-294 17-41-131

Pass yards 294 131

Total plays-yards 66-370 63-131

Punts-ave 4-31.5 4-28.5

Fumbles-lost 2-2 4-4

Penalties-yards 6-40 3-40

Dillon individual statistics

Rushing – Colton Reibe 12-55, J.D. Ferris 9-32, Jason Ferris 4-(-4), Tyler Vanslyke 3-6, M.J. Simkins 4-(-11), Nate Simkins 2-0, Dustin Cross 1-ª-2).

Passing – Ferris 11-25-1-137-2, M.J. Simkins 5-5-0-157-3.

Receiving –M.J. Simkins 2-27, Chance Kluesner 3-131, Riebe 1-(-1), Scott 2-39, J.D. Ferris 1-18, Brady Richardson 2-14, Justin Ferris 2-24, Trae Williams 1-10.