Beav rally over Maroons to win, 38-20

By 
J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Dillon Beavers trailed the Butte Central Maroons, 14-7, at the half of their rivalry game played at Montana Tech in Butte on Friday night, and then rallied for a 38-20 win and their fourth consecutive victory after opening the season with two losses.

The Beavers seized momentum in the second half, building a 38-14 lead before Central narrowed the score with a touchdown in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

“It is a cool rivalry game that was fun to be part of,” said Dillon coach Zach McRae. “I’m proud of the way we continued to battle. We had some opportunities in the first quarter to connect on some big passes. We didn’t make those plays, but just kept grinding away and was able to wear them down a little bit and we were able to explode in the second half for a really cool victory against a rival.”

For the game, Central relied on the run and showed determination to stop

Dillon ability to run the ball. The Beavers, after a few dropped opportunities, found their throwing lanes and popped the scoreboard.

“I tell you what, Kee Christiansen is a guy who is growing up before our eyes,” said McRae of his sophomore quarterback. “He stood in there and took all of their pressure and delivered a really nice football.”

A key to the passing success also needs to be credited to the ever improving blocking by the offensive line.

“Early on our receivers had some drops, but we made some big plays as the game went on,” said McRae.

McRae said he and their staff expected Butte Central to load the box, extra defenders in the defensive line and linebacker areas, to take away the run. When the passing game didn’t click to pull the Central defense out of the loaded front, Central stayed with the scheme.

“It just didn’t look like they wanted to make that adjustment, so I think that is reflective of the offensive play call ing, certainly, a lot more passes than designed runs,” McRae said.

The Beavers threw 39 passes, completing 23 for 270 yards, for three touchdowns and two interceptions. Christiansen had the bulk of the throwing duties, save for a pass from Jonathan Kirkley to speedster Treyton Anderson for a 27-yard touchdown connection in the fourth quarter.

Christiansen threw scoring tosses of 65 yards to Anderson and of 24 yards to Kirkley.

Conner Vezina opened the scoring with a 3-yard run with 7:02 left in the first quarter. For the game, Dillon would carry the ball just 13 times for 26 yards.

Central answered with a pair of second quarter scores to take the 14-7 lead. The Maroons would run the ball 38 times for 131 yards and two scores, and pass for just 117 yards and a pair on interceptions on 7 of 23 throwing. With 6:58 left in the fourth quarter, Treyton Anderson took one of those interceptions 20 yards for a touchdown.

Dillon kicker and lineman John Bramlet went 5 for 5 on extra point kicks and added a 36-yard field goal with 5:50 left in the game for Dillon’s final points.

“I think it was the first time we line up for a field goal in a couple of years,” said McRae. “It provides some comfort (going forward) for sure.”

McRae said Dillon has been focusing on improving special teams play across the board and that the players have responded with good play. General tackling has also been a point of emphasis and the team is showing improvement according to the coach.

The Beavers travel to Stevensville this week to face the Yellowjackets coached by former Dillon Beaver Trey Williams. Stevi is coming off a 50-6 win over Corvallis.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, this is about the Dillon Beavers,” concluded McRae.

Kale Konen, a running back and linebacker, and Tanner Mussard, an inside linebacker, return to the team.

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