Beavs stopped at CFalls

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Dillon Beavers traveled to Columbia Falls on Friday to face the defending State A champion Wildcats, who entered the game playing with a sense of urgency. CFalls dropped their opener to Hamilton, the team they defeated in the title game a year ago. Both teams left with 1-1 records after CFalls handed Dillon a 48-20 defeat.

“Give Columbia Falls credit,” said Dillon coach Zach McRae. “They were ready, they were excited and they came out and executed better than we did. They were a lot bigger than us and they played physical and they were very proud of how physical they played.”

Columbia Falls took a 21-0 lead before Dillon running back Zane Johnson broke loose for a 61 yard scoring run. Johnson led Dillon in rushing with 103 yards on 2 carries with the score and a fumble. He had 64 yards on 2 pass receptions.

CFalls added a touchdown just before half to lead 28-6 at the break. Colton McPhee, the Wildcats’ 5-10, 206-pound running back and middle linebacker, added a touchdown run late in the third quarter to add to Dillon’s deficit. McPhee, a fast and powerful runner, proved to be an impact player throughout the game, and visited Dillon on Saturday on his visit to Montana Western.

Dillon junior quarterback Justus Peterson connected with Cooper Hoffman and Jace Fitzgerald for 28 and 12 yard scoring pass plays, to pull Dillon within 41-20 with 9:31 left in the game. Columbia Falls added a McPhee scoring run later in the fourth quarter to account for the final score.

McRae felt Columbia Falls controlled both lines of scrimmage with their size up front. Defensively, Dillon had to commit too many players to stop the run and got beat by the pass at times. CFalls rolled up 392 rushing yards and 209 through the air.

Dillon offered a balanced attack with 152 on the ground and 163 via pass.

“Anytime that you put up 20 points, it is not an awful game,” said McRae. Zane Johnson broke one big run, but we had to fight and claw for every yard we got.”

McRae felt Columbia Falls quarterback Drew Morgan, 6-2, 193, senior, was also a quality player that pressured Dillon with his ability to run and pass.

“Give all credit to them,” said McRae. “The did a nice job of holding us in check We’ll certainly learn a lot from watching film.”

McRae noted that Dillon had a number of players playing positions for the first time in varsity games and that the learning curve will be accelerated as a result of the experience in Columbia Falls. He feels the players will be receptive to the message that they must know their job and execute it aggressively and physically. He added that players will be reminded to play full-speed until the sound of the whistle.

The Beavers host Ronan this Friday at Vigilante Field. The game begins at 7 p.m.


First Quarter

CF – Parker Greene 11 pass from Drew Morgan (Auguste Emond kick) 8:32. CF – Morgan 47 run (Auguste kick) 2:32.

Second Quarter

CF – Colton McPhee 24 pass from Morgan (Auguste kick) 8:07. DIL – Zane Johnson 61 run (kick failed) 8:10. CF – Bradly Nieves 21 pass from Morgan (Auguste kick) 1:28.

Third Quarter

CF – McPhee 5 run (kick failed) 4:46. DIL – Cooper Hoffman 28 pass from Justus Peterson (pass failed) 2:32

Fourth Quarter

DIL – Jace Fitzgerald 12 pass from Peterson (Peterson run) 9:31. CF – McPhee 10 run (Auguste kick) 7:09. CF – score not available (Auguste kick).

Team Stats

DIL CF First downs 9 30 Rushes-yds (net) 26-15250-392 Passing yds (net) 163 209 Pass Comp-Att-Int 16-27-0 15-23-1 Total off plays-yds 53-315 73-601 Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-2 Penalties-yds 7-55 8-80

Dillon Individual Stats Rushing (att.–yds) – Zane Johnson 12-103. Justus Peterson 8-27, Jace Fitzgerald 1-8, Michael Hupp 4-10, Zach Ingram 1-4. Passing (comp.-att.-INT-yds-TD) – Peterson 16-27-0-163-2. Receiving – Fitzgerald 9-45, Johnson 2-64, Bradley Rakich 2-20, Cooper Hoffman 2-31, Jacob Ogurek 1-3.