Cowboys vs. Dillon
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
Here's Dillon's season-to-date info. I've included the game-by-game stats for their quarterback, J.T. Linder.

vs. Livingston - W, 50-0 (11-16-206-4-1)
at Laurel - W, 28-12 (12-20-189-2-1)
vs. Columbia Falls - W, 28-0 (2-4-21-0-0 - Linder was injured and replaced by Ben Folsom, who passed for 6-14-141-0-1 and rushed for 13-85-2)
at Hamilton - W, 38-17 (Folsom: 14-24-257-3-0, 10-89-1 rushing)
at Corvallis - W, 53-6 (Linder: 24-32-283-5-0)
vs. Anaconda - W, 45-6 (6-9-111-2-0)
at Frenchtown - W, 47-0 (19-30-262-4-2)
vs. Stevensville - W, 47-0 (9-15-104-0-1)
vs. Belgrade - W, 49-26 (11-22-186-0-0, 20-95-5 rushing)

Overall record: 9-0 (5-0 conference)
Points scored: 385 (42.8 ppg)
Points allowed: 67 (7.4 ppg)
Rushing offense: 291-1703-32 (189.2 ypg)
Passing offense: 121-197-1897-21-6 (210.8 ypg)
Total offense: 488-3600-53 (400.0 ypg)

Unfortunately, I don't have cumulative defensive stats for Dillon.

Linder's stats: 94-148-1361-17-5 passing, 68-286-8 rushing

Leading rushers: Kyle Cox (74-490-7), Garrett Altenburg (65-404-6), Linder (68-286-8), Ben Folsom (45-225-6). Cox's best game was against Anaconda, when he rushed for 9-130-2. Altenburg's best, a 16-101-1 effort, came against Frenchtown. Linder, who is definitely a pass-first quarterback, rushed for 20-95-5 last week against Belgrade. The bulk of Folsom's rushing yards coincided with his time filling in behind center. He did not play last week.

Leading receivers: Hunter Johnson (29-535-8), Wes Knox (18-326-1), Folsom (25-276-4), Austin Williams (12-338-2). Johnson's best game was against Frenchtown, when he caught seven passes for 152 yards and four scores from Linder. Williams, who missed three games before coming back in time for the Belgrade game, averages only two receptions per contest, but 28.2 yards per catch (including an 83-yarder against Laurel).

Dillon, which has been known for its passing game, has been very balanced on offense this season. Somewhat surprisingly, of the four semifinal teams, the Beavers have the second-most prolific rushing attack (behind Miles City). It should be noted that 12 of Dillon's scores on the ground have come in the last two games, including 7 against Belgrade. Linder actually hasn't passed for a score over the last two games, but has thrown for at least 4 scores in three separate games.

While Miles City has the best record among Class A teams since 1980 (219-77, .740 win percentage), Dillon has had the most success over the last decade. Since 2000, when the Beavers won their first championship under coach Terry Thomas, Dillon is 96-16 (.857) with four titles (2000, 2003, 2005, 2006). With the exception of 2006, the Beavers' road to their championships went through the Cowboys. Here's the history:

2000 quarterfinals (A) - Dillon 17, Miles City 14 (Justin Venn rushed for 150 yards and a pair of scores, but the Cowboys had too many turnovers to overcome).

2003 championship (A) - Dillon 19, Miles City 15 (Both teams entered the contest with identical undefeated records and different styles. The Beavers' passing game trumped the Cowboys' rushing attack in a controversial contest. This was Ed Rohloff's last game as CCDHS head coach).

2005 quarterfinals (H) - Dillon 24, Miles City 21 (Triple overtime; missed opportunities on offense spoiled an outstanding defensive effort against the high-powered Dillon offense. Miles City held Zach McRae to his worst passing game (6-15-55-1-1) of the season, but the Cowboys offense became too one-dimensional at the end of the contest).

The teams also met in 1995, with the Cowboys coming out on the good side of a 41-6 thumping at Denton Field. In my haste to post tidbits after the Columbia Falls game, I stated incorrectly that the Cowboys have only had two players both rush for 100 or more yards in a playoff games two times. This has actually happened three times - this game marked the first. Jase Wagner rushed for 9-126-1 and Joe Baker added 17-122-1.

As I've stated before, Dillon makes me a bit nervous. They have a well-balanced team and they excel on both sides of the ball. That having been said, I believe the Cowboys have a number of factors in their favor:

1.) The game is at Denton Field. No need to gild the lily with an explanation.

2.) I think the Cowboys have played a tougher schedule. Miles City has played against some weak teams (Glendive, Hardin), but Dillon has faced some absolute cupcakes (Livingston, Corvallis and Anaconda). The regular season win percentage of Dillon's opponents this season is .400. Miles City's is .553.

3.) CCDHS has a size advantage and have a history of shutting down high-powered teams, especially in the playoffs. I've got to think the Cowboys 'D' will continue to swarm to the ball and put a hurt on the ballcarrier. Dampening the Beavers' enthusiasm will be key.

4.) I'll admit I can't quantify this, but I think the Cowboys are due for a win against Dillon. None of the players on the current CCDHS roster played in 2005, but I can't help but feel that they are aware of how disappointing that loss was. I hope it gives them a few extra foot-pounds of force on Saturday.

Whichever way the game goes, I think it'll be close. Very close. My prediction: 20-17, Cowboys.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
Butte Central (9-1) hosts Billings Central (9-0) in the other semifinal. Billings Central escaped with 17-16 overtime win at Daylis early in the season. This time around, I think the Maroons will return the favor, convincingly.

In Slim Kimmel's "What I'll Be Watching" column on the Gazette website (http://billingsgazette.co...002e0.html) described the Maroons as a "run-first team." They're not. They're actually just as balanced as Dillon is. They're also playing a lot better football than they did in early September.

Jonathan Richards is Butte Central's quarterback and is as versatile a player as you'll find at the Class A level. A starter since he was a freshman, he's led the Maroons in rushing (2008), receiving (2009) and now in passing (2010). He's accumulated over 1,000 career yards in each category.

Since taking over for Andy Ritter - who passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2009 - he's been even better. Richards has completed 92 of his 147 attempts for 1593 yards and 19 touchdowns. He's been intercepted only twice. He's added 86-375-6 on the ground and caught 15 balls for 156 yards and a score when Ritter was behind center.

Richards' primary target has been Phil Antonioli, who has caught 48 balls for 889 yards and 11 scores. Antonioli has four 100-yard receiving games. Butte Central is led in rushing by Zach Kasperick, who has topped 100 yards five times and has totalled 875 yards and 12 TDs on 120 carries. Ritter, who missed only one game with a shoulder injury, has rushed for 50-204-6 and caught 22 passes for 306 yards and another score.

Here's Butte Central's game-by-game and season-to-date info (with Richards' passing stats, Antonioli's receiving stats and Kasperick's rushing stats):

at Anaconda - W, 42-0 (R: 1-1-62-1-0; A: 3-76-0; K: 2-24-0)
at Billings Central - L, 17-16 (A: 4-44-0; K: 4-20-1)
at Ronan - W, 31-0 (R: 4-9-72-1-0; A: 3-72-1; K: 14-115-1)
vs. Laurel - W, 19-6 (R: 12-19-205-2-0; A: 9-136-2; K: 11-100-0)
vs. Livingston - W, 51-14 (R: 8-8-164-3-0; A: 6-119-2; K: 8-82-3)
at Havre - W, 42-13 (R: 11-23-243-1-0; A: 3-74-1; K: 23-181-3)
vs. Belgrade - W, 21-12 (R: 14-20-162-1-0; A: 7-112-1; K: 15-73-0)
vs. Browning - W, 54-12 (R: 13-23-202-4-0, 8-83-1; A: 3-51-2; K: 8-52-1)
at Lewistown - W, 28-14 (R: 13-24-186-3-1, 11-79-0; A: 6-115-1; K: 25-119-1)
vs. Polson - W, 49-14 (R: 16-20-297-3-1; A: 4-90-1; K: 13-104-2)

Overall record: 9-1 (5-0 conference)
Points scored: 353 (35.3 ppg)
Points allowed: 102 (10.2 ppg)

Rushing offense: 299-1606-25 (160.6 ypg)
Passing offense: 130-213-2043-20-3 (204.3 ypg)
Total offense: 512-3649-45 (364.9 ypg)

Rushing defense: 239-811-4 (81.1 ypg)
Passing defense: 96-219-1398-10-13 (139.8 ypg)
Total defense: 458-2209-14 (220.9 ypg)

Of course, Billings Central is still Billings Central. With a victory, the Rams would match Sidney's (1990-93) run of four consecutive seasons with double-digit victories. While Billings Central has only one title (2007) to show for their recent dominance, the Rams have played in the chipper in each of the past three seasons. BC has the second-best record in Class A since 2000 (82-30, .732).

For the first time under Jim Stanton, the Rams are passing the ball more effectively than they're running it. Cole Moller's stats are practically identical to Richards'. On the season, Moller has completed 104 of his 151 passes for 1733 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has been picked off only 3 times.

Outside of Moller, the Rams don't have a single go-to guy - they have several. Max Tolstedt leads the team in rushing with 501 yards and 9 touchdowns on 84 carries. James Stanton (40-374-4), Justin MacDonald (26-239-4), Quinn Huppert (30-191-2) and Moller (38-165-2) have also been effective on the ground.

Billings Central's leading receiver is Ryan Burke, who has caught 45 passes for 625 yards and six scores. Joe Barta (23-460-4) and Jacob Stanton (10-288-3) have also notched 100-yard receiving contests this season. MacDonald (10-158-2) and Huppert (3-88-3) are also dangerous as targets out of the backfield.

Here is Billings Central's game-by-game and season-to-date stats (with Moller's passing stats):

vs. Butte Central - W, 17-16 (12-15-197-1-0)
vs. Stevensville - W, 34-13 (12-17-176-2-0; Barta - 5-133-1 receiving)
at Frenchtown - W, 37-14 (15-23-163-2-1; Burke - 9-116-1 receiving)
vs. Miles City - W, 14-0 (10-16-133-2-1)
at Laurel - W, 23-22 (14-23-284-4-1; Jacob Stanton 3-130-1 receiving)
at Hardin - W, 55-12 (12-14-130-1-0)
vs. Glendive - W, 52-0 (7-10-109-2-0; Tolstedt - 6-118-2 rushing)
at Sidney - W, 49-6 (10-11-162-2-0)
vs. Stevensville - W, 53-13 (15-22-358-4-0; Burke - 6-130-2 receiving)

Overall record: 9-0 (5-0 conference)
Points scored: 334 (37.1 ppg)
Points allowed: 96 (10.7 ppg)

Rushing offense: 246-1622-22 (180.2 ypg)
Passing offense: 107-157-1819-19-3 (202.1 ypg)
Total offense: 403-3441-41 (382.3 ypg)

I don't have complete defensive stats for the Rams. Alas, earwax.

I think this game means more to the Maroons than it does to the Rams. I can picture Billings Central getting a bit complacent - I daresay cocky - and end up losing. As I said before, I think Butte Central wins by a couple of scores, let's say 27-17.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
Other nuggets:

- If Miles City and Billings Central both win, it will mark the first time in Class A history that a team (BC) will have had three rematch games in the playoffs. There have been playoff rematches, of course, but no team has ever played three postseason contests against teams it has played previously in the same season.

- If Dillon beats Miles City, 2010 will mark just the second time there will have been three 10-win teams at the Class A level. The first was 2003, when Dillon (11-0), Miles City (10-1) and Havre (10-2) each posted double-digit win totals.

- If Butte Central beats Billings Central, it will mark the first time since 1992 that the Maroons will have advanced to the championship game. Butte Central has qualified for the playoffs 15 times in the last 18 years - including the last 10 in a row. This will be the eighth time since '92 that the Maroons have reached the semifinals.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
For those of you who are interested in such things, here is a comparison of the quarterbacks of the four remaining teams:

Shane Cooley (MC) - 58-123-881-12-5 passing, 170-1201-14 rushing (293-2082-26 total offense).
J.T. Linder (Dil) - 94-148-1361-17-5 passing, 68-286-8 rushing (216-1647-25 total offense).
Cole Moller (BC) - 104-151-1733-18-3 passing, 38-165-2 rushing (189-1898-20 total offense).
Jonathan Richards (BTC) - 92-147-1593-19-2 passing, 86-375-6 rushing (233-1968-25 total offense).

Should Cooley pass for another 119 yards through the air over course of the playoffs, he'll become just the sixth quarterback that I've been able to find with a double-1,000 season. Here's the (known) list:

2001 - Jeff Fischer (Lau) - 99-206-1116-4-17 passing, 212-1296-23 rushing.
2002 - Matt Ritter (BTC) - 129-247-1445-11-12 passing, 172-1050-11 rushing.
2003 - Matt Ritter (BTC) - 112-206-1867-18-8 passing, 164-1043-29 rushing.
2008 - Bryce Carver (Dil) - 168-266-2238-18-11 passing, 188-1105-25 rushing.
2009 - Andy Ritter (BTC) - 139-222-1476-9-12 passing, 190-1138-22 rushing.

And I'm spent.
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supporter
Posted by Shu (+1794) 11 years ago
WOW - that's quite a bit of info! Thanks for that, Brian.

I'm not going to go out on a limb and make any predictions. It seems that we have 4 very good/tough teams vying for all the marbles. I'll just say I'm pulling for the Cowboys and Maroons to be the winners as it would be nice for the Cowboys to host the championship.

One thing you have to give credit to Cooley for is his durability - the guy has done a lot of running and has had to carry the team a number of times. He also seems to stand out on defense, too. I remember reading he had a bad shoulder last year...I guess that hasn't been a problem for him this year. Of course, Dillon will likely game-plan in such a way that they will key on Shane and have a spy or 2 to cover him. How well his teammates can pick-up the slack will be the key in this game. What's more, he has a state wrestling championship to defend, so once football season is over he'll have to get to wrestling practice right away - no rest for him!

GO COWBOYS!
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Posted by gierke (+197) 11 years ago
thanks for all the info! always great to read up on that stuff. home the cowboys show up from the start to play! should be a good game
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
One thing you have to give credit to Cooley for is his durability - the guy has done a lot of running and has had to carry the team a number of times.

Shu - just because I like to quantify things, here's something to chew on: No one in a Cowboy uniform has ever handled the ball more than Cooley has over the course of his career. Between his rushing carries (419) and passing attempts (246), he has 665 offensive plays to his credit. Brennan Haughian was the previous record holder (629 - 575 rushes, 53 catches, 1 pass).

Add to that the total number of snaps he's handled as the Cowboys quarterback, and Cooley is far and away the leader in that category.

Not a bad story: (http://billingsgazette.co...002e0.html). The stats are off a skosh, however.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (11/12/2010)]
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supporter
Posted by JCF (+393) 11 years ago
Great info Brian. These are the best threads on this site - your analysis is excellent, and your research is impressive.

I predict Dillon v. Butte Central in the chipper. Both games are going to be razor thin margins.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
Thanks, JCF. While I hope your predictions are incorrect, I appreciate the praise. Be sure to thank Slosh, though - if he didn't provide the Cowboys' box scores, I wouldn't be able to update anything.
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
Tough game.

With 8:50 left in the 3rd quarter: Dillon 0, Miles City 0.
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
At the end of the 3rd quarter, Dillon 0, Miles City 0 but Miles City will start the 4th quarter 2nd and goal on the 4 yard line.
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
With 10:28 left in the game, touchdown Miles City.

Dillon 0, Miles City 7
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
With 1:36 left in the 4th quarter, Dillon scores a touchdown.

Dillon 8, Miles City 7
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
Holy smokes! With 42 seconds left in the 4th quarter, Miles City scores a touchdown!

Dillon 8, Miles City 13
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supporter
Posted by Sarah Peterson (+374) 11 years ago
Anyone know the score of the BC vs BC game?
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moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 11 years ago
Final: Dillon 8, Miles City 13. What a game!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
WooHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Bring on Central! I don't care which one! Congratulations, Cowboys!
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supporter
Posted by spacekace (+895) 11 years ago
Billings Central on top of Butte Central 21-14 in the 4th quarter.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
C'mon, Maroons!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
Billings Central won (dammit). I don't have a score, though. Rocky Erickson takes about 30 seconds to say ... each ... word ... he ... says ... and I lost patience.
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Posted by boxdmc (+89) 11 years ago
Way to go Cowboys!! Can't wait for next week! Heck, after this weeks game I'm not sure I'll live through next weeks if it's like the one I just watched.
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Posted by Rob (+155) 11 years ago
What a game! Coach Stanton calls a hook and ladder with a minute and a half from his own 20 on second and ten! Worked to perfection and left Dillon shaking their heads. Congrats Cowboys!
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supporter
Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Or a hook and lateral.

Congrats to the Cowboys!

[This message has been edited by Bob L. (11/13/2010)]
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supporter
Posted by Stone (+1596) 11 years ago
Unbelievable game. #75 whoever you are- you were a man beast today.
Cooley was everywhere.

It has always been a hook and ladder in my vocab. Just sayin.
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supporter
Posted by Stone (+1596) 11 years ago
#75 Clint LaRowe and Ryan Armstrong had huge games on the D-Line along with Stanton from his outside LB position.

Some unbelievable offensive plays but defense was absolutely smothering.
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Posted by SherriLynn (+135) 11 years ago
I agree with boxdmc, don't know if my ticker can take another game like that. I was on my knees at the 2 point then seconds later jumping and screaming. Good game boys!
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supporter
Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Looks like I get yet another weekend to hoarsify my voice.

Dillon was lucky to get the one touchdown they did get. I wonder if the coach is second-guessing going for 2 now at the end though.

If it were tied 7-7, the game probably would've gone overtime. I don't think the Cowboys would've been gambling like they had to down 1.

A game for the ages, for sure. Helps make up for 2005 at least.
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Posted by Brandon Loomis (+96) 11 years ago
There probably hasn't been a more thrilling end to a Cowboy game. Looked like Boise St out there.
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supporter
Posted by JCF (+393) 11 years ago
I was 0 for 2 in my predictions. Great win for the Cowboys. Too bad Billings won, or the game would have been in Miles. But After beating Dillon, I think that Miles City will take the title. My prediction (which is apparently worth very little) Miles City 14, Central 3.
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Posted by WATTS (+223) 11 years ago
Now that is a prediction I hope comes true! Lets go Cowboys!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 11 years ago
I think the Cowboys learned more in the earlier meeting this season than the Rams did, and I believe it will work to Miles City's advantage.

Cowboys 20, Central 7
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