Billings West knocks off Braves, 42-20

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Billings West defensive back Jesse Owen (3) breaks up a pass intended for Flathead's AJ Jones in the end zone in the fourth quarter at Legends Stadium on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

A three-touchdown deficit after the first quarter proved too much for the Flathead Braves to overcome.

Flathead was 2-0 coming into the Class AA football outing against Billings West Friday at Legends Stadium.

West dealt Flathead its first loss of the season, 42-20.

“Credit to Billings West,” Flathead coach Kyle Samson said. “I thought they did a great job. I thought we started slow, but give all the credit to them, they’re a good football team.”

The Bears (2-1) came out swinging and took full advantage. Within the first 10 minutes of the first quarter, the Braves trailed West by two touchdowns. A 4-yard carry by Blake Counts at 8:31 in the second made it 21-7 and got the Braves as close to West as they’d be all game.

“They started fast,” Samson said. “They got some points early and we weren’t able to come back from that. We’ve got to have a better start to the game but we’ll get it fixed up and I know our kids will be ready to work next week.”

West outrushed Flathead 234-218 led by DeMarcus Carr’s 222. Quarterback Josh Ehrbacher completed 10 of 14 passing attempts.

Flathead couldn’t seem to find a rhythm in its passing game and West made the most of that opportunity.

Flathead QB Jaden MacNeil threw for 74 yards, rushed for 96 and Counts rushed for 139 yards.

Samson won’t let his team dwell on this loss, however. There’s still a lot of football yet to be played.

“We’ve got to move on and we’ve got to learn from it,” he said. “We made some mistakes tonight but they’re a good football team. One game’s not going to define our season. We’ve got to come back and work hard and I know that our team will come back ready to go. “

Next up for Flathead is Missoula Sentinel.

Billings West 21 7 7 7 — 42

Flathead 0 13 0 7 — 20

First quarter

W – Alex Bruns 14 pass from Josh Erbacher (Zack Figg kick) 9:06

W - DeMarcus Carr 84 run (kick good) 7:44

W – Carr 1 run (Figg kick) :56

Second quarter

F – Blake Counts 4 run (Eric Gardner kick) 8:31

W – Carr 6 run (kick good) 5:04

F – Logan Siblerud 20 pass from Jaden MacNeil (kick no good) 1:16

Third quarter

W – Connor Ryan 41 pass from Erbacher (kick good) 10:57

Fourth quarter

W – Carr 2 run (David Merrick kick) 7:40

F – Counts 3 run (kick good) :55

WST FLA

First downs 18 21

Rushes-yards 27-234 55-218

Passing yards 196 74

Comp-Att-Int 10-14-0 6-15-0

Total offense 430 292

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Punts-avg 1-38 5-33

Penalties-yards 6-60 6-61

Individual Stats

RUSHING – WST: DeMarcus Carr 20-230, Josh Ehrbacher 3-7, Josh Ehrbacher 1-5, Aidan Potter 1-3. FLA: Blake Counts 31-139, Jaden MacNeil 18-96, Chance Sheldon-Allen 3-10, Travis McCully 1-8.

PASSING – WST: Josh Ehrbacher 10-14--0-196. FLA: Jaden MacNeil 6-15--0-74.

RECEIVING – WST: Jesse Owens 4-45, Connor Ryan 2-51, Alex Bruns 2-35, Josh Ehrbacher 1-46. FLA: Logan Siblerud 3-41, Kaden Willis 1-12, Chance Sheldon-Allen 1-11, Anthony Jones 1-10.

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