HAMILTON — Tyson Bauder had a hand in three touchdowns and intercepted a pass on defense to help No. 3 Hamilton past Bigfork 35-14 Friday night in a matchup of Class A unbeatens.
The Broncs opened the scoring with an 8-yard touchdown run from Andrew Frederick in the opening minutes of the game, but the teams battled to a stalemate for much of the rest of the first half. The Vikings used their physical, multi-faceted rushing attack to control tempo and limit Hamilton’s high-powered offense as both teams struggled to cap long sustained drives with points. Hamilton eventually broke through for its second touchdown with a 16-yard pass from Bader to Jaxon Spender with 1:30 to play in the second quarter.
“(Bigfork is) very good up front and they run very good schemes, so it took us a little bit to kind of figure out what they wanted to do and what they were doing to us,” seventh-year Hamilton coach Bryce Carver said. “Once we were able to sit down and talk about it at halftime, our kids came out and did a good job of shutting down their run game.”
The Broncs seized control in the third quarter with a stifling defense and big-play offense. Bauder, Hamilton’s dual-threat senior quarterback, connected with Frederick for a 35-yard touchdown pass and then ran in an 8-yard score of his own. That put Hamilton up 28-0 going to the fourth.
“We like to get the ball in space to our guys, and I think we started doing that (in the second half),” Carver said. “We were getting blocks down field, guys were making guys miss. We finally started connecting on things we saw in the first half that we missed on. Being able to connect on some of those and execute on them finally allowed us to stretch that open.”
Bigfork found a little footing in the fourth, getting touchdowns from Wyatt Johnson and Elijah Thorness. James Rall added one more Hamilton touchdown, as the Broncs improved to 3-0 with the 35-14 win. Hamilton travels to Stevensville next Friday, while Bigfork (2-1) returns home to host Libby.
Elsewhere in Class A ...
No. 1 Lewistown 35, Sidney 0
No. 4 Dillon 21, No. 2 Columbia Falls 19
No. 5 Billings Central 50, East Helena 6
Browning 49, Stevensville 27
Corvallis 7, Whitefish 0
Havre 36, Miles City 18
Laurel 40, Hardin 0
Lockwood 21, Glendive 14
Polson 42, Butte Central 20
Ronan 20, Libby 19