CHARLO — Kade Cutler had just finished up greeting family members and friends on the sidelines of the Charlo High football field after the Drummond-Philipsburg Titans' dominant 46-0 8-Man West road win over the Vikings.
Parents and fans could be heard yelling, "good game, Kade," while family members embraced him.
It's easy to see why Cutler gets the love that he does after a Titans game. The Montana State football commit is rolling over 8-Man defenses in his final high school season.
Aside from a good arm, speed, and the ability to play defense, it's hard not to notice how physical Cutler is for a quarterback. A 15-yard scramble where he has to reverse field twice can be capped off with him lowering the shoulder to three defenders. A goal-line run with no holes can turn to Cutler hurdling a lineman, then having to be brought down by five players while the referee whistles are blaring.
Forget about pushing Cutler to the sidelines. If you want the play to end, you have to take him down.
"That's what we were taught since we were young," said Cutler. "Just being the most physical team we can be and that's what we thrive on."
Cutler has been a key piece for the Titans the past two years on both sides of the ball, playing defensive back, as well.
The Titans won back-to-back state titles in 2017 and 2018, making them a known threat in 8-Man. However, last season they didn't play up to their expectations and lost to Great Falls Central in the second round of the playoffs.
In 2020, the Titans look recharged and ready to make another deep playoff run in Cutler's final season.
"It starts in the spring in the weight room," said Cutler. "We've been lifting since March 1, right after basketball. Every morning starting at 6 a.m., that's just what we do. Then we go to track practice. We call track 'spring football.' That's truly what it is for us, we love football season."
So far, the Titans are out to a good start on their redemption tour. Through four games, Cutler has passed for 398 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he's rushed 48 times for 397 yards and seven more touchdowns. The confident win over Charlo pushed them to 4-0 and took them to second place in the 8-Man West standings.
They stand a half-game back of the 5-0 Thompson Falls Blue Hawks, because Drummond-Philipsburg had to cancel a game earlier this season due to COVID-19.
While the Titans are perfect so far, the end goal is clear and they aren't getting ahead of themselves.
"Obviously we have to win the rest of the regular season and then once we get to the playoffs, go from there," said Cutler. "The goal is a state chipper, but we've got one week at a time and Seeley next week."
The Titans host the Seeley-Swan Blackhawks (1-3) Saturday at 7 p.m.