BUTTE -- Frenchtown may have started slow on Thursday, but the Broncs finished anything but in a 43-12 Class A football rout over Butte Central at Bob Green Field on the campus of Montana Tech.
One week after dropping a heart-breaking opener by a touchdown to Dillon, Frenchtown found its stride in the second half on Thursday, scoring often on offense and defense while controlling the Maroons' offensive efforts.
Frenchtown scored a pair defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter, turning a 16-point game into a blowout down the stretch. The Broncs returned a fumble for a score, and Carson Shepard's pick-6 ended the scoring late in the contest.
Fans in the Mining City watched a sluggish first half, as the Maroons, who forfeited last week's season-opening game against Hamilton, went into the locker room tied at 6 with the Broncs. Brandon Finley hauled in the first score of the game for Frenchtown on a pass from senior quarterback Wyatt Hayes, but BC knotted the game with a Konnor Pochervina touchdown reception in the final minute of the first half.
Hayes made key plays in the second half, starting with a short rushing touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion to Finley that put the Broncs up 14-6. Following a Finley interception, Hayes found Tel Arthur for his third touchdown of the game, and a two-point conversion extended the lead to 22-6 after three.
A fumble return for a score put the Broncs in complete control, and despite a Drew Badovinac touchdown pass for the Maroons that cut the deficit to 17, the damage was done.
Sully Belcourt rumbled nearly 50 yards on an end-around, then Shepard finished things off with the interception return for a touchdown that moved the Broncs to 1-1 on the young season. Frenchtown hosts Corvallis on Friday, Sept. 11.
Butte Central dropped to 0-2 and faces Dillon in Week 3.