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Killer B's: Bergen-Burckley connection leading Billings Senior

Jacksen Burckley
Posted at 10:41 AM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 12:41:35-04

BILLINGS — When Junior Bergen trotted out as Billings Senior’s starting quarterback in Week 1, it might have been the best-kept secret in Montana. He barely knew.

“Most of my offseason was at receiver," Bergen said. "I was ready to go at receiver, and then right as soon as camp started, I started getting some quarterback reps, and then last week I started getting all the reps.”

Head coach Chris Murdock made a good call there. The Broncs' dual-threat offense has thrived under Bergen. His highlight reel is already full of show-stopping runs, but maybe the first-year QB’s most impressive plays have been through the air, usually with Jacksen Burckley on the end of them.

“Me and Jacksen have best friends since like fifth grade, so it kind of made everything easy. Our chemistry is there," Bergen said.

“Been on baseball teams together, basketball teams. I guess we’ve just got it," Burckley added.

The duo’s bread and butter is a post route that they hit for a touchdown in each of the first two games - as the 6-foot-5 Burckley simply out-jumps the defenders.

“It’s kind of been like a play we’ve gone to all week," Bergen said after the Week 1 TD connection. "It was just time to make the play.”

“I guess we just trust each other enough. He knows I can get up and get it," said Burckley.

But his job isn’t over at that point. Burckley has to turn six points into seven, as the team’s place kicker.

“I’ve been playing soccer forever, and then freshman year I started kicking footballs. Murdock told me to start kicking so I did.," Burckley said. "I love being out there on the field as much as I can be.”

He’s also the punter and kickoff specialist, with his best kicks usually coming after those jump balls.

“I guess after those touchdowns I have a little adrenaline going," he said with a smile.

The 3-0 Broncs are hoping the rush continues Friday as they take on rival Billings West, who is also 3-0. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Daylis Stadium.