MILES CITY -- Miles City's Carson Hunter and Hamilton's Carson Rostad have been among the state's best quarterbacks in 2019. The pair will meet in the State A football playoffs semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Miles City with a berth in the title-game on the line.
The Cowboys lost to the Broncs in the playoffs last year, but Miles City is a different animal this season. Miles City's offense is among the most explosive in the state, while Hamilton still has its record-setting quarterback. Saturday could turn into quite the quarterback duel between Rostad and Hunter.
"We haven’t watched a lot of Hamilton this year, but we played them last year in the quarterfinals. They put it to us pretty good. I think our kids remember that," Miles City head coach Jeff Regan said. "We have our work cut out for us, because Carson Rostad is one of the best players in the state. I don’t write headings or anything, but it’s Carson versus Carson, right? I like our Carson, too, and their Carson is great. If you’re a football fan, it should be fun to come watch.”
Defense will be key for the Cowboys on Saturday afternoon. Hamilton owns back-to-back title-game appearances under Rostad. Slowing the University of Montana commit and Hamilton's explosive offense down will be the top priority for Miles City.
"They're really, really well-coached, and they do what they do really well," Regan said. "They can run the ball well with two guys, Carson and their running back is really good. Then they have a good stable of receivers they can throw to, so it's a tough task for us."
"He's a really good player. He's a big threat for them. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball," Miles City defensive back Jayden Venable said. "All around everybody is going to have to do their job and just play a big part in stopping them. Everybody get to their coverages. It's going to be a tough one."
Miles City’s defense is among the most dominant in the state, allowing just north of seven points per game. That’s the recipe the Cowboys will likely need to get back to their first championship since winning it all in 2010.
Miles City and Hamilton are set to kick off at 1 p.m. at Connor’s Stadium Saturday afternoon. The winner will be in next weekend's championship game against Laurel, which defeated Dillon 21-12 on Friday evening in the other Class A semifinal.