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Brawl of the Wild: Montana, Montana State rosters feature 92 Treasure State natives

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Posted at 4:04 PM, Nov 17, 2023

MISSOULA — When No. 3 Montana and No. 4 Montana State take the field for the annual Cat-Griz football game Saturday, the programs will feature a combined 92 Treasure State natives.

The Grizzlies have 47 Montana natives on their roster, including the defense's five leading tacklers: Braxton Hill from Anaconda, Ryder Meyer from Fairfield, and Tyler Flink (Big Sky High School), Ryan Tirrell (Loyola) and Levi Janacaro (Big Sky) from Missoula. Hill, Flink, Tirrell and Janacaro are linebackers, while Meyer plays safety.

Forty-five Bobcats hail from the Treasure State, including their defense's four leading tacklers: linebackers Nolan Askelson and McCade O'Reilly from Billings Senior High and Bozeman, respectively, safety Rylan Ortt from Missoula Sentinel and defensive end Brody Grebe from Melstone. Grebe, who leads MSU with 7.5 sacks this season, played high school football as part of a cooperative team between Melstone and Class B Roundup.

Bozeman and Missoula have contributed the most players to this year's rivalry game, with each town producing 16 total players on the two rosters. Bozeman High has the most players of a single school in the game. Five former Hawks play for the Griz — receiver Ryan Simpson, quarterback Kris Brown, receiver Brady Lang, safety Padraig Lang and linebacker Asher Croy.

For the Cats, linebacker O'Reilly, defensive end Kenneth Eiden IV, tight ends Luke Smith and Ryan Lonergan, offensive linemen Everett Carr, Justus Perkins and Jaden Perkins and defensive lineman Jaren Perkins graduated from Bozeman High.

Billings, Montana's largest city with more than 117,000 people, has 12 players between both teams.

Melstone, population 131 in 2021, is Montana's smallest town represented on the rosters. Brody Grebe's younger brother Bryce, who finished his high school career playing for the Custer-Hysham-Melstone 6-Man football co-op, is also a freshman for the Bobcats. Like Bryce Grebe, Montana defensive lineman Sloan McPherson from Savage and Montana State tight end Treyton Pickering from Sunburst transitioned from playing 6-Man football in high school.

Only two players — Bobcats Kade Cutler and Hunter Sharbono — finished their high school careers playing 8-Man football in Montana. Cutler was part of the Flint Creek co-op of Drummond and Philipsburg, while Sharbono came to Bozeman from Fairview.

Montana safety Jaxon Lee started his high school career at Flint Creek, where he won back-to-back state championships, but finished at Class AA Sentinel in Missoula. Griz cornerback Jace Klucewich also finished at Sentinel after starting his high school career at Frenchtown. Croy also represents two Montana communities after starting at Huntley Project and finishing at Bozeman High.

Below is a list of the Montana natives on the Cats and Griz rosters for the 122nd Brawl of the Wild, which kicks off at noon Saturday and will be broadcast statewide on the Montana Television Network's local CBS affiliates.

Montana State Bobcats from Montana

Eli Aby, LB, Laurel
Michael Armstrong, S, Bozeman Gallatin
Nolan Askelson, LB, Billings Senior
Paul Brott, DL, Billings West
Everett Carr, OL, Bozeman High
Tom Carter, WR, Helena Capital
Zac Crews, DE, Missoula Sentinel
Kade Cutler, DB, Philipsburg (Flint Creek co-op)
Neil Daily, LB, Billings West
JJ Dolan, DB, Missoula Sentinel
Caden Dowler, DB, Billings West
Taco Dowler, WR, Billings West
Patrick Duchien, QB, Florence
Kenneth Eiden IV, DE, Bozeman
Jace Fitzgerald, LB, Dillon
Brody Grebe, DE, Melstone (Roundup-Melstone co-op)
Bryce Grebe, LB, Melstone (Custer-Hysham-Melstone co-op)
Adam Jones, RB, Missoula Sentinel
Casey Kautzman, K/P, Butte High
Ryan Krahe, LB, Great Falls High
Ryan Lonergan, TE, Bozeman High
Jonathan Luhmann, OL, Florence
Talon Marsh, DL, Helena Capital
Burke Mastel, OL, Red Lodge
Tommy Mellott, QB, Butte High
Max Murphy, FB, Billings West
Tommy Nilson, OL, Missoula Hellgate
McCade O'Reilly, LB, Bozeman High
Rylan Ortt, DB, Missoula Sentinel
Jaden Perkins, OL, Bozeman High
Jaren Perkins, DL, Bozeman High
Justus Perkins, OL, Bozeman High
Colter Petre, DB, Helena High
Treyton Pickering, TE, Sunburst
Elijah Reynolds, TE, Red Lodge
Aaron Richards, OL, Butte Central
Cole Sain, OL, Darby
Holden Sampson, OL, Helena High
Rylan Schlepp, TE, Bozeman Gallatin
Hunter Sharbono, DL, Fairview
Luke Smith, TE, Bozeman High
Lane Sumner, RB, Huntley Project
Cole Taylor, LB, Great Falls CMR
Jake Vigen, DE, Bozeman Gallatin
Marcus Wehr, OL, Billings Central

Montana Grizzlies from Montana

Junior Bergen, WR, Billings Senior
Dillon Botner, OL, Whitefish
Kade Boyd, S, Billings Central
Kris Brown, QB, Bozeman High
Austin Buehler, OL, Helena Capital
Asher Croy, LB, Bozeman High (Huntley Project before that)
Beau Dantic, RB, Laurel
Drew Deck, WR, Kalispell Glacier
Kellen Detrick, DL, Havre
Marcus Evans, LB, Helena High
Ian Finch, WR, Missoula Hellgate
Tyler Flink, LB, Missoula Big Sky
Trevin Gradney, CB, Billings West
Garrett Graves, S, Eureka
Journey Grimsrud, OL, Huntley Project
Cameron Gurnsey, WR, Butte High
Braunson Henriksen, OL, Polson
Braxton Hill, LB, Anaconda
Tanner Huff, CB, Butte High
Kaden Huot, QB, Helena High
Levi Janacaro, LB, Missoula Big Sky
Jace Klucewich, CB, Frenchtown (Missoula Sentinel)
Drew Klumph, WR, Missoula Sentinel
David Koppang, S, Missoula Loyola
Brady Lang, WR, Bozeman High
Padraig Lang, S, Bozeman High
Jaxon Lee, S, Missoula Sentinel (Flint Creek co-op before that)
Geno Leonard, LB, Missoula Sentinel
Gabe Longin, S, Great Falls High
Chase McGurran, S, Helena
Sloan McPherson, DL, Savage
Ryder Meyer, S, Fairfield
Henry Nuce, DL, Kalispell Glacier
Jake Olson, TE, Butte High
Hayden Opitz, LB, Helena Capital
Clay Oven, DE, Billings Central
TJ Rausch, S, Missoula Sentinel
Carson Rostad, LB, Hamilton
Tyson Rostad, S, Hamilton
Ryan Simpson, WR, Bozeman High
Gage Sliter, QB, Kalispell Glacier
Dylan Smith, DL, Whitehall
Cy Stevenson, LB, Libby
Tate Templeton, OL, Missoula Sentinel
Ryan Tirrell, LB, Missoula Loyola
Jaxon Tucker, DL, Billings West
Joe Weida, TE, Missoula Sentinel