BIG TIMBER — The Big Timber football team is 4-0 and No. 5 in Class B, largely thanks to the play of quarterback Blake Finn. Finn has yet to throw an interception this season and has guided the Herders’ offense to an average of 38.5 points per game. His top target, wide receiver Casey Gunlikson, heaped the praises on his gunslinger.
“(Finn) — smart, love him,” Gunlikson said. “He’s quick on his feet, he can scramble. I don’t know if he’s had an interception this year, so like I said, he’s pretty smart. Just having him as my QB, I wouldn’t want anyone else. I don’t know what I’d do without him, honestly.”
Gunlikson, a Class B state champion sprinter, had four touchdowns in Big Timber’s recent win over Townsend. His game-breaking speed is a nightmare for opposing coaches to prepare for, but the Herders are loaded with offensive weapons.
From Finn and Gunlikson to wide receiver Kell Schwers and running back Orry Carrocia, Big Timber forces defenses to defend it sideline to sideline. Even with those weapons, it’s Finn that head coach JV Moody pinpoints as his best player.
“(Finn) is probably the best football player we have on the team,” Moody said. “The leadership is second to none. The toughness, his smarts. He’s the smartest football player on the team, too. He just knows the game, he knows where to be. He’s very athletic, he’s very physical and he’s again, a great, great leader and he gets everyone going the right way.”
The athleticism runs in the family for Finn. His older brother, Brent, played college basketball at Dawson Community College and currently plays at Texas A&M International. His younger sister, Bailey, is an Elks Hoop Shoot national champion, as was Blake in 2010.
Finn, however, knows his athleticism isn’t his best trait on the football field.
“I’m not the fastest or anything, but I think I’m really smart and I go to the right spots,” Finn said. “And play hard with the team. We have a great team, so it’s really fun.”
It would be easy, with a team full of spectacular athletes all over the field, for Finn to be overshadowed, but Moody isn’t shy to say that Finn shines above the rest.
“I would never say (Finn) wasn’t the best athlete in anything, because if you look at the overall Blake Finn, he can stack up against anybody,” said Moody. “He might not be the fastest, he might not be the quickest, he might not be able to throw it as far or make as many baskets, but he is an athlete through and through. So there’s not one part of me that’s going to say that Blake Finn isn’t the best athlete anywhere.”
Hard to argue. Finn has Big Timber positioned for its first conference title under Moody. Big Timber also has a chance to run the table and finish the regular season undefeated. But for now, the Herders are taking things one step at a time.
“We don’t think about (being undefeated),” Moody said. “We think about the next game and what we’ve got to do to take care of that next rung on the ladder.”