Hamilton set to battle Billings Central for state championship berth


MISSOULA, Mont. - For the first time since 2000 the Hamilton Broncs are into the semifinals of the Class A football playoffs. Saturday afternoon they host Billings Central with an opportunity to get one step closer to finishing a dream season. They come into Saturday's contest with a 9-1 record and as one of the dominant teams in Class A. Their success comes under the leadership of a first-year head coach. "It has been great," said head coach Bryce Carver, who played receiver for the Montana Grizzlies in college. "Obviously when you are winning it makes things a lot easier. I have got a great group of kids, a great staff, great support from the community," said Carver. Hamilton is led by their powerhouse offense. Last week in the semifinals against Glendive they put up 47 points. "We just like to pound the rock and make sure our quarterback stays clean," said senior offensive lineman Zach Fussell. A balanced offense with playmakers all over the field has the Broncs on the doorstep of a state championship appearance. "It just all starts with the line," said senior running back Bridger Bauder. "They are blocking amazing this year, and without them we would not be the team that we are. They are a huge part of our team." The 2017 Broncs are inspired by the only two state championship teams from 1997 and 1998. "We always try to talk about that and believed that we can do it because it is a long road," said Fussell. "We have been talking about it since seventh grade, all the way back in middle school," said senior wide receiver Tyler Chouinard. "So it definitely means a lot." Saturday's semifinal features two teams that have not lost since early September. The Broncs know the challenge they are set to face. "I know we have got people from the previous championship teams coming to watch, so hopefully we can put on a show for them and come out victorious," Fussell said. "We have come through so far, and hopefully we can get the big win on Saturday," said Bauder. Hamilton and Billings Central square off Saturday at 1 p.m. at Haynes Field in Hamilton.

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