BILLINGS — Billings Senior lineman Brody Schwartz liked the sounds of home.
The Broncs liked the feel of playing at home, too.
In their first home game in three weeks, on Homecoming, no less, the Broncs defeated Belgrade 28-0 Friday night in Class AA football at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium.
Senior scored 14 points in the second quarter and got a touchdown from Brock Ping in the third and fourth quarters to win its second straight.
“I love having the home crowd on our side, you know, not getting booed when we walk on the field,” Schwartz said with a bit of a laugh as the Senior drum corps banged away on the field after the game. “It felt really nice to be able to be home.”
Belgrade is in its first season of AA football, and the Panthers have been competitive. They were again against the Broncs, playing Senior to a scoreless stalemate through the first quarter.
Junior Bergen, though, got things rolling for Senior with 8:00 left in the second quarter when he returned an interception 50 yards for a score. A couple possessions later, quarterback Michael Ohlin found Oran Nash-Bergen over the middle for 22 yards and another touchdown on 4th-and-7 and, after two Jacksen Burckley PATs, Senior took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
Ping scored on runs of 13 and 49 yards to help ice the game and the Broncs’ defense recorded its first shutout of the season. Ping rushed 29 times for 152 yards, and Senior gained 220 yards on the ground and 150 yards passing. Belgrade was held to 78 rushing yards and 33 passing yards.
“Our kids played really physical,” Senior coach Chris Murdock said. “(Belgrade’s) a very physical football team and they try and run the ball and I’m super proud of our kids because they matched that physicality.”
Belgrade (0-4) was shut out for the second time in four games, this one coming two weeks after the Panthers lost to Great Falls CMR in overtime. Belgrade, which moved into the Class AA classification beginning this school year, had a bye last week and is home to Great Falls next week.
“I would say Senior came out and punched us in the mouth tonight,” Belgrade coach Eric Kinnaman said. “They’re the most physical team we’ve played up to this point in the season. We were kind of preparing for the screens and the passing game and they came right at us. Senior came out and run power at us all night long.”
The Broncs (2-3) get to stay in Billings next week, as well. They’ll take on defending AA champion and top-ranked Billings West (4-0) Friday at Daylis Stadium.
“We’re starting to focus as a team, we’ve got better morale, I think our chemistry has gone up,” said Schwartz, a senior who played on both offensive and defensive lines for the Broncs. “I think now we realize we have to take each game week by week.”
Nick Eliason also had an interception for the Broncs. Tate Bowler, Brady Mounts and Brody Blossom had interceptions for Belgrade.