BILLINGS — Michael DeLeon knows he’s not likely to overthrow Demarcus Carr as the focal point of Billings West’s rushing attack.
But while Carr, who was 14 yards shy of 2,000 last season, is on the mend from an ankle injury, DeLeon has been doing a pretty good impression.
DeLeon scored twice and quarterback Josh Erbacher threw touchdown passes to four different receivers as the top-ranked Golden Bears defeated Billings Skyview 40-3 Friday night at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium.
DeLeon carried the ball 18 times for 115 yards. He’s gained 241 yards on 47 carries in West’s three games.
“I feel like the whole team comes together, it’s not really one person,” DeLeon, a sophomore, said of his early-season workload. “I’m just kind of trying to show myself and help out the team since Demarcus is out. He’s the best running back in the state.”
West coach Rob Stanton said he’s hopeful Carr will be ready for next week’s home game against Great Falls CMR.
In the meantime, Stanton watched his squad have another strong showing on its way to a 3-0 start. Neil Daily, Connor Ryan, Hunter Morse and Taco Dowler (who also had an interception) hauled in scoring strikes from Erbacher, for the Bears, who have topped 40 points in each of their first three games.
Erbacher has completed 81% of his passes (51 for 63) and thrown for 863 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior receiver Connor Ryan has caught 12 passes for 453 yards, averaging nearly 38 yards per catch for the defending Class AA champions.
Three times Skyview got within the Bears’ 10. But in those three trips all the Falcons came away with was Jackson Willem’s 20-yard field goal. West has given up 16 points this season.
“Matt Hollowell, he’s our defensive coordinator, and there’s not a defensive coach in the land that likes to give up points,” Stanton said. “Skyview got us in a couple things, but obviously we don’t like to give up any points. We’re proud of our defensive effort.”
Quarterback Brenner Bushfield rushed for 64 yards and threw for 75 for the Falcons, who dropped to 0-3. Coach Nathan Wahl said he sensed progress being made by the Falcons, but are still searching for consistency.
“I think we’re going to come back (after watching film) and see a lot of positives from this game,” said the second-year coach. “But we don’t just turn into a powerhouse just like that. It just doesn’t turn that way because we do things well. You have to ingrain that discipline so it is every play and it’s not two steps up, one step back.”