HAMILTON — Tim Zohner hadn’t started a playoff football game ever before Saturday.
The senior tailback exploded onto the scene in a big way in Hamilton's State A quarterfinal home game against Miles City.
Zohner, who had 13 carries for 176 yards, scored a career-high five touchdowns, four on the ground and one as a receiver, as the Broncs routed the Cowboys, 52-13.
“First playoff game I’ve started in and I knew I had to show off,” Zohner said. “On film I knew I would have some big gaps and a lot of chances to score, so it worked out how it worked out.”
The Broncs advanced to the semifinals yet again as the top seed out of the West and will host Lewistown next Saturday at 1 p.m.
The win was the ninth for the perfect Broncs, who have now put up at least 44 in each game and have hit the half-century mark three times in their dominant run in 2021.
The Broncs opened the game fast, with a huge first half. By the break they led 46-7 — up from a 13-0 first quarter advantage after the Broncs outscored the Cowboys 33-7 in the second quarter.
Most of that surge in the second came thanks to Zohner.
The senior scored four of his touchdowns in the second quarter. First, he found the end zone off a 69-yard scoot when he took a pitch from teammate Tyson Rostad to put the Broncs up 19-7. The score was pivotal as it answered a Miles City score — quarterback Dalton Polesky found Charlie Lang for a short TD — which at the time made it a one-score game.
Then, after a quick three and out by Miles City, Zohner scored again from short to make it a 25-7 game. Zohner later scored from 11 yards out with a minute left in the half, and once more after a turnover by Miles City to secure the running clock for the entire second half.
“He did a great job today just playing how we’ve known he can play,” Broncs coach Bryce Carver said. “A lot of people don’t know about him just because he really didn’t play for three years and just put in the work in the offseason.”
Rostad finished his day with three scores — two in the air to Tyson Bauder and Zohner, and one on the ground for the first score of the afternoon. Rostad went 12 of 13 passing for 246 yards and added eight runs for 35 yards. Eli Taylor led the Broncs in receiving at five snags for 88 yards.
As a team, the Broncs racked up 511 yards of offense and held Miles City to 270. For the Cowboys, Polesky finished with 231 passing yards on 15-of-27 efficiency as he tossed two picks and one touchdown and ran in another late in the game.