Billings Skyview couldn’t have had a better homecoming football game.
Led by Drake Schafer and Alex Picicci, the Falcons ran for 458 yards in thumping Great Falls 49-0 at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium Friday.
And it wasn’t just the offense that thrilled the nice-sized crowd out for the Falcons’ homecoming.
Cornerback Chandler Arbizzani had an early 18-yard interception return for a touchdown that helped set the tone. Arbizzani finished with two interceptions, adding another at the 11:26 mark of the second quarter, and said that outside linebacker Chandler Crowe was in on several big plays.
“I was proud of the effort and execution. I thought our fundamentals were much better,” said Skyview coach Ron Lebsock of his Falcons, who squared their record at 2-2.
Lebsock, the only football coach in the history of Billings Skyview in his 28th year at the school, said he couldn’t envision a better homecoming game.
“No, you couldn’t script homecoming better than this,” he said. “We thank God every day we can have the opportunity (to play football). It was great to see all the Skyview kids have fun.”
Skyview received the ball to start the game on their own 28. The Falcons chewed time off the clock and 15 plays later with 6:17 remaining in the first, quarterback Konner Wiechman snuck the ball in from one-yard out for the early 7-0 lead. On the drive, Picicci — Skyview’s workhorse during the game — had a 13-yard run.
“We came out and the line did everything they were supposed to and it was easy running,” said Picicci, who finished with 19 carries for 150 yards, including a three-yard touchdown run in the third to give the Falcons a 42-0 advantage.
Schafer, like Picicci a junior, finished with 13 carries for 159 yards. His biggest run was 75-yard burst that finished the scoring with 1:59 left in the third.
Senior running back Matt Fuhrman added 89 yards on 12 carries. Fuhrman scored on a 33-yard run with eight seconds left in the first quarter as the Falcons exploded for four touchdowns in the opening 12 minutes.
Schafer said that during practice this past week, the Falcons focused on starting games better and being a “four-quarter team.”
“It was a good run,” Schafer said of his 75-yard TD. “It wouldn’t of happened without the line or team. They did their job and I did mine.”
Skyview was staked to a 14-0 lead when Great Falls quarterback Kolby Sukut was intercepted by Arbizzani on the Bison’s second play from scrimmage. Arbizzani, a senior, was able to find pay dirt for his first career pick-six.
The Falcons limited the Bison to 127 total yards and forced them to punt eight times. The closest the Bison (1-3) came to scoring was when they advanced to Skyview’s 12 early in the fourth quarter, but lost the ball on a fumble.
“We came out and executed on defense and hit on all cylinders,” Arbizzani said. “Everyone played great ball. It feels great. Everyone was here. It feels good to get a win for the school.”