GREAT FALLS — With a 3-1 record, the Great Falls CMR football team is shocking the Montana AA high school football world with the way they’ve played through the first four weeks of the season.
With an undersized and young team, head coach Dennis Morris has implemented a hurry-up spread offense over the last two seasons and it’s finally paying off.
It also helps that Morris has three dynamic playmakers within their offense with junior Cole Taylor under center, senior Raef Newbrough out wide and senior Jackson Simonson as the lead back.
“The guys have bought into the system and they’re playing with a ton of confidence,” Morris said. “They’re playing the spread offense the way I want it to be played.”
“It’s exciting to have a good pass game to open up the run and then a good run to open the pass so it’s really overall made our game better,” Simonson added.
The offense starts with the athleticism and decision-making of Taylor but often the finishers are two-way player Newbrough and Simonson, who have been beneficiaries of Morris’s spread offense.
Newbrough was last year’s starting quarterback but Morris saw him being more valuable at the wide receiver and safety position, so Cole Taylor took the reins.
“It’s a lot better, he’s got a great arm,” Newbrough said with a laugh. “He’s making smart choices with the ball and not turning it over, so we drive the ball down the field and go score.”
To compliment the plays that Cole Taylor makes in space or with his arm, Simonson brings a consistent motor and toughness that has allowed for him to garner success on the ground through four games.
“He’s a rodeo kid, he’s tough as nails,” Morris mentioned. “He takes that ball and runs through the gap and he’s going to truck someone over and that’s kind of what he does.”
The trio have combined for 20 touchdowns through four games. Taylor has thrown for seven touchdowns and ran for four. Newbrough has ran for five and caught one while Simonson has chipped in four on the ground averaging almost 100 yards rushing per game.
Great Falls CMR will have a true test against Billings Senior (3-1) Friday night as the young, fast Rustlers try to take care of business at home. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.