MISSOULA — The Ree brothers — Wyatt and Will — combined for seven touchdowns to help Wibaux to a 58-31 win over Valley Christian at MCPS Stadium to kick off the 8-Man football state playoffs Saturday.
The Longhorns showed no ill effects after making the nearly 600-mile trip to Missoula, establishing their physical rushing attack early. Wyatt and Will Ree each scored a first-quarter touchdown to give Wibaux a quick 12-3 lead, but Valley Christian's Brayden McCoy broke free for a 22-yard TD run late in the period to bring the Eagles back to within 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Wibaux, the second seed out of the East, took complete control in the second, though. Wyatt Ree found the end zone on a physical run, and then his brother added two more touchdowns — the first coming from 18 yards out on an option and the second coming on a 12-yard run after a Valley Christian fumble. The Longhorns led 34-9 at halftime.
Valley Christian didn't go away quietly. The Eagles scored on the opening possession of the second half when quarterback Daniel Stoltzfus connected with Sawyer Partain for a touchdown. They then forced Wibaux to turn the ball over on downs and quickly scored again with McCoy getting loose for a 19-yard touchdown that brought the game to 34-23 at the 5:14 mark of the third quarter.
Will Ree pushed Wibaux's lead back to 42-23 to end the third, and Wyatt Ree extended the advantage to 50-23 early in the fourth. Stoltzfus threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Fisher, and Wibaux's Birch Obrigewitch ran in the final score of the game from 17 yards out.
The Longhorns (7-2) will next play reigning state champion Belt in the quarterfinal round on Nov. 4. The Huskies defeated Park City 60-0 in a first-round playoff game Saturday.
Elsewhere in 8-Man ...
Fairview 70, Shields Valley 16
Ennis 30, Charlo 15
Arlee 36, Drummond-Philipsburg 16
Belt 60, Park City 0
Circle 73, Ekalaka 28
Fort Benton 36, Lone Peak 33
Superior 54, Forsyth 20