It’s a rematch for all the spoils in Class A football.
In Saturday’s playoff semifinal round, Billings Central ran past Hamilton 42-6 and Lewistown outpaced Polson 49-32, which sets up a second meeting between the Rams and Eagles this season. Lewistown beat the Rams 17-7 at home in the regular season.
Central (10-1) is back in the title game for the first time since 2020. The Rams are seeking their first crown since 2018. Lewistown (11-0) will play for the championship for the first time since 2001, when it defeated Whitefish for the crown.
The game is next Saturday in Lewistown.
Hamilton finished its season with a 10-1 record. Polson closed its year at 9-1.
Billings Central 42, Hamilton 6
HAMILTON – Billings Central went on the road an imposed its will on the ground to eliminate Hamilton, the defending state champion.
Central, behind running backs Kade Boyd and Clay Oven, rushed for 285 yards on 56 attempts. Boyd had 103 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Oven added 72 yards and another score.
Rams quarterback Adam Balkenbush completed just three passes but ran 11 times for 60 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Hamilton’s offense managed just nine first downs. Central’s defense limited QB Tyson Bauder to 5-of-16 passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Hamilton scored on a 94-yard pass from Bauder to Eli Taylor in the first quarter, but Central reeled off four unanswered TDs to pull away. Xavier Brackenridge had a 15-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Lewistown 49, Polson 32
LEWISTOWN – It’s taken 21 years, but Lewistown is back in the Class A state championship game.
Jett Boyce had four rushing touchdowns to lead the Eagles, who overcame a five-touchdown effort by Polson QB Jarrett Wilson to hand the Pirates their first loss of the year.
Boyce scored on runs of 1, 15, 3 and 35 yards, the last of which put Lewistown ahead 42-26. Gage Norslien threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Royce Robinson and also had a 35-yard TD run of his own to finish the scoring.
Wilson threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Wenderoth to tie the game 7-7 but the Pirates later found themselves down by two scores.
Wilson threw three more scoring passes, including another to Wenderoth to pull Polson within 35-26 early in the fourth quarter.
Wilson also ran one in from 5 yards but the Pirates couldn’t keep pace.