BILLINGS — Billings Central's running game, led by backs Clay Oven and Kade Boyd, was the difference in the Rams' 24-21 victory over Dillon in the Class A playoff quarterfinals Saturday at Herb Klindt Field.
Boyd ran for 178 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns, while Boyd had 166 yards on 26 attempts. As a team, the Rams rushed for 404 yards on 68 carries, an average of 5.9 yards per rush. Quarterback Adam Balkenbush, who threw just one pass, also rushed for a touchdown.
The Rams grabbed a 10-0 lead in the first half following a 27-yard field goal by Jack DeBourg and a 3-yard TD run by Balkenbush. Dillon fought back to take a 14-10 lead on a 2-yard run by Kee Christianson and a 72-yard scoring pass from Christianson to Caden Hansen.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Oven put Central back in the lead 17-14 in the fourth, but the Beavers went back in front on a 63-yard pass from Christianson to Eli Nourse.
Oven, after converting a key fourth down, put Central in the lead for good with a 1-yard run with under a minute to play.
The Rams (9-1) travel to face defending champion Hamilton (10-0) in the semifinals next week. Dillon (8-2) saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end.
Other Class A quarterfinal scores:
Hamilton 34, Whitefish 20 (Highlights below)
Polson 14, Laurel 7 (Highlights below)
Lewistown 14, Columbia Falls 6 (Highlights below)