HELENA -- Missoula Sentinel scored 21 consecutive points and held off a late charge by Helena High, defeating the Bengals 21-14 at Vigilante Stadium on Friday night.
Helena (5-3) scored the game's opening points after its defense forced a three-and-out, with quarterback Kaden Huot completing a 57-yard touchdown pass to Raef Miller with 8:37 remaining in the opening quarter. But the Bengals' offense sputtered throughout the remainder of the game, with Sentinel scoring the next three touchdowns.
After the Spartans stuffed Helena on fourth-and-1 near midfield, quarterback Dayton Bay orchestrated a drive with three straight completions to put Sentinel in the red zone, where Jaxon Lee scored on a 3-yard rushing touchdown to knot the game at 7-all after one quarter of play.
The teams swapped possessions in the second quarter before Bay found the end zone on a 3-yard rush of his own to give the Spartans a 14-7 halftime lead.
The second half started slow for both offenses, with Helena High eventually botching a punt that gave the Spartans the ball near the red zone, but a deflected pass turned into a Bengals interception, then Helena's Keshawn Newby added a sack and tackle-for-loss at key moments in the third quarter, sending the game to the final frame with the score still 14-7 in favor of the Spartans.
But Sentinel found its groove, with Bay connecting first with TJ Rausch, then Preston Jones on a key fourth down to place the Spartans inside the Helena 15-yard line. Bay connected with Jones on a 6-yard touchdown pass to give Sentinel a 21-7 lead with only 4:41 remaining in the game.
Kaden Huot gave Helena hope two minutes later, throwing his second touchdown pass of the game, this a 33-yard strike to Kyler Tesch to bring Helena to within 21-14 with 2:42 on the clock. But Bay used his feet to pick up a pivotal first down, icing the game and moving the No. 3 Spartans to 7-1 on the season.
Bay finished with 168 passing yards and the touchdown to Jones, while also running for the second-quarter touchdown that gave Sentinel its first lead of the night. Lee was limited to 42 yards on 25 carries.
Class AA football scores
(Scroll through the videos above for highlights from Friday night's Class AA games)
Billings Senior 31, Great Falls CMR 28 (Thursday)
Billings West 56, Belgrade 0
Butte 43, Missoula Big Sky 20
Great Falls High 45, Billings Skyview 8 (Thursday)
Helena Capital 33, Missoula Hellgate 28
Kalispell Glacier 42, Kalispell Flathead 0
Missoula Sentinel 21, Helena High 14