HELENA — Bozeman Gallatin made school history Friday afternoon by knocking off Helena on the road to advance to the Class AA football semifinals for the first time.
Quinn Clark caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Garrett Dahlke and the Raptors held on to defeat the Bengals 24-21 in the playoff quarterfinals at Vigilante Stadium. Their third and final connection, a 20-yard throw, came with less than two minutes left and served as the game-winning play.
After a scoreless first quarter, Dahlke hit Clark with a 5-yard touchdown pass to put the Raptors in front. Christian Heck added a field goal before halftime for a 10-0 advantage.
After Helena's Manu Melo scored on a 50-yard pass from Carter Kraft, Dahlke hit Clark for a 75-yard TD pass. In the fourth, the Bengals took the lead on a Colter Petre touchdown catch and scoring run by Tevin Wetzel. But Gallatin went in front for good on that last Dahlke-to-Clark connection.
Gallatin High School opened its doors in the fall of 2020. The Raptors won their first playoff football game last season but were beaten in the second round.
Gallatin improved to 9-2 while the Bengals, highly ranked in the Class AA poll all season, finished with a 7-3 record. Helena High is still seeking its first football title since 1932.
Other Class AA quarterfinal playoff scores:
Bozeman 31, Kalispell Glacier 23 (Highlights below)
Missoula Sentinel 14, Billings West 7 (Highlights below)
Helena Capital 28, Butte 14 (Highlights below)