(Editor's note: this article will be updated)
Helena High 28, Billings Senior 14
HELENA-- In the Class AA tilt of the night, the Helena High Bengals were able to pull away from the Billings Senior Broncs in the second half to win 28-14 and move to 2-0.
The Bengals and Broncs found themselves in a defensive slog with Helena’s Colter Petre and Senior’s Zachius Bergen both recording interceptions with both defenses adding a handful of sacks and tackles for loss.
The Bengals struck first four minutes into the second quarter after Kaden Huot ripped on a 60-yard run to set up a pass to Carson Anderson to give the Bengals a 6-0 lead early. Huot added onto his totals for the night midway through the second quarter again throwing across his body to Cade Holland to put the Bengals up 14-0 with a two-point conversion.
It almost appeared that the Bengals were going to go six straight quarters without giving up a score, but the Broncs hammered away at the Bengals defense and ultimately found the endzone with Jacob Miller to make it 14-7 before the end of the first half. The Broncs came out of the half with the ball and were able to tie it up at 14-14 early in the third, but the Bengals offense found a way to put up 14 more points while their defense held the line against the Broncs to lead Helena High to their second win of the season.
Billings West 28, Helena Capital 0
BILLINGS-- Billings West scored 15 points in the final eight minutes of Saturday night's game at Daylis Stadium against Helena Capital to put the Bruins away for a 28-0 win.
West quarterback Isaiah Claunch faced relentless pressure from the Bruins throughout the game, especially in the first half. He was kept clean late in the first half on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Taco Dowler to give the Golden Bears a 7-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw the Bears lean heavily on Michael DeLeon and their rushing attack. Two long drives stalled out inside the ten, resulting in a pair of Spencer Berger field goals to give West a 13-0 lead.
"(Capital) is tough up front. When we're struggling it's not necessarily the other team, we just need to get our head out of our butts, step it up and work harder," Dowler said. "They're good up front. They have a strong front and we had a few linemen hurt, but we persevered."
And then DeLeon and Dowler put the game away. First DeLeon rumbled 28 yards up the left sideline to put West up 20-0, and just moments later Dowler intercepted Joey Michelotti and took it back for six to seal West's first win of the season.
"Just be tough," Dowler said of Stanton's halftime message. "We work out everyday at 6 a.m. in the morning for this stuff. ... Lucky I was in the right place at the right time. I just had to run it in."
West standout senior Caden Dowler did not play due to an ankle injury he suffered against Missoula Sentinel last week.
"I don't like it. He's the biggest part of the team. It's huge to miss him," Taco said. "He brings a certain type of energy. No one can match it. I can't match it, Riley (Bergeson) can't match it, Max (Kimball) can't match it. He just brings an energy about him. Without him out there it's like we're playing with eight people instead of 11."
West improves to 1-1 while Capital falls to 1-1. West will visit Bozeman Gallatin next Friday night. Capital will get its conference schedule next Friday night at home against Kalispell Flathead.
Missoula Big Sky 42, Billings Skyview 7
MISSOULA - Missoula Big Sky wasted no time in getting into the win column as the Eagles topped Billings Skyview 42-7 at MCPS Stadium.
Caleb Hren threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as he scored Big Sky's first touchdown on a nine-yard scramble in the first quarter. He then found Louis Sanders for the next two Big Sky scores, which went for 25 and 41 yards respectively, both in the second quarter. Isaac Ayers caught the next touchdown pass from Hren which went for 62 yards. Ayers then showcased his skills on the defensive side of the ball with an interception return for a score just before the half with Big Sky up 35-0.
Cole Sandberg added the insurance touchdown in the second half as Big Sky improved to 1-1 while Skyview fell to 1-1. The Eagles will take on Kalispell Glacier next week while Skyview will face Billings Senior in a crosstown matchup.
Kalispell Glacier 33, Great Falls CMR 21
GREAT FALLS-- The Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack built a 26-0 lead at halftime and held on for a 33-21 win as Great Falls CMR tried to climb back in the second half.
After Gage Sliter was picked off by Ryan Hartum to open the third, CMR quarterback Cole Taylor scored on a three yard keeper to put the Rustlers on the board. Glacier answered with a bruising Jake Rendina touchdown where he ran over and through the Rustler defense to put the Pack back on top 33-7.
CMR would score twice more in the fourth quarter, but Glacier held on to move to 2-0 on the season. The Rustlers drop to 1-1.
Missoula Sentinel 35, Bozeman High 14
BOZEMAN-- Missoula Sentinel received the ball first and they turned on the offense right away. Zac Crews capped of the first drive with a rushing touchdown to put the Spartans up 7-0.
On the second possession, Crews got cooking through air. He hit on a couple of long passes to put the Spartans deep in Bozeman territory. He connected with Joseph Weida for a 15-yard touchdown to put Sentinel 14-0 in the first quarter.
Bozeman made it a seven point game 21-14 heading into the half, but the Spartans were too much for the Hawks to handle. They win 34-14 and move to (2-0) on the season. Bozeman falls to (0-2).
Missoula Hellgate 42, Belgrade 20
BELGRADE-- After a tough Week One loss to CMR, Missoula Hellgate responded Friday night with a dominant 42-20 win over the Belgrade Panthers.
Hellgate's Connor Dick set the tone in the first quarter with a 26-yard reception to Ian Finch to give the Knights an early 7-0 lead and never looked back. Dick finished with five touchdown passes on the night split between Finch (2) and Leo Filardi (3).
The Knights only rushing touchdown came from Jake Sweetland who punched it in from three yards out in the third quarter for a 28-6 lead. Hellgate would go on to win 42-20, improving their
record to (1-1) on the season while Belgrade falls to (0-2).
Other Class AA scores
Bozeman Gallatin 49, Kalispell Flathead 7
Butte 17, Great Falls High 7