BOULDER — Missoula Loyola entered its first-round playoff matchup with Townsend with a losing record, but the Rams wouldn't be denied on Saturday.
Loyola pulled the first upset of the 2022 Montana high school football playoffs with a 27-13 victory over the homestanding Bulldogs to advance to the second round of the Class B bracket. The Rams evened their record at 5-5 while Townsend finished its season at 6-3.
The Rams struck first with a touchdown run by Talen Reynolds to go up 7-0 at the 9:00 mark of the first quarter. The Bulldogs answered early in the second with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Racht to Jesus Garcia, but the point-after try was no good.
The score stood at 7-6 in favor of Loyola at halftime, and the Rams extended their lead with a 70-yard touchdown run by Reynolds early in the third. Townsend was able to tie the game on the strength of a rushing TD by Tanner Campbell, but later Loyola's Declan Harrington returned an interception 60 yards to set up another Reynolds touchdown and a 19-13 lead.
Loyola came up with a big goal-line stand on defense, then scored a safety to improve its lead to 21-13. After receiving the free kick, Taylor Jones rushed 30 yards to the end zone to cap the scoring for the Rams and ice the upset win.
Other first-round Class B scores:
Bigfork 21, Manhattan 16
Jefferson 21, Eureka 6 (Highlights below)
Florence 47, Whitehall 13
Glasgow 34, Baker 12
Huntley Project 52, Cut Bank 14
Malta 34, Red Lodge 13
Shepherd 20, Fairfield 12