BILLINGS — Isaiah Claunch knew where he was going before the ball was even snapped.
"I knew it was going to be there," the Billings West QB said. "They were man-on-man on him, and I thought, 'Alright. Taco will be there.'"
Taco was there. Claunch hit favorite target Taco Dowler in stride and the junior speedster did the rest on a 97-yard touchdown - his 4th of the game - as the No. 1-seed Bears cruised past Helena Capital 49-7 Friday in a Class AA quarterfinal at Daylis Stadium.
"We both know where it's going. It's just a good throw," Dowler said of his 4th TD connection with Claunch. The two kicked off the scoring with an 11-yard pitch from Claunch to Dowler in the backfield that made it 7-0 less than five minutes into the game.
Dowler doubled the advantage on the next possession, catching a screen pass and breaking two tackles - the last of which cost him his right shoe - on his way to a 70-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 West.
Dowler also scored a 45-yard TD early in the 3rd quarter to put West up 35-7.
Claunch threw seven total touchdowns in the career game. Montana State Bobcats commit Neil Daily caught two - one in each half - while Taco's twin brother Caden Dowler scored on a shovel pass from 13 yards out.
West - the Eastern AA's top seed - looked fresh after last week's first round bye, and now will take on Bozeman in a rematch of a game the Bears won 23-19 to close the regular season undefeated.