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Kellen Harrison, Quaid Ash help Bozeman past Kalispell Glacier for State AA title

Bozeman state championship
Bozeman state championship
Posted at 9:44 PM, Nov 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-18 10:52:54-05

BOZEMAN — Kellen Harrison and Quaid Ash just wouldn't let their team lose Friday.

The Bozeman seniors did it all in the Class AA state football championship — Harrison passing for four touchdowns, rushing for another and snagging an interception on defense, while Ash caught two touchdowns and got his own interception on defense — to help the Hawks defeat Kalispell Glacier 35-27 in front of a standing room only crowd at Van Winkle Stadium.

Harrison, Ash and the Bozeman offense started off slow, though, punting on their first possession. Glacier would capitalize on the punt and find the end zone first when Kash Goicoechea scored on a 12-yard run to give the Wolfpack an early 7-0 lead. But Harrison took over from there and quickly got the Hawks on the board with an electrifying 34-yard touchdown run where he rolled to his left, weaved through the defense and reversed field to find pay dirt.

Moments later, Harrison did it on defense, intercepting a Jackson Presley pass and returning it deep into Glacier territory. Two plays later, Harrison lofted a perfectly thrown ball to Ash for a 23-yard touchdown that gave Bozeman its first lead of the game.

This was a thrilling back-and-forth affair, though, and Goicoechea wasn't done. Glacier's senior running back found the pylon on a 6-yard run to tie the game at 14 to end the first quarter.

That score would hold until late in the second quarter. With no timeouts remaining and time winding down, Harrison found Brady Casagranda on a wheel route for a 19-yard touchdown, and Bozeman took a 21-14 lead into halftime.

Glacier, which got the ball first to start the second half, went straight to work in the third quarter. The Wolfpack took almost half the third period on a long, sustained drive before Goicoechea got his third touchdown of the day on 1-yard run on 4th and goal.

Harrison, like he did all game, had an answer, this time finding Cordell Holzer in the middle of the Glacier defense for a 29-yard touchdown that gave Bozeman a 28-21 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Early in the fourth, though, Presley hooked up with Rhett Measure, who caught a pass along the sideline and then outraced the Bozeman defense for a 76-yard touchdown. The point-after try was missed, leaving the Wolfpack trailing 28-27.

Bozeman bled the clock on the ensuing drive, and Harrison and Ash capped the possession with more heroics. Facing a 3rd-and-long situation from the Glacier 27-yard line, Harrison rolled to his right. As he neared the sideline with defenders in pursuit, he heaved the ball toward a crowd in the end zone, where Ash came down with the touchdown catch.

Ash later sealed the win, intercepting Presley as Glacier was driving for a potentially game-tying score.

Bozeman, which lost to Helena Capital in the 2022 state championship, finishes the season with an unblemished 12-0 record, claiming its first Class AA state championship since 2019.