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Live Blog: Helena Capital knocks off Bozeman for first title since 2011, 35-14

Live Blog: Helena Capital hosts Bozeman in battle for Class AA crown
Helena Capital State Title Gif
Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 18, 2022

9:22 p.m.

Helena Capital 35, Bozeman 14 - Final

The Helena Capital Bruins are able to finish off the victory to maintain their undefeated season and the team's 12th state title. The championship title is the team's first since 2011 when Bruins head coach Kyle Mihelish was an assistant coach. The Bozeman Hawks end their season as the Class AA runner-up at 9-3 overall, after turning in nine straight victories after starting the year 0-2 in non-conference play.

9:15 p.m.

Helena Capital 35, Bozeman 14 - 4Q

Tyler Kovick almost assuredly seals the deal as the Helena Capital Bruin is able to snag a Jake Casagranda pass and takes it into Bozeman territory. Just over two minutes left to play in the game. Capital just moments from their 12th state title.

9:10 p.m.

Helena Capital 35, Bozeman 14 - 4Q

After a long scoring drought in this game, the Bruins opened the flood gates near the end of the ball game as Hudson Grovom finds Tyler Kovick to the 26-yard passing touchdown, following a Bozeman turnover on downs in their own territory.

9:05 p.m.

Helena Capital 28, Bozeman 14 - 4Q

After the stop, the Bruins hand the ball off to Hayden Opitz who takes it into the endzone for his second rushing touchdown of the night. Bruins take a two-score lead with just over four minutes left to go in the final quarter of Class AA football for the 2022 season.

9:01 p.m.

Helena Capital 21, Bozeman 14 - 4Q

Helena Capital's Talon Marsh comes up with a huge sack to force a 4th and 30 in Bozeman territory. On the ensuing punt, the Hawks are unable to get the punt off cleanly and the Bruins will come up with the ball on the Bozeman 22-yard-line.

8:38 p.m.

Helena Capital 21, Bozeman 14 - E3

The Bruins and the Hawks were unable to make anything of their first possessions, which lasted nearly the entirety of the third quarter. The Bruins have the ball in their territory on third down when play resumes in the fourth quarter.

8:01 p.m.

Helena Capital 21, Bozeman 14 - E2

Bend, but don't break appears to be the motto of the Bozeman Hawks on Friday night. On fourth-and-10 near the end of the first half from the Helena Capital 16-yard line, Jake Casagranda hits Rocky Lencioni to cut the Bruins' lead to just one score, 21-14.

7:46 p.m.

Helena Capital 21, Bozeman 7 - 2Q

With the Bozeman Hawks threatening near the end of the first half, the Helena Capital Bruins were able to force a fumble near their own goal-line to help preserve their two-score lead. The Bruins will receive the ball to begin the second half.

7:31 p.m.

Helena Capital 21, Bozeman 7 - 2Q

Tom Carter takes a handoff 83-yards to the house as Capital continues to roll tonight.

7:28 p.m

Helena Capital 14, Bozeman 7 - E1

Bozeman senior quarterback Jake Casagranda hits Luke Smith on a short pass over the middle to get the Hawks on the board for the first time tonight


Helena Capital 14, Bozeman 0 - 1Q

The Bruins start the night off on a tear as the Capital defense forces two punts, and Dylan Graham makes his way into the endzone on a short carry to make it 14-0.

7:11 p.m.

Helena Capital 7, Bozeman 0 - 1Q

The Bruins were able to take the ball 60+ yards on their first drive en route to the team's first score of the night on a Hayden Opitz rush from the wildcat formation.

HELENA — In what will be the biggest Class AA football game of the season the Helena Capital Bruins (11-0) and the Bozeman Hawks (9-2) will meet on the hallowed grounds of the Vigilante Stadium to determine the top team of the Class AA.

Kick-off from Vigilante Stadium is set for 7 p.m. with temperatures slated around 6 degrees to start and will continue to drop as the game progresses.

This article will be continuously updated throughout the game.

The Bruins come into the game buoyed by seniors Tom Carter, 103 yards per game with 22 total touchdowns, and Hayden Opitz, 12 total touchdowns while averaging 52 yards and 7.5 tackles per game.

The Bozeman Hawks have a pair of seniors that are bound to make a splash on Friday night between Jake Casagranda, 229 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game passing, and Luke Smith, 11 receiving touchdowns and 19 tackles for loss on the year.

The Bruins and the Hawks met in the opening week of the season in Bozeman with the Bruins snagging its first victory of their so-far undefeated season, 28-21.

MTN's Kennedy Broadwell caught up with Opitz and Carter, and head coach Kyle Mihelish earlier in the week as the Bruins look to earn their first Class AA title, and Mihelish's first as a head coach since 2011.

MTN's Dylan Foreman caught up with the Hawks' Smith, Quaid Ash, and head coach Levi Wesche as Bozeman searches for its second title in four years.

MTN's Luke Shelton, Broadwell, and Foreman are at the game and will have highlights and recaps tonight at 10 p.m. on your local MTN station and on Montana Sports.