MISSOULA — The Hellgate Knights came into their Week 7 crosstown game against the Sentinel Spartans with a chance to become the Missoula city champions for the first time since 1995. That quickly changed on Friday night, as the Spartans offense and defense overpowered the Knights for four quarters.
From the kickoff, the Sentinel offense was on the same page and driving with ease. On its first possession, Sentinel went to its go-to guy, running back Jaxon Lee. The senior capped the drive with a 3-yard rushing touchdown to go up 7-0. On the following possession, Lee broke some tackles and rattled off the first of his many long runs on the night. After settling for a field goal on that drive, Sentinel went on to score two more touchdowns before the half with a 17-yard rush and 1-yard rush from Lee to make it 30-7.
The Spartans scored 23 points in the second quarter alone. Lee rushed 21 times for 186 yards and three scores.
In the second half, the Spartans continued their dominance, scoring 14 points in the third quarter. But Hellgate led the scoring in that quarter when Sentinel quarterback Dayton Bay fumbled on an 11-yard run that was recovered by the Knights for a touchdown. Sentinel got back on track with a balanced drive that ended in Bay finding Preston Jones on a 2-yard pass. Bay finished 13-of-16 passing with 111 yards and one touchdown.
On the defensive end, Sentinel was just as good, holding Hellgate to 184 yards of total offense and allowing the Knights' offense to hold the ball for just 15:27. The Spartans held the Knights to zero points in the fourth quarter, as well, and won 44-6.
Next week Sentinel (6-1) takes on the Helena Bengals (5-2) in the Capital City, while the Hellgate Knights (3-3) face the Capital Bruins (5-2) at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, according to the Hellgate athletics website.