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MontanaSports.com high school football power rankings: Week 1 upsets shake up AA, 8-Man

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Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 20:54:41-04

Fans got everything they could've wanted and more out of a Class AA state championship rematch to start the season.

Last week's Class AA opener featured then-No. 2 Missoula Sentinel taking down top-ranked Billings West 22-19 in a Week 1 thriller at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. With the win, the reigning-champ Spartans rise to No. 1 in the Class AA power rankings, but West's performance was good enough to keep the Golden Bears at No. 2. Helena High defeated Great Falls High 22-0, but stays stuck behind West at No. 3. Billing's Seniors last-minute win over Butte moves the Broncs into fourth, while Helena Capital joins the poll after beating Bozeman High, who received votes last week.

Most of the Class A rankings remain the same from the preseason poll, with the exception of Whitefish moving into the top five after squeezing past Dillon 28-26. Billings Central remains at No. 2 despite having a Week 1 bye.

Class B remains almost entirely the same, as most of the teams in the classification begin their seasons in Week 2. Three Forks, who started the season with a blowout win over Roundup, received votes, as did Huntley Project, who held off Big Timber 14-12.

In 8-Man, Joliet moves into the No. 1 spot after upending previously top-ranked Shelby on the road. The Coyotes drop to No. 3 behind Drummond-Philipsburg, while Fort Benton climbs into the polls after receiving votes last week. Chinook, Thompson Falls and Twin Bridges all receive votes after blowout wins to begin the year.

Froid-Medicine Lake remains atop the 6-Man rankings after a 49-13 win over Roy-Winifred to begin the season. White Sulphur Springs follows at No. 2 after beating Big Sandy 46-33. Hot Springs stays put at No. 3, while Shields Valley climbs into the rankings at No. 4. Previously fourth-ranked Wibaux fell out of the rankings after being shutout by Broadview-Lavina, who receives votes this week.

The full power rankings are below.

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (1-0)
2. Billings West (0-1)
3. Helena High (1-0)
4. Billings Senior (1-0)
5. Helena Capital (1-0)

Receiving votes: Bozeman Gallatin, Kalispell Glacier, Great Falls High

Class A

1. Hamilton (1-0)
2. Billings Central (0-0)
3. Laurel (1-0)
4. Miles City (1-0)
5. Whitefish (1-0)

Receiving votes: Columbia Falls, Frenchtown, Polson

Class B

1. Florence (0-0)
2. Manhattan (0-0)
3. Townsend (0-0)
4. Fairfield (0-0)
5. Eureka (0-0)

Receiving votes: Columbus, Huntley Project, Malta, Three Forks


1. Joliet (1-0)
2. Drummond-Philipsburg (1-0)
3. Shelby (0-1)
4. Scobey (1-0)
5. Fort Benton (1-0)

Receiving votes: Chinook, Thompson Falls, Twin Bridges


1. Froid-Medicine Lake (1-0)
2. White Sulphur Springs (1-0)
3. Hot Springs (1-0)
4. Shields Valley (1-0)
5. Bridger (1-0)

Receiving votes: Broadview-Lavina, Power-Dutton-Brady, Richey-Lambert