BIGFORK — There will be a new No. 1 in the Class B football rankings next week.
Fourth-ranked Missoula Loyola built a 13-0 lead at No. 1 Bigfork and held on for a 26-21 win to win the Western B conference championship on Friday.
Nick Mitzel had a hand in two touchdowns for the Rams, opening the game with a 50-yard scoring strike to Cooper Waters. Jeffrey Twite would later add an 18-yard touchdown run giving Loyola a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
Bigfork came right back, though, as Anders Epperly found Luke Schmit for touchdowns of 66 and 28 yards to pull the Vikings in front, 14-13 at the end of the first quarter. That would be the halftime score, as well, as the defenses tightened up in the second quarter.
Mitzel added a rushing touchdown late in the third quarter. The junior quarterback finished the game with 152 rushing yards on 25 carries. He also completed 6 of 8 passes for 88 yards. Ryan Tirrell, a University of Montana commit, scored another Loyola touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the Rams a 26-14 lead. Tirrell finished with 124 yards on 23 carries as Loyola out-rushed Bigfork 328 yards to 117.
Randy Stultz led the Vikings with 102 rushing yards on 18 carries. Epperly finished the game completing 10 of 24 passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Bigfork, which tacked on a late touchdown from Luke Taylor, falls to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Western B. Loyola, meanwhile, improves to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference.
Class B football scores
(Click the links for video highlights)
Colstrip 21, Big Timber 20
Columbus 38, Whitehall 14
Cut Bank 27, Wolf Point 7
Eureka 45, Deer Lodge 12
Fairfield 47, Conrad 0
Florence 49, Thompson Falls 6
Glasgow 6, Baker 0
Huntley Project 43, Shepherd 6
Malta 51, Harlem 0
Manhattan 39, Three Forks 6
Missoula Loyola 26, Bigfork 21
Roundup 54, Red Lodge 27