HELENA — Helena High got its revenge.
Behind another strong performance from their defense, the third-seeded Bengals defeated No. 6 Kalispell Glacier 21-7 in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs at Vigilante Stadium on Friday. The Wolfpack handed the Bengals their first loss of the season, 48-14, back on Sept. 14.
Friday’s game would be a different story, though, as both defenses played well after a high-scoring first quarter. Helena quarterback Ty McGurran ran for a 13-yard touchdown and hit Aiden Brus for a 14-yard score, sandwiching a 2-yard TD run from Glacier’s Preston Blaine, in the first quarter. The Bengals led 14-7 after one and would ultimately take that advantage into the fourth quarter.
Helena had its opportunities throughout the game, advancing inside the Glacier 20-yard line multiple times. The Bengals came away empty-handed on three trips inside the Wolfpack 5 but would finally break through late in the fourth quarter.
Bengals senior Alex Johnson, who recently committed to play collegiately at Montana State University, sacked Glacier quarterback Evan Todd on a fourth-down attempt with less than four minutes to play. That gave Helena a short field, and Logan Brown would capitalize with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Zach Spiroff caught his second interception of the game on Glacier’s ensuing possession, essentially sealing Helena’s first-ever playoff win over Glacier. The Bengals (9-2) lost to Billings Senior in the 2017 state championship game and will now travel to Billings West (10-1) for a semifinal game next week. The No. 2-seed Golden Bears defeated Butte, 45-27, in a first-round game on Friday.
Glacier’s season ends with a 5-6 record.
Undefeated and top-seeded Bozeman will host Kalispell Flathead in the other semifinal game. The Hawks and Braves earned first-round wins over Great Falls High and Billings Senior, respectively. The Broncs won the past two Class AA state championships.
Class AA football scores
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