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
(Click the links for video highlights)
Bozeman 49, Great Falls High 21
Kalispell Flathead 52, Billings Senior 35
Helena High 21, Kalispell Glacier 7
Billings West 45, Butte 27