SHELBY — Wyatt Brusven scored seven touchdowns as undefeated Shelby rallied from multiple 14-point deficits to defeat Circle 59-42 in the quarterfinal round of the 8-Man playoffs on Saturday.
Circle, the No. 3 seed from the East, jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on touchdown runs from Trevor Hogan and Grady Taylor. Brusven would add his first two touchdowns — a 35-yard pass from Damon Irvin and a 43-yard punt return — to give the Coyotes a brief 16-14 lead. Circle, however, would take a 14-point lead into the second quarter, getting a long scoring run from Trey Taylor and a Grady Taylor-to-Hogan pass.
Shelby would seize control in the second and third quarters, though, scoring four unanswered touchdowns. Irvin threw two second-quarter touchdowns — one to Brusven and one to Dillon Luly — and Brusven added two more TDs in the third — one on a pass from Irvin and the other on a 22-yard run. The 28 unanswered points gave Shelby a 44-30 lead midway through third quarter.
A Circle touchdown late in the third made it a single-score game going to the fourth, but Brusven got two more long touchdown runs to help the Coyotes secure the 59-42 win.
Shelby (9-0) will now host defending champion Drummond-Philipsburg (11-0) in next week’s semifinal round. The Titans ran past Culbertson 74-14 on Saturday.
Fairview (11-0) will travel to Great Falls Central (9-1) for the other semifinal game. The Warriors defeated Arlee 32-20 on Saturday, and the Mustangs topped Scobey 52-22.
The 8-Man championship is at historic Naranche Stadium in Butte on Nov. 17.
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