HELENA -- The Missoula Sentinel Spartans only scored in the first half of the game against Helena Capital, but the 28 points they put up was enough to move to 4-0 on the Class AA football season over Helena Capital.
Sentinel's Dalton Bay stayed poised under center and rattled off three touchdown passes to three different receivers, finish the game at 12-of-15 passing with 118 yards and no interceptions. Sentinel's Jaxon Lee was also a thorn in the side of the Capital Bruins, as he finished with 115 yards on 23 attempts.
With 21 seconds left in the first half, the Spartans went for the dagger, a halfback swing pass. Bay found Zac Crews wide open near the Capital sideline, and Crews unloaded a deep pass to Charlie Kirgan, who came down with the pass nearly unattested before trotting into the end zone to make it 28-0 with just a few ticks left on the clock.
Capital received the kickoff and drove its way to near mid-field. Electing to see what they could do with the short amount of time before the end of the half, Bridger Grovom connected with Cy Miller over the middle for a first down in Missoula Sentinel territory.
The first-down chains and players got set and the officials started the clock. Grovom, Capital's quarterback, took a knee. In the midst of confusion and bodies littering the field, Capital coaches signaled for a timeout, but it was to no avail. The clock slipped to 0:00, and the Bruins' momentum was squashed.
Or at least that was how it seemed.
In the second half, Capital's Noah Braden provided a spark by finding a hole in the line and shedding a defender en route to a 60-yard run that would get Capital on the board. From there it was a grueling defensive battle, with neither team's offense able to generate any momentum. Braden broke through one final time on a 6-yard carry into the end zone to make it 28-14, but it was too little, too late.
Missoula Sentinel (4-0) will next host the Butte Bulldogs (4-0) in another battle of the unbeatens and Helena Capital (3-1) will head to Kalispell to take on the Flathead Braves (0-4).
Class AA football scores
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Billings Senior 21, Great Falls High 7
Billings West 38, Great Falls CMR 7
Bozeman 58, Billings Skyview 0 (Thursday)
Butte 55, Kalispell Glacier 28
Helena High 23, Missoula Big Sky 20 (Thursday)
Missoula Hellgate 29, Kalispell Flathead 18
Missoula Sentinel 28, Helena Capital 14