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Class AA football semifinals: Missoula Sentinel, Billings West set for title rematch

Sentinel football
Posted at 9:01 AM, Nov 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-13 11:01:17-05

Billings West 34, Helena High 14

BILLINGS— Montana's State AA championship rematch is set.

Billings West will travel to Missoula Sentinel next Friday to decide this year's football champion after the Bears eliminated Helena High Friday night 34-14 in their semifinal match-up.

West came out swinging scoring touchdowns on its opening two possessions for a 14-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.

Michael DeLeon was again full speed ahead for the West offense carrying 29 times for 214 yards and the game's first touchdown. Last week he rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns in West's quarterfinal win over Helena Capital.

Isaiah Claunch hit Taco Dowler with a screen pass from 17 yards out for the game's second TD, then Claunch connected with Riley Bergeson on a 46-yard strike as West built a 27-7 halftime lead. Caden Dowler ran for a four-yard score in the Wildcat formation icing it with exactly 10 minutes left.

Senior place kicker Spencer Berger hit all of his PATs and was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts for the Bears connecting from 23 and 34 yards.

Helena's offense struggled early and was held without a first down until late in the opening quarter. Kaden Huot hit Chase McGurran to draw the Bengals within 17-7 with 2:32 left in the first half. Forrest Suero scored Helena's only other TD on a two-yard run to open the 4th quarter making it 27-14.

Missoula Sentinel 42, Kalispell Glacier 21

MISSOULA— Running back Adam Jones had five touchdowns and the Missoula Sentinel Spartans doubled up Kalispell Glacier 42-21 in the State AA football semifinals on Friday. It was Sentinel's 20th consecutive win dating back to 2020.

The win pushes the Spartans to the state championship, where they'll face Billings West in a 2020 rematch. Jones started the scoring for Sentinel with a 46-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. After a 2-pt conversion, the Spartans took an 8-0 lead into the second quarter. They built a 29-13 lead by the end of the third and never looked back, adding insurance in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Sentinel will host West on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.