(Editor's note: this article will be updated)
Great Falls High 41, Missoula Big Sky 14
GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls High football team won its sixth straight game Friday night, with a 41-14 victory over Missoula Big Sky in the first round of the State AA playoffs.
The Bison wasted no time getting on the board, with Reed Harris calling his own number on an eight yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
After forcing a Big Sky punt, Ryan Krahe ran for a 50 yard touchdown to give the Bison a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Big Sky found a rhythm on offense and defense for much of the second quarter. The Eagles picked off Harris twice, and turned one of those turnovers into points when Kolbe Jensen ran in a short touchdown to cut the lead in half, 14-7.
But just before half, Krahe found the end zone again on a short yardage run from the wildcat formation and Great Falls High led 21-7 at the break.
The Bison kept their foot on the gas in the second half, Eli Pike jumped the route on a Big Sky pass attempt and returned the interception 56 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter.
After another Big Sky drive didn’t yield points, the Bison marched down the field again and scored on a Rafe Longin run to bring it 34-7.
Big Sky would add another score on a short Jensen run, to cut the lead to 34-14 at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Bison would respond with a 27 yard pass from Harris to Garrett Stone in the back of the end zone, which yielded the final score.
After losing the first four games of the season, Great Falls High has now won six in a row entering the State AA quarterfinals. The Bison will play at West No. 1 seed Missoula Sentinel next Friday.
Helena Capital 45, Great Falls CMR 7
GREAT FALLS—The AA first round playoffs started off with less than ideal conditions for football with the wind coming in fast in Memorial Stadium. The 5-4 Helena Capital Bruins came in and worked fast as well on the hosting Great Falls CMR Rustlers.
The first possession looked promising for the Rustlers as Gus Nunez hauled in a long 3rd and 7 completion but the drive stalled and the strong gusts pushed a short field goal attempt wide right.
The Bruins got the ball back and marched their way down the field which was capped
Later in the first Michelotti on the 11-yard line gets it to Tom carter on the swing pass. They go up 14-0 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Michelotti continued to make plays scrambling around on a broken play getting it down to the one yard line. Dylan Graham finished the drive off on a 1-yard run. The Bruins were up 21-0 after that.
The struggles continued for Great Falls CMR as their punt attempt popped up into the air was caught in the end zone off a bounce for a Bruins touchdown.
The second half was more of the same as Helena Capital won 45-7 as they advance to the next round of the State AA playoffs. Capital will be on the road against Billings West in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Helena 42, Bozeman Gallatin 28
HELENA—In the first meeting between the two teams, Helena High routed Bozeman Gallatin 42-28 to advance to the second round of the Class AA Playoffs.
The Raptors were the first team on the board with Bryan Mikkelson taking advantage of great field position, but the Bengals rallied in the second quarter as Kaden Huot found Kade Schlepp twice through the air and two more rushing touchdowns to give the Bengals a 28-7 lead at the half.
The Raptors found some life late in the game, but it was too late as the Bengals proved dominant in the contest. Helena will advance to play Bozeman High on the road next Friday.
Kalispell Glacier 21, Billings Senior `14
KALISPELL—Kalispell Glacier opened its 2021 postseason with a 21-14 win over Billings Senior on Friday in the first round of the State AA playoffs.
On Glacier's first possession of the game, Luke Bilau caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Gage Sliter to put the Wolfpack on the board early. Billings Senior then responded in the second quarter with a Jacob Miller run for a 11-yard touchdown. The game remained tied 7-7 going into halftime.
Glacier running back Jake Rendina opened the second half with a 2-yard touchdown run, as he finished with 107 rushing yards. Glacier added on to its lead in the fourth quarter when Sliter found Jake Turner in the end zone. Senior's Peyton Oakley added a rushing touchdown in the fourth, but Glacier held on to win 21-14.
Glacier will advance to the quarterfinals next Friday, where they'll face Butte on the road.