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Butte's toughness earns Bulldogs a spot in rankings; 8-Man showdowns looming

Butte's toughness earns Bulldogs a spot in rankings; 8-Man showdowns looming

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Butte vs Helena High (copy)

Butte's Jonas Sherman hauls in a touchdown Friday night. The Bulldogs pounded No. 3 Helena 34-20 to move into the rankings.

BOZEMAN — In a week where games involving ranked teams went mostly true to form, one moderately surprising result stands out as a statement game.

The moniker “Butte tough” rang true once more this past Friday night, when the unranked Bulldogs KO’d No. 3 Helena early on the way to a 34-20 thumping in which they led 27-nil in the third quarter. With the win, Butte (2-1) jumps into Class AA’s fourth slot in the third high school football rankings of the season.

Helena (2-1), which has designs on contending for the state title, slips to No. 5. Missoula Sentinel remains on top after a COVID-19 bye and Billings West (2-1) stays put at No. 2 after routing previous No. 5 Bozeman Gallatin 42-14.

Upcoming Class AA game of the week, assuming COVID-19 doesn’t stick its talons any deeper into sports schedules: New No. 3 Kalispell Glacier (3-0) puts its unbeaten mark on the line at defending champ Missoula Sentinel (2-0) at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the state’s rankings remain relatively static. Class A stays exactly the same after all five teams earned strong wins, leaving Hamilton (3-0) perched at the summit and defending champion Laurel (2-0) engineering a full-throttle chase at No. 2. No. 3 Billings Central (2-0), No. 4 Whitefish (3-0) and No. 5 two-points-a-minute Polson (3-0) all kept rolling as well.

Upcoming Class A game of the week: Laurel faces a stern road test Friday night against a 3-0 Lewistown squad that has outscored its first three opponents 123-14.

In Class B, the first six spots are unchanged. The only newcomer is Big Timber (2-1) from the rugged South, after pitching its second consecutive shutout – this one 27-0 over previously ranked Shepherd. Three Forks (2-1) slips three spots to No. 10 after a 43-0 drubbing at No. 1 Florence-Carlton (2-0), which appears to be the class of the class.

Upcoming Class B game of the week: The state’s overall showcase showdown is No. 3 Townsend (2-0), which has yet to allow a point, squaring off against Florence-Carlton, which is also unscored upon, at 1 p.m. Saturday in what could be the most competitive game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium until a Brawl of some repute Nov. 20.

Equally immovable was 8-Man, where the top nine teams either had an off week or won decisively. The only change is at No. 10, where Simms (3-0) slides in for St. Ignatius (2-1), which was pounded 62-6 by No. 5 Thompson Falls (3-0). Keep an eye on: Chinook (3-0), which has outscored the opposition 138-44.

Upcoming 8-Man game of a top-heavy week: Thompson Falls hosting No. 7 Alberton-Superior (3-0) in a clash of western Montana titans at 7 p.m. Friday. Honorable mentions: No. 8 Belt (3-0) at No. 2 Fort Benton (2-0) for the unofficial Golden Triangle crown and No. 4 Scobey (3-0) at No. 6 Culbertson (3-0) for the unofficial Beast of the East belt.

Movement was sparse in 6-Man as well. The top nine teams went 8-1, the only smudge being No. 4 Power-Dutton-Brady’s 58-22 shellacking at the hands of No. 1 Froid Lake (3-0) – enough to drop the Titans three rungs but no reason to give them the full kick to the rankings curb. Welcome to No. 10 Geraldine-Highwood (3-0), which has earned some recognition though the sledding will get tougher after this week.

Upcoming 6-Man game of the week: Froid-Lake will have its mettle tested when the Redhawks nee Honkers make the long journey west to play Shields Valley (2-0) in a game that pits the defending state champion against a semifinalist.

The rankings (+/- = movement upward or downward):

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (2-0)

2. Billings West (2-1) 

3. Kalispell Glacier (3-0) (+1)

4. Butte (2-1) (+2)

5. Helena (2-1) (-2)

Class A

1. Hamilton (3-0)

2. Laurel (2-0)

3. Billings Central (2-0) 

4. Whitefish (3-0) 

5. Polson (3-0) 

Class B

1. Florence-Carlton (2-0) 

2. Fairfield (2-0) 

3. Townsend (2-0)

4. Columbus (2-0) 

5. Bigfork (1-0) 

6. Eureka (2-1) 

7. Malta (2-0) (+1)  

8. Jefferson (2-0) (+1) 

9. Big Timber (2-1) (+2)

10. Three Forks (2-1) (-3)


1. Drummond-Philipsburg (2-0)

2. Fort Benton (2-0)

3. Joliet (3-0)

4. Scobey (3-0)

5. Thompson Falls (3-0)

6. Culbertson (3-0)

7. Alberton-Superior (3-0)

8. Belt (3-0)

9. Sheridan (2-0)

10. Simms (3-0) (+1)


1. Froid-Lake (3-0)

2. White Sulphur Springs (2-0)

3. Hot Springs (3-0)

4. Broadview-Lavina (3-0) (+1)

5. Bridger (3-0) (+1)

6. Richey-Lambert (1-1) (+1)

7. Power-Dutton-Brady (2-1) (-3)

8. Shields Valley (2-0)

9. DGS-GRW (3-0) 

10. Geraldine-Highwood (3-0) (+1)




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