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Going the distance: Montana high school football playoff teams hit the road for quarterfinals

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BILLINGS — Each classification now has eight teams remaining, which means there are 20 teams crisscrossing our state this weekend for the quarterfinal rounds. 

Here's the breakdown by class for the quarterfinal rounds: 

Class AA has the shortest average overall clocking in at 193.75 miles one-way per trip. 

Distance (one-way, in miles)Opponents
169Great Falls to Missoula Sentinel
114Helena to Bozeman
240Helena Capital to Billings West
252Kalispell Glacier to Butte

None of the road-teams won their first-round matchups, so this will be the first trip away from any of their home stadiums in the playoffs. The top four seeds will host this week after receiving byes through the first round.

In Class A, the mileages make a jump with multiple teams crossing the state. The average trip there jumps to 389.5 miles one-way.

Distance (one-way, in miles)Opponents
343Frenchtown to Laurel
411Billings Central to Polson
534Miles City to Hamilton
270Sidney to Lewistown

However, Miles City leads the pack with their trip to Hamilton as they will again load up the bus to visit the west side of the state after visiting Columbia Falls in the first round.

After earning a road win over Huntley Project in the first round, Class B Big Timber will make the trek to Eureka for a 433 mile one-way trip, but the classification also will have the shortest trip of all this week as Whitehall travels just over 37 miles up to Boulder to face Jefferson.

Distance (one-way, in miles)Opponents
323Columbus to Florence
37.5Whitehall to Jefferson
209Bigfork to Townsend
433Big Timber to Eureka

Averaged out, Class B teams are traveling just over 250 miles one-way.

The longest trip of the week will be as the defending champion Titans from Drummond and Philipsburg travel to Fairview for a one-way trip of 575 miles. The Titans are the two-seed from the west due to a tie-breaker with Thompson Falls, thus earning them a trip out to the east's leader.

Distance (one-way, in miles)Opponents
288Belt to Thompson Falls
363Scobey to Park City
575Drummond-Philipsburg to Fairview
248St. Ignatius to Fort Benton

Belt has gone east and now west as they traveled to Culbertson last week, but Thompson Falls this week. In the quarterfinals, 8-Man teams will travel on average 368.5 miles to their opponents.

Richey-Lambert and Big Sandy will both make their second trips after earning road upsets in the first round. This time, the Fusion will head south to face Shields Valley for the longest distance of 384 miles. On the other hand, Big Sandy gets the short trip of 104 miles to Stanford.

Distance (one-way, in miles)Opponents
148Power-Dutton-Brady to White Sulphur Springs
384Richey-Lambert to Shields Valley
376Bridger to Froid-Lake
104Big Sandy to DGS-GRW

On average, 6-Man teams will travel 253 miles one-way.

The miles pile up quickly for teams with 11 teams already putting in at least 1,000 miles round-trip through just the halfway point of the playoffs.

Miles City leads the pack by racking up 2,126 miles through this weekend. Scobey (1,506), Richey-Lambert (1,348), Belt (1,322) and Bigfork (1,268) round out the top five.

Email Lindsay Rossmiller at or follow her on Twitter @LindsayRossmill.


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