Some teams will be putting their unbeaten records on the line, some will be searching for their first victory of the season and some will be looking to build off big wins as the third week of the high school football season unfolds on Friday.
Here's a look at what awaits southwest Montana's teams:
HELENA (2-0) at BUTTE (2-0)
A pair of 2-0 football teams will pit their spotless records against each other on Friday at Naranche Stadium in the week’s only meeting between unbeaten Class AA programs.
Coming off a 52-21 thrashing of Great Falls CMR on the road last week, No. 2 Butte High now returns home to take on fifth-ranked Helena High. The Bengals last week delivered a 19-0 shutout against AA newcomer Belgrade. The Bulldogs routed the Panthers 46-20 in the season opener.
Through two games, Butte senior quarterback and Montana State commit Tommy Mellott has thrown for 675 yards and eight touchdowns while leading the Bulldogs with 176 rushing yards and three scores on the ground.
Junior wide receiver Banner Cetaro has hauled in a team-high three touchdowns while Cory West and Quinn Sullivan each have two.
The Bulldogs’ backfield has been led by the tandem of senior twins Kobe and Kameron Moreno with Kameron churning out 152 yards and two rushing scores.
While Butte’s passing game has been red-hot, Helena’s is still warming up. The Bengals have been limited to under 300 passing yards through two games and have notched just two touchdowns through the air. Helena will continue to lean on the legs of dual-threat quarterback Hayden Ferguson who has ran for over 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Heading into the third week of the high school football season, only five AA teams are still unbeaten. Out of the Western Division are Butte, Helena, Helena Capital and Missoula Sentinel. Billings West is the lone team in the Eastern Division without a loss.
With Butte and Helena both putting their 2-0 records on the line when they face off, there will be at most four unbeaten teams in the Class AA ranks when Friday evening’s dust settles.
BUTTE CENTRAL (0-2) at DILLON (1-1)
Dillon responded to an opening-week double-overtime loss to Frenchtown by battering Stevensville 42-0 last Friday. The Beavers, who bolted to a 35-0 halftime lead over the Yellowjackets, will now welcome in a Butte Central team searching for its first win of the season.
After trading shots with defending state runner up Hamilton in a Week 1 defeat that saw quarterbacks Carson Rostad and Thomas McGree combine for over 800 passing yards, the Maroons’ couldn’t find that same offensive spark last week in a 28-0 loss to Frenchtown. The Broncs held just a 7-0 lead at halftime but then reeled off 21 unanswered points to close out the game.
WHITEHALL (2-0) at MISSOULA LOYOLA (1-1)
After opening their season with wins over Cut Bank and Shepherd, the Trojans hit the road to put their unbeaten record to the test against the Rams.
Whitehall freshman quarterback Miles Hoerauf has been solid through his first two games of high school football, completing 23 of 42 passes for 371 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Hoerauf also has 139 rushing yards and touchdown. Junior Tegan Robbins leads the Trojans ground game with 188 yards and a score and has been Hoerauf’s preferred passing target with nine receptions for 190 yards.
COLUMBUS (0-1) at JEFFERSON (0-1)
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The Panthers, coming off a bye week, will host their first game of the season while looking to rebound from a 28-15 loss to Florence.
In that game, the Falcons limited senior quarterback Avery Stiles to 107 passing yards on 17 attempts. Running back Jaxson Yanzick was bottled up for 32 yards on 13 carries while Ethan Smartnick led the Panthers with 45 yards on 18 carries.
The Cougars are also coming off a bye week after narrowly falling to Red Lodge 21-20 in Week 1. Columbus trailed 21-6 heading into the fourth quarter of that game and scored two unanswered touchdowns but was unable to complete the rally.
TWIN BRIDGES (0-1) at ABSAROKEE (0-2)
The Falcons will be in the hunt for win No. 1 as they travel to take on winless Absarokee.
Twin Bridges came up short in Week 1 as the Falcons fell to Great Falls Central 28-14 after falling into a quick 15-0 deficit in the first quarter. Senior Bryce Nye accounted for both Twin Bridges touchdowns in that game, finding the endzone on a 6-yard run and hitting Trystan Harmon for an 8-yard scoring pass.
The Huskies are coming off a 48-12 loss to West Yellowstone last Friday and a 70-30 loss to Belt in Week 1.
EUREKA (2-0) at DEER LODGE (1-1)
Deer Lodge will enter its Western B game against the undefeated Lions after overwhelming Three Forks 33-0 last week in an effort that saw running back Matt DeLong eclipse the century mark and rush for a pair of scores.
Eureka has routed both of its opponents, blanking Bonners Ferry 35-0 and rolling past Townsend 49-14.
FROMBERG (0-2) at SHERIDAN (1-1)
The Panthers rebounded from an opening-week loss to Shields Valley by torching Custer-Hysham 62-32. Sheridan's rushing attack has averaged 200 yards per game and sophomore quarterback Kole Hill has thrown for 364 yards.
FLORENCE (1-1) at ANACONDA (0-2)
The Copperheads will be looking to turn things around after being outscored 81-8 through their first two non-conference games against Salmon and Huntley Project as the Falcons come to the Smelter City.
Florence opened its season with a 28-15 win over Jefferson before falling 54-14 to Manhattan on the road.
ENNIS (0-2) at JOLIET (1-1)
The Mustangs' bid to return to the 8-Man playoffs has gotten off to a rocky start after being outscored 99-24 through their first two games.
The J-Hawks, who opened the season with a 41-34 win over Shelby, are also coming off a tough loss in the form of a 42-12 drubbing by Lone Peak.