Billings Central hosts Lewistown

Billings Central's Michael Hayden (3) celebrates with Marcus Wittman (2) and Derek Damjanovich (7) after scoring a touchdown against Lewistown on Friday at Herb Klindt Field. The Rams won 17-7.


Class AA

• Connor Ryan caught three TD strikes from quarterback Josh Erbacher from long distance and defending state champion and top-ranked Billings West had little trouble with Kalispell Flathead 48-7. The Erbacher-to-Ryan connections went for 46, 64 and 41 yards, the last TD giving the Golden Bears a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. Erbacher, who was 12-for-14 passing for 232 yards, also added a 78-yard scoring run. Taco Dowler, Michael DeLeon and Hayes Roholoff scored on TD runs for West. Flathead got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard pass from Cooper Smith to Chance Sheldon-Allen.

Rollie Worster ran for two TDs and threw for two to Ian Finch to get Missoula Hellgate off to a fast start on its season with a 39-0 trouncing of Billings Skyview. Worster connected with Finch from 3 and 76 yards out to give the Knights a 16-0 lead at halftime, then ran for his two scores to make it 30-0. Worster also ran for two two-point conversions. Abe Johnson kicked a 20-yard field goal and two extra points for Hellgate.

• Missoula Big Sky earned its first win by thwarting a last-minute drive by No. 5 Bozeman for a 21-18 victory. The Eagles went ahead on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Draven Lincoln to Everett Fred with 69 seconds left.

Tommy Mellott threw three more TD passes and ran for two as No. 2 Butte pummeled Great Falls CMR 52-21 to start the season 2-0. Mellott threw 10- and 33-yard scoring strikes to Banner Cetraro, and a 37-yarder to Cory West. He also ran in from 6 and 60 yards away. Mellott had 335 yards passing and added another 121 yards on seven carries as the Bulldogs rolled up 624 yards. Bryce Nelson threw two TD passes for the Rustlers, one to Wyatt Hagen that went 72 yards and the second to Keegan Barnes on a 7-yarder.

Jaxon Lee opened the scoring with a 85-yard punt return after fumbling the catch and then added a 4-yard run to finish the scoring as Missoula Sentinel won a defensive battle with Billings Senior 21-3. Haiden Crews scored the other TD on a 7-yard pass from Dayton Bay. Jackson Burckley kicked a 38-yard field goal for Senior's only points.

Kadyn Craigle scored three rushing touchdowns and No. 3 Helena Capital moved to 2-0 with a 31-21 victory over Great Falls at Vigilante Stadium. Craigle's runs were from 2, 2 and 1 yards out. Great Falls' first score came on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Almos to Levi Torgerson. Ryan Quinn kicked a 25-yard field goal and four extra points for Capital, which led 28-7 at one point. 

Hayden Ferguson and Kyler Tesch each scored touchdowns and Cavin Wade kicked field goals from 32 and 38 yards out for defensive-minded Helena in a 19-0 blanking of Belgrade. Ferguson's 3-yard run gave the Bengals a 10-0 halftime lead and Tesch finished the scoring with a 4-yard pass from Kaden Huot.

Kannon Katzer scored five rushing touchdowns, including a 98-yarder, and Mount Spokane, Washington, held off a late push by Kalispell Glacier for a 38-35 nonconference win in the Flathead. Quarterback JT Allen had a big day for Glacier, throwing two TD passes and running for two. Allen's 15-yard pass to Luke Bilau brought the Wolfpack within 38-35 in the fourth quarter after Katzer had scored three consecutive TDs.

Class A

• A strong defensive performance highlighted a season-opening 17-7 win for second-ranked Billings Central over Eastern A foe Lewistown at Herb Klindt Field. Central junior Michael Hayden opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run, and the Rams went up 17-7 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from junior Marcus Wittman to senior Charlie Parkan. Lewistown scored late in the first half on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Clayton Elmore to fellow senior Gage Clinton.

Jace Klucewich scored twice in the second quarter, first on a 25-yard pass from Cade Baker and then on a 48-yard punt return, to help lift No. 4 Frenchtown to a 28-0 shutout of Butte Central. Ben Larson scored the Broncs' other TDs, on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and a 65-yarder in the fourth. 

Pete Gibson had a unique hat trick by scoring a rushing touchdown, returning an interception for a touchdown and running for another touchdown on three consecutive drives as Dillon scored 21 points in the first quarter and pounded Stevensville 42-0. The Beavers led 35-0 at halftime.

Carson Rostad tossed four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth as top-ranked Hamilton had no trouble with rival Corvallis 47-7. Rostad threw two TD passes to Mason Murray, from 34 and 14 yards out, and added scoring strikes to Tucker Jones from 17 yards and Jaiden Klemundt from 5. Rostad also ran in from 11 yards in the first quarter. Landon Duce had two 4-yard TD runs for the Broncs. 

Devon Beale ran for two touchdowns and Whitefish overcame its own mistakes to topple Polson 28-15. Beale's runs from 63 and 11 yards out gave the Bulldogs an early 14-0 lead. Polson sscored on a safety and 28-yard fumble return, but a 9-yard run by Zach Veneman put Whitefish back in control.

Class B

Keeley Bake ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns and threw for two more as defending state champion and top-ranked Fairfield flexed its muscles with a 38-7 thumping of Missoula Loyola in a rematch of last year's lopsided title game. The Eagles won last year's championship showdown 30-13. Bake opened the scoring with a 7-yard pass to Gaice Blackwell and added a 41-yard run for a 14-0 lead after one quarter. He had runs of 13 and 68 yards for scores in the second half. Loyola didn't score until Nick Mitzel found Basil Coutinho for a 12-yard pass in the fourth quarter. 

• Huntley Project evened its record by getting touchdowns from five different players and scoring all of its points in the first half of a 48-8 romp over Anaconda. Stran Selman started the scoring with a 32-yard pass from Rylan DeVries. The Red Devils' next four scores came on the ground: 16 yards from Austin Aman, 20 from Dawson Lindeen, five by Ashton Christman, 50 by Hunter Dare and 34 by Chris Kistler.

Riley O'Donnell scored three touchdowns on the ground to lead Baker to a 34-13 romp over Wolf Point. Avery Uecker also scored for the Spartans. Austin Wilson had Wolf Point's two TDs.

Rex Williamson caught three TD passes and ran for a fourth as Malta bolted to a 30-point halftime lead and cruised to a 58-14 trouncing of Roundup. Williamson caught scoring passes of 5, 10 and 38 yards from three different passers and added a 25-yard rushing TD in the second quarter. 

Braden Tomlin scored all three of Red Lodge's touchdowns on the ground and Jay Graham's three extra points were the difference as the Rams built a 21-7 lead and held on for a 21-20 win over Columbus. Tomlin's scores came from 30, 3 and 12 yards out, the latter giving Red Lodge a 14-point lead. Colby Martinez's two TDs, one from 12 yards out on the ground and the other from 12 yards via the air, brought the Cougars within a point. They went for two after the final TD but their running play fell short.

Jace Thompson scored three TDs, Tim Lane added two and nine players overall scored as No. 6 Fort Benton rolled all over Hays-Lodgepole 70-12 after scoring 32 first-quarter points. Thompson scored on 13- and 24-yard runs and added a 12-yard pass from Garrett Diekhans to close out the first quarter. Lane had runs of 9 and 32 yards. Wyman Bringinggood broke the scorind drought for Hays-Lodgepole with a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter and Lane Kirkaldie added another score on a 58-yard pass from Daniel Henry.

Matt DeLong ran for 100 yards and two TDs to power Deer Lodge to a 33-0 pounding of Three Forks. 

• Tegan Robbins got Whitehall started with a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before freshmen quarterback Miles Hoerauf found junior Flint Smith for an 11-yard TD and then Hoerauf added a final TD in the third quarter, finding junior Evan Wagner for a 6-yard reception in the end zone, as the Trojans improved to 2-0 with a 19-8 win over Shepherd.

Hank Dunn threw three touchdown passes and Chet McCully scored three times as Eureka overpowered Townsend 49-14. McCully rushed for TDs from 4 and 13 yards out, and also caught a 25-yard scoring strike from Dunn.


Isaiah Allik .ran for three scores and Braydon Zempel added the fourth as Charlo held off No. 7 Arlee 28-14. Allik opened the scoring with a 37-yard run and added 1- and 35-yard TDs in the second half, the latter breaking a 14-14 tie. Noah Coulson and Cody Tanner scored Arlee's TDs. 

Hayden Ward ran for two touchdowns and caught two scoring passes as Joliet sprinted to a 22-point halftime lead and routed Lone Peak 44-12. Ward's runs came from 3 and 14 yards out, and he also caught a 34-yard TD pass from Caleb Bailey and a 48-yarder from Wyatt Anderson. Frankie Starz scored both of Lone Peak's TDs, rushing from 2 and 1 yards out.

Kyler Crabtree had four touchdowns and John Rappold added three scores -- two on pass receptions -- to power Choteau to a 62-8 thumping of Rocky Boy. Crabtree had a 71-yard kickoff return for a score to start the game and followed quickly with a 30-yard TD run. Rappold caught back-to-back TDs for a four-score lead and then Crabtree sandwiched two rushing TDs around a 35-yard Rappold run. Rocky Boy's score came on a fumble return in the fourth quarter.

Nate Wilhite and Trey Fisher each scored two touchdowns and Thompson Falls raced to a 40-point halftime lead en route to a 62-0 blanking of Victor. Wilhite scored on a 27-yard run and a 25-yarder, and Fisher had a 17-yard rushing TD and a fumble recovery in the end zone. 

Carson Baker threw touchdown passes to Tucker Johnstone and Garrett McMillen, and Park City scored the game's final 18 points in a 38-20 victory over Ennis. Baker also had 52- and 8-yard scoring runs for the Panthers. Jacob Johnson's two TDs accounted for the Mustangs' scoring. Park City had 371 total yards, 294 on the ground. 

Tanner Parsons scored three touchdowns -- one on a pass from Logan Leck -- and No. 2 Shelby ran all over Simms 39-18. Parsons rushed from 40 and 1 yards out, and caught a 12-yarder from Leck. Tanner Watson also caught two TD passes for the Coyotes, from Taylor Parsons

Shane Girres accounted for all four of fourth-ranked Great Falls Central touchdowns in a 28-14 win over No. 9 Belt. Girres ran for Central's first score from 13 yards out and broke an 8-8 tie with a 5-yard pass to Nick Scott. He then gave the Mustangs the only points they'd need with a 1-yard run and also tossed a 32-yard TD to Drew Newman. Kaimen Evans and T.J. Hennes scored for the Huskies.

Brady Buxbaum's two TD runs led the way as top-ranked Fairview coasted to a 54-14 rout of No. 8 Culbertson. Buxbaum scored from 25 and 11 yards out. Alex Schriver scored on touchdown and threw for another to Paul Hardy for Fairview. 

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Owen Mercado Jr. threw five touchdown passes -- three to Dakota Wood -- to lift Seeley-Swan to a 50-6 pounding of Plains. Walker McDonald also caught TD passes for Seeley-Swan,and Wood caught a fourth.  

Turner Tooke scored three of the game's first four TDs and Ekalaka cruised to a 32-point halftime lead en route to a 40-14 trouncing of Plentywood. Tooke scored from 6 and 17 yards out for a 16-0 lead and ran from a yard out to make it 32-0 at halftime. Zachary Freeman's two TD passes put Plentywood on the board. 


• Jake McAllister caught four TD passes from quarterback Brandon Knudsen as third-ranked Hot Springs overwhelmed Sunburst 52-6. The Knudsen-to-McAllister connections went for 12, 14, 9 and 5 yards. Knudsen also ran for a score from a yard out and Luke Waterbury had 12- and 6-yards scoring jaunts for the Savage Heat. A 44-yard run by Stanley Jarvis accounted for the Refiners' only score.

Kade Strutz rushed for 108 yards and scored two touchdowns in second-ranked Big Sandy's 51-6 victory over North Star. He had scoring runs of 1 and 51 yards. Teammate Ryan Roth also rushed for 91 yards and accounted for three touchdowns on runs of 35, 3 and 56 yards. Big Sandy led 43-6 at halftime.

Josh Baldwin was a one-man wrecking crew with four touchdowns as Noxon overwhelmed Heart Butte 64-7. Baldwin scored from 35 and 19 yards out to start the game and added running TDs from 16 and 24 yards. Brody Hill added a 15-yard run for a score and a 25-yard interception return for the Red Devils, and also threw a TD pass. Clifton Bullshoe's 1-yard run in the fourth quarter got Heart Butte on the board.

Brody Geer opened the scoring with a 55-yard interception return and then closed it with the game-winning 4-yard run as Roy-Winifred won a wild 50-45 affair with Harlowton-Ryegate. Geer also had a third TD and Tyler Fordyce threw two scoring strikes to Justic Stulc, and it was Fordyce's 11-yard run in the fourth quarter that brought Roy-Winifred within striking distance for Geer after Harlowton-Ryegate had taken a 45-37 lead. Sivad Davis ran for three scores for the Engineers, and Johnny Mysse and Tayt Hansen also scored twice -- Hansen on a 70-yard kick return.


Class AA

• Billings West swept three matches in pool play to advance to Saturday’s bracket play at the Gillette (Wyoming) Invitational. The Golden Bears defeated Laramie, Wyoming, 25-15, 26-24, St. Thomas, Wyoming, 27-25, 25-15 and Newcastle, Wyoming, 25-12, 25-12. Megan Benton had 18 kills and Shauna Stene 12 kills and 11 blocks in pool play.

Karli Steiner had 12 kills and 12 digs and Bailey King had seven blocks to help Billings Senior top Belgrade 25-16, 16-25, 25-16, 25-20 in Eastern AA play. Liv LaBeau added nine kills and Jensen Keller (19) and Emma Hanson (12) combined for 31 assists. Keller also had 11 digs. Kamie Gorrell had seven kills and Tylee Bowler 19 digs to lead Belgrade.

Class A

Maria Stewart had a double-double of 32 assists and 25 digs to help Billings Central rally past Worland, Wyoming, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 26-24 in the Border Wars in Cody, Wyoming. Olivia Moten-Schell added 13 kills and seven aces for the two-time Class A state champions. Cindy Gray and Isabelle Evans had five blocks each. Central finished the first day with a 25-11, 25-15, 25-21 win over Jackson, Wyoming. Moten Schell had eight kills and three aces, and Gracie Zeier had 14 digs.

Class B

Maggie Graves had 12 kills and three aces, and Avory Escobar added 29 assists and the team's only block as Eureka swept past Deer Lodge, 25-13, 25-22, 25-22. 

Blythe Sealey put down 23 kills in Roundup’s 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 sweep of Shepherd. She also had 1.5 blocks. Meghan Eiselein has 12 assists and 1.5 blocks for the Panthers, and Kylie Lemberg had 14 digs for Shepherd.

Class C 

• Abigail Schmidt had four kills and two of her team's four blocks and Custer-Hysham had 27 aces in cruising past Belfry 25-4, 25-9, 25-11. Hanna Yochum served nine aces for the Rebels. Whitney Herden had three kills, two assists and an ace for the Bats.

Emily Adkins had 11 kills, and Sami Fusco added 15 assists and eight aces to power Bridger past Reed Point-Rapelje 25-12, 25-10, 25-16. Carlee Blodgett had four kills, four blocks and four aces to lead the Renegades. 

Kimberly Bear led the way with 17 kills, three blocks and four aces for Roberts in a 28-26, 25-13, 22-25, 21-25, 15-5 marathon win over Melstone. Bentley Bertolino chipped in with 26 assists and Emma DeVries had 25 digs for the Rockets.

Liv Wangerin pounded nine kills and had 19 digs, and Donn Longan added eight kills, five aces and two blocks as Plentywood slipped past Froid-Lake 25-19-, 25-21, 21-25, 25-6. Megan Marriage contributed 10 assists and five aces for the Wildcats.

Amelia Hill's nine kills were tops for Philipsburg in a 25-18, 25-18, 25-12 victory over Harrison. Shelby Struna added 12 assists and Audrey Radtke six aces for P-burg. Aleena Bacon's five kills topped Harrison.

Ava Kreider had six kills, Jazmen Brown added 14 digs and Jenna Gibson fired six aces to lead Jordan to a 26-24, 25-20, 25-18 win against Broadus. Karli Collins had four kills and a block for Broadus.



Class A

Casey Schneider came up with two goals and two assists in Whitefish's 6-1 victory at Livingston in a Class A matchup. Teammate Ian Lacey chipped in with two goals. Ryan Brown had the lone Livingston goal. Whitefish outshot Livingston 19-3. 

Sam Dull scored one goal and assisted on another to help Billings Central edge Missoula Loyola 2-1. Will Burns put Loyola up 1-0, but the Rams responded with Dull’s equalizer before Camden Capser put Central in the lead.


Class A

Solei Elletson and Morgan Ferestad tallied hat tricks as Billings Central defeated Missoula Loyola 9-1. Molly Molvig scored twice and Kellan Wahl also scored and had two assists for the Rams, who also received three assists from Zoie Althoff. Sydney Koppang scored Loyola’s goal.

Cross Country

James Normandeau posted a winning time of 16 minutes, 43.21 seconds in leading Ronan to a boys team title in the Canal Bank meet in Ronan. The Chiefs scored 45 points, underscoring runner-up Polson by 12. Frenchtown took the girls team title behind a winning performance by Abigail Sherwood in 21:10.05.


• Laurel swept the team and medalist titles at the Hardin Invitational. Nick Pasquarello and Jace McNeil finished 1-2 for the Locomotives, with Pasquarello posting a 71 for the win. McNeil had a 72. The Laurel boys finished with 304 and Billings Central was second with 315. Haylee Adams and Keli Hodges placed 1-2 for the Locomotive girls. Adams shot a 75 for medalist honors and Hodges was second with 81. Hannah Adams was fifth with an 86. The Laurel girls easily won the team title with 334 while Sidney was second with 416.

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