Each week, SBLive will rank the top 10 teams across the state of Montana regardless of classification. Here’s a look at how those teams fared in games played in Week 9 of the high school football season.
HOW THE TOP 10 FARED — OCT. 22
1. MISSOULA SENTINEL 8-0 (AA) beats No. 7 Butte, 28-14 (Thu.)
Defending state champions will not only go into playoffs as top overall seed, but also on an 18-game winning streak; QB Zac Crews two first-half TDs.
2. BILLINGS WEST 8-1 (AA) beats No. 10 Bozeman, 35-3
After facing an early deficit, the Dowler brothers put things back in order with scores – Taco on an 80-yard kickoff return, and Caden a 77-yard catch.
3. HAMILTON 8-0 (A) beats Columbia Falls, 55-20
QB Tyson Rostad and Broncs have big second quarter (34 points), and rematch of 2018 state semifinals is one-sided affair.
4. LAUREL 8-0 (A) beats Havre, 42-7 (Thu.)
The reigning ‘A’ champions complete unbeaten regular season in style – three QB Kyson Moran first-half TD passes, including last one on final play.
5. FLORENCE-CARLTON 8-0 (B) beats Bigfork, 42-14 (Thu.)
Battle in the South ‘B’ ranks was close for a while.- until Falcons’ special teams (fake field goal, onside kick led to TDs) broke it open.
6. HELENA 7-2 (AA) beats No. 9 Capital, 21-7
What a night for DE Forrest Suero, who forces two turnovers, has two sacks – and dominate the cross-town rival; Bengals are No. 3 seed from West.
7. BUTTE 6-3 (AA) loses to No. 1 Sentinel, 28-14 (Thu.)
Against the reigning AA state champions, you can’t sputter on offense like the Bulldogs did in the first half (two turnovers, FG blocked).
8. POLSON 9-0 (A) beats Whitefish, 38-24
Pirates trailed (24-19) late in the third quarter, but ride rushing attack – and special-teams trickery with a fake punt – to take control in final quarter.
9. HELENA CAPITAL 5-4 (AA) loses to No. 6 Helena, 21-7
RB Dylan Graham’s short TD run cut it to one-score game late in third quarter, but too many missed assignments, turnovers hurt down the stretch.
10. BOZEMAN 5-4 (AA) loses to No. 2 Billings West, 35-3
Hawks led 3-0 after driving the length of the field on their opening series. After that, it was big-play Billings West controlling the action.
(Featured photo courtesy of Darren Winberg/Sports anchor for NBC Montana)