BILLINGS — The Chinook Sugarbeeters were the lone Montana team standing when round-of-16 voting for the online national high school football helmet tournament closed Wednesday morning.
The Glasgow Scotties, Montana’s state helmet champion, fell in a spirited vote to the St. Paul Swordsmen. The teams were tied at 50% with less than 30 minutes left in the voting, but a surge of votes for the Swordsmen sent the St. Paul, California, school on to the round of eight.
St. Paul, which won the California state helmet tournament, finished with 51% of the 7,499 votes cast.
Meanwhile, in a match-up of two at-large helmets, Chinook defeated the Columbus Scotus Shamrocks 54% to 46% among 4,678 votes cast. Both the Sugarbeeters and Shamrocks made the national tournament by winning at-large competitions in their own states and then by being selected from a pool of at-large winners by a panelist of tournament organizers.
The Sugarbeeters take on the Conemaugh Township Indians of Pennsylvania in the round of eight. Conemaugh, of Davidsville, was the Pennsylvania state champion.
Voting for each round-of-eight match-up is open for 48 hours and was scheduled to begin 4 p.m. Mountain time Wednesday. The national helmet tournament is being conducted via Twitter and you can follow along, and vote, at @hshelmettourney.