HELENA — Helena High's trip to to Great Falls on Friday was one of the most anticipated games on the opening schedule.
But despite a sluggish start offensively, the Bengals cruised to a 22-0 victory thanks to a pair of Kaden Huot touchdowns and a dominant effort defensively.
"We made some mistakes like in any first game," Helena High head coach Scott Evans said. "But I loved how they responded to some pressure and were able to buckle up when the time came. They had some grit tonight and I loved that."
Neither team scored in the opening stanza and it wasn't until Marcus Evans scored in the middle of the second that the Bengals grabbed an 8-0 lead they would take into halftime.
In the third, Huot added a little dazzle to the grit, connecting with Chase McGurran on an incredible 23-yard score. The two-point conversion made it 16-0 with 3:12 left in the third.
"One of the throws was in the back of the end zone and it was just beautiful," Evans said. "I'm gonna watch it again. That's how impressive it was and he made three or four throws tonight that most kids can't make. McGurran just runs good routes and they just have a great feel for each other."
Evans wasn't kidding as the two hooked up for another score in the fourth quarter to put the icing on a 22-0 opening win for Helena High.
Huot finished with 238 yards yards and two touchdowns after completing 21 of 27 pass attempts, while the Helena offense racked up 179 rushing yards on 28 carries, while stifling the Bison, who finished with negative 27 yards on 31 attempts. The Bengals were credited with two sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Reed Harris rushed for -40 yards for the game. As a passer, he managed just 52 yards and was intercepted once.
"We had some errors and some mistakes," Evans said. "But they really played together as a team. I think overall, you have to give all the guys on our defense credit, the way they were running around."
The Bengals (1-0) will host Billings Senior next Friday in their home opener.