Huot

Helena High QB Kaden Huot, left, raises his arms after a successful two-point conversion in a 28-14 win over Billings Senior on Friday. Huot scored all four TDs and has his Bengals ranked third in Class AA.

BOZEMAN — Call it the calm before the conference storm.

As many high school football teams completed the brief nonconference portions of their schedules, the top teams around the state largely held court over the weekend and ensured a status quo for the weekly rankings. An exception was Class B, which went full bore after a mere smattering of games on opening weekend.

Class B's top 10 was almost literally turned upside down by Florence-Carlton's 52-0 statement throttling of previously top-ranked and defending state champion Manhattan. As a result, the Falcons move up a spot to No. 1 and the Tigers sit at No. 10 as a show of respect for last year's feat and the possibility that the drubbing was a one-game aberration.

Also revealed in Class B play: The South will be highly competitive and potent this fall. Five of the six teams — Townsend (1-0), Columbus (1-0), Three Forks (2-0), Jefferson (1-0) and Manhattan (0-1) — are ranked, and the sixth, Big Timber (1-1), is no slouch.

Class B game of the upcoming week: No. 1 Florence-Carlton vs. No. 7 Three Forks on Friday night in the Bitterroot.

As for the other classes, the rankings remain largely unchanged and the big news is some first-time arrivals. Bozeman Gallatin (2-0) makes its first appearance in its brief program history in Class AA, explosive Polson (2-0) arrives in Class A, Sheridan (2-0) and St. Ignatius (2-0) board the rankings train in 8-Man, and Savage (1-0) pops in at No. 10 in 6-Man.

Welcome also to Malta (1-0), which checks in at No. 8 in Class B.

In Class AA, the top four are unchanged and Gallatin supplants Billings Senior at No. 5 after thrashing Kalispell Flathead 49-7. The Raptors will learn lots more about themselves when they host No. 2 Billings West (1-1) on Friday in the class' game of the week.

Hamilton (2-0) holds firm in Class A and look like the class of the class after a 48-6 road dismantling of longtime powerhouse Dillon. Billings Central (1-0) moves up a slot to No. 3 behind idle Laurel (1-0) after fending off previously No. 3 Miles City 17-9. The Cowboys (1-1) could still make a case for a top-5 ranking but a seven-touchdown, 565-yard passing performance by Polson's Jarrett Wilson against Stevensville is hard to ignore.

Upcoming game of the week: No. 4 Whitefish visits unranked Butte Central (1-1).

In 8-Man, the top eight teams — starting with No. 1 Drummond-Philipsburg (2-0) and No. 2 Fort Benton (2-0) — looked impressive across the board in maintaining their lofty status. The head-turner thus far is longtime doormat Sheridan (2-0), which rocked previous No. 8 Twin Bridges 35-8 to move into the Falcons' vacated slot and join No. 5 Culbertson (2-0) as the two biggest surprises of the class. Meanwhile, St. Ignatius hops in at No. 10 in place of Shelby (0-2) after tripping Charlo 36-26.

Strong teams on the outside looking in — for now — in 8-Man, the deepest class in the state: Simms (2-0), Chinook (2-0) and Chester-Joplin-Inverness (2-0), all from the North B Sub-Conference, and Plentywood (2-0), from the East B Sub-Conference.

Game of the upcoming week: No. 10 St. Ignatius at No. 5 Thompson Falls on Friday night. Honorable mention: No. 4 Scobey at unranked Plentywood.

Finally, 6-Man also remained mostly static, with the top nine teams either winning or idle. Even previous No. 10 Big Sandy could argue for staying put despite an 0-2 record after hanging tough with No. 3 Hot Springs (2-0) 33-19 a week after a 46-33 loss to No. 2 White Sulphur Springs. Savage edges the Pioneers by virtue of a 58-0 trouncing of Bainville.

Remaining in place at No. 7 despite a loss was Richey-Lambert, which took No. 6 Bridger to the wire 60-58 in the game of the week. Knocking on the rankings door: Geraldine-Highwood (2-0).

Game of the upcoming week: No. 4 Power-Dutton-Brady at No. 1 Froid-Lake at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The rankings (+/- = movement upward or downward):

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (2-0)

2. Billings West (1-1) 

3. Helena (2-0)

4. Kalispell Glacier (2-0)

5. Bozeman Gallatin (2-0) (+1)

Class A

1. Hamilton (2-0)

2. Laurel (1-0)

3. Billings Central (1-0) (+1)

4. Whitefish (2-0) (+1)

5. Polson (2-0) (+1)

Class B

1. Florence-Carlton (1-0) (+1)

2. Fairfield (1-0) (+1)

3. Townsend (1-0) (+1)

4. Columbus (1-0) (+5)

5. Bigfork (1-0) (+1)

6. Eureka (2-0) (+1)

7. Three Forks (2-0) (+3)

8. Malta (1-0) (+3)

9. Jefferson (1-0) (+2)

10. Manhattan (0-1) (-9)

8-Man

1. Drummond-Philipsburg (2-0)

2. Fort Benton (2-0)

3. Joliet (2-0)

4. Scobey (2-0)

5. Thompson Falls (2-0)

6. Culbertson (2-0)

7. Alberton-Superior (2-0)

8. Belt (2-0)

9. Sheridan (2-0) (+2)

10. St. Ignatius (2-0) (+1)

6-Man

1. Froid-Lake (2-0)

2. White Sulphur Springs (1-0)

3. Hot Springs (2-0)

4. Power-Dutton-Brady (2-0)

5. Broadview-Lavina (2-0)

6. Bridger (2-0) 

7. Richey-Lambert (1-1) 

8. Shields Valley (1-0)

9. DGS-GRW (2-0) 

10. Savage (1-0) (+1)

 

 

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