Billings Senior Broncs vs. Helena Capital Bruins

Helena Capital's Anthony Guccione (4) dodges a Billings Senior defender Friday at Daylis Stadium. The Bruins won the season opener 35-30.


Class AA

• Parker Johnston scored four long touchdowns – two of them on interception returns – to help Helena Capital defeat Billings Senior 35-30. Capital quarterback Bridger Grovom connected with Johnston on a 73-yard score and Johnston scored on a 70-yard pass from fellow receiver Cy Miller as part of a 171-yard reception night. Broncs quarterback Michael Ohlin was 37 of 49 for 436 yards and three touchdowns, but he and Christian Emineth were both victimized by Johnston’s pick-6’s. The first covered 45 yards and the second 30 yards. Capital’s Kadyn Craigle carried the ball 16 times for 100 yards. Senior’s Oran Nash-Bergen caught 13 passes for 126 yards and Junior Bergen had seven catches for 104 yards. Jacksen Burckley caught two touchdown passes.

• Junior quarterback JT Allen went 14 of 18 for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the Kalispell Glacier's season-opening 47-6 win at Billings Skyview. Glacier sophomore running back Jake Rendina rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, senior wide receiver Drew Deck caught four passes for 111 yards and a score, and sophomore tight end Luke Bilau finished with 107 yards and a score on three catches.

• Montana State commit Tommy Mellott threw for five touchdowns and 332 yards as Butte pulled past Belgrade 46-20 in the Panthers' first-ever Class AA game. The Bulldogs had 502 yards of offense to Belgrade’s 283. Panther quarterback Dyson Cheney had 180 yards passing and 63 on the ground. Quinn Sullivan had two receiving touchdowns and a blocked punt for the Bulldogs. Belgrade is the first school in Montana history to compete in all four classifications.

• Missoula Sentinel held off host Great Falls for a 26-15 debut win. TJ Rausch started the Spartan scoring on a 25-yard pass from Zac CrewsJaxon Lee added a 46-yard run before Great Falls got on the board in the second quarter. Lee scored on runs of 11 and 65 yards in the second half.

• In his debut at quarterback, sophomore Kaden Huot threw for 172 yards and a touchdown to lead Helena past Great Falls CMR 26-15 at Vigilante Stadium. Hayden Ferguson ran for two TDs for the Bengals, who led 19-7 at halftime. Tyler Kesch had seven receptions for 97 yards and a TD. Keegan Barnes scored both of CMR's touchdowns, on passes from quarterback Bryce Nelson. The Helena team played with stickers on their helmets honoring the memory of CMR player David Delcomte, who died in a diving accident in July. 

• Billings West quarterback Josh Erbacher passed for three touchdowns as the Golden Bears defeated Missoula Big Sky 41-6 to open defense of their state championship. Erbacher also had a 3-yard TD run. Connor Ryan hauled in two scores for the Bears, one on a 59-yard pass from Erbacher and the other on an 80-yard strike. Zack Tallman caught an 80-yard pass from Erbacher and had a 34-yard interception return. 

Asher Croy scored the game's first two touchdowns, and quarterback Jake D'Agostino threw and ran for scores as Bozeman opened with a 35-0 whitewashing of Kalispell Flathead. Alexander Swann was 5-for-5 on extra points for the Hawks. 

Class A

Jace Klucewich accounted for four touchdowns, including the game-winnner, as Frenchtown outlasted Dillon 27-24 in double overtime. The Beavers opened the scoring with a 5-yard run from Erik Westman in the first quarter. Klucewich then accounted for the next two touchdowns—a 43-yard pass to Cade Baker and a 55-yard quarterback run. With the game tied at 21-21 in the final moments of the fourth quarter, a missed last-second field goal attempt by Dillon sent the game into overtime. After neither team scored in the first period, Johnny Reiser kicked a short field goal to give the Beavers a 24-21 lead. Frenchtown went for it on a 4th and 2 at the goal line and Klucwich scored.  

Jess Bellows caught three of Carson Hunter's four touchdown passes and Miles City rolled to a 22-point first quarter lead en route to a 38-7 blitzing of Glendive. Hunter also tossed a scoring TD to Aidan Barrows. Matt Dufner scored Glendive's only TD.

Jeff Jones scored on runs of 1 and 9 yards, including the eventual game-winner in the third quarter, as Sidney opened with an 18-14 victory over Havre. Havre led 14-6 in the second quarter when Reese Buckley and Trenton Maloughney combined for a 13-yard scoring toss, but the Eagles responded with a 33-yard scoring connection between Jaxson Franklin and Cooper McGloughlin to pull within 14-12 at intermission. Jones' 9-yard run was the only score of the second half.

• Montana commit and Gatorade Player of the Year Carson Rostad threw for 396 yards and accounted for six touchdowns in outdueling fellow quarterback Thomas McGree as defending runner-up Hamilton outlasted Butte Central 49-26. McGree passed for 359 yards and three scores, all to receiver Guido Ossello. 

Jeff Offenbecher ran 93 yards for one score and caught a 16-yard pass for another as Libby cruised to a 24-point halftime lead and a 31-0 shutout of Whitefish. Dawson Young also ran for 125 yards and two scores for the Loggers, who compiled nearly 500 yards in total fofense. Devin Beale had 125 yards rushing for Whitefish.

Class B

• Florence-Carlton fended off a late Jefferson drive and won 28-15 in the season-opener for both teams. Jefferson trailed 21-15 with less than a minute remaining in the game and, on fourth-down, fumbled and saw the Falcons scoop it up for a score at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. In the second quarter, Jefferson's Ethan Smartnick intercepted a Florence pass, was stripped and saw teammate Jaxson Yanzick scoop it up and run it in for a 15-7 lead at hafltime. Florence-Carlton opened the second half with a kickoff return to trim Jefferson's lead to 15-14. 

• Perennial power Missoula Loyola opened its season with a 25-20 win over Huntley Project on Montana State's field in Bozeman. Nick Mitzel's 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the difference. Mitzel and Malta transfer Cormac Benn each scored two touchdowns for the Rams. Nolan Iverson piled up a team-high 86 rushing yards for Loyola.

• Conrad's Tommy Hammond scored on a 55-yard fumble recovery with less than a minute remaining to help the Cowboys preserve a 34-28 season-opening win over Deer Lodge. Conrad found the end zone for the first time on a 74-yard catch-and-run from Caden Huntsinger to Carson Bitney for a 7-0 lead with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.

Braden Tomlin and Davis Finnegan each had two rushing TDs in the first half as Red Lodge rolled to a 21-point halftime and downed Big Timber 42-14. Tomlin had runs of 28 and 10 yards sandwiched between Finnegan runs of 5 yards each as the Rams rebounded from an early 7-0 deficit to score four straight touchdowns. 

Trey Hoveland threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead 38-yard score to Dawson Sweat seven seconds before halftime, to lead Townsend past Bigfork 20-7. Tommy Stewart rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries for Townsend. Kainin Lafontainen scored both of Bigfork's TDs.

• Eureka steamrolled in its home opener against Bonners Ferry, Idaho, 35-0 as quarterback Hank Dunn ran for two touchdowns and kicked three extra points. Dunn ran for 101 yards and teammate Chet McCully had 131 and a score for the Lions, who had 339 yards on the ground. 

• Salmon, Idaho, dealt Anaconda a 33-0 shutout. In the first half, Salmon put up 195 yards of total offense to Anaconda's 23 en route to a 19-0 lead at the break. 


• Kaimen Evans ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 114 yards and three more touchdowns as Belt romped to a 58-14 lead after one quarter en route to a 58-14 thumping of Absarokee in a battle of Huskies. Evans had TD runs of 8 and 78 yards in the opening quarter. Zacc Degele ran for 115 yards and a score for Absarokee.

• Jace Thompson rushed for five touchdowns in leading Fort Benton to a 61-12 victory over visiting Ennis. Thompson finished with 91 yards rushing on 16 carries. Teammate Garett Diekhans rushed for 113 yards. Fort Benton led 39-0 at intermission. Fort Benton finished with 340 yards on offense, compared to 58 for Ennis.

• Hayden Lockie opened the scoring with a 70-yard kickoff return and also scored on a punt return as Circle bolted to a 42-0 halftime lead and romped past St. Labre 48-16. Cole Becker and freshman Jaron Taylor each added two TDs for the Wildcats. 

Bryan Mask threw eight touchdown passes -- three to Trey Green, who also rushed for two scores -- as Alberton-Superior (Clark Fork) opened the season with an impressive 74-42 rout of defending champion Drummond-Philipsburg (Flint Creek). Mask and Green connected on tosses of 14 and 13 yards for a 14-0 lead and Alberton-Superior blew it open with three straight TDs after leading 20-12. Preston Matesh caught two scores from Mask, whose TD tosses went for 14, 13, 17, 33, 78, 46, 18 and 13 yards. Cade Cutler scored twice for Drummond-Philipsburg, including a 62-yard kick return.


• Kade Strutz rushed 28 times for 232 yards and scored five touchdowns as Big Sandy defeated visiting Jordan 44-28 in an early-season showdown between 6-Man powers. Teammate Brock Proulx added 129 rushing yards and another score for the Pioneers. Big Sandy led 20-12 at halftime and 36-20 heading into the fourth quarter. Keenan Murnion passed for 199 yards and three TDs and rushed for 78 yards and another score for the Mustangs, the defending state runners-up.

• Hot Springs flexed its muscle in its home opener, surging past Harlowton 34-12. Lincoln Slonaker amassed 69 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. The Savage Heat led 20-6 at halftime.

Emmett Gilbert ran for four touchdowns and threw for another to Aiden Jenkins, who scored three TDs as well, as Shields Valley pitched a 30-0 first-half shutout and went on to a 51-8 rout of Sheridan.

Gabe Gonsioroski threw three TD passes as Richey-Lambert, a state semifinalist a year ago, rolled to a big early lead and trounced Geraldine-Highwood 68-12 in a matchup of traditional powers. Geraldine-Highwood was a playoff team a year ago, then considered dissolving its longstanding co-op before reconsidering earlier this year.


Class A

• Corvallis was the only unbeaten team remaining after the first day of the Southwest vs. Northwest Tip-Opp tournament at the Butte Civic Center. Representing the Southwest, the Blue Devils are 4-0, toppling Northwst leader Columbia Falls. Five teams are 3-1: C-Falls, Libby, Stevensville, Butte Central and Frenchtown. Each match was two sets and if the teams split the winner was determined by point differential. The event concludes Saturday with each team playing twice.

Class C 

• Hanna Matovich had 15 kills and Tia Stahl 10 to lead Grass Range-Winnett to a season-opening 25-15, , 25-21, 20-25, 30-28 win over Jordan. Mya Olsen had 21 digs for Grass Range-Winnett. Abby Pierce served five of Jordan's 12 aces.



Class A

• Bigfork topped Missoula Loyola 3-1. Jace Kruer scored the only goal for the Rams on an assist by Will Burns in the 63rd minute.

Felipe Gnecco, Camden Capser and Sam Dull each scored to lead Billings Central past Stevensville 3-2. Gnecco, who scored on a penalty kick, also assisted on Dull's goal. Garrett Button assisted on Capser's goal. 


Class A

• Zoie Althoff scored five goals and Morgan Ferestad added a hat trick as defending state champion Billings Central opened its season with an 11-0 win over Stevensville. Solei ElletsonKellan Wahl and Mya Hansen added goals for the Rams.

• Defending Southern A champion Missoula Loyola steamrolled to a 6-1 win over visiting Bigfork as Lani Walker had four goals and an assist. Sydney Koppang added a goal and two assists for the Breakers.

Cross country

• Helena nearly swept the Billings Invitational at Amend Park. The Bengals finished first among girls teams with a score of 44 (Hardin was second at 102), and Helena’s Kylie Hartnett won the girls individual title by nearly 30 seconds with a time of 17:57.27. Brady Yoder of Dickinson, North Dakota, finished first among boys individuals by more than 30 seconds (15:13.22), and Dickinson beat Helena by two points for the boys team title.

• Ben Morrison set a school record with a time of 16:42 to lead the three-time defending Class C champion Manhattan Christian boys to an easy win in the Seamus Camp Invitational in Livingston. Tommy Hicks of the host Rangers was second in 17:36 and Riley Schott of Manhattan Christian was third. Morrison's time broke Schott's Class C mark by 12 seconds. Defending Class B girls champion Manhattan won the girls meet behind the second-place finish of Jodi Cameron. Dillon's Madalen Shipman was first in 21:06.

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