D-P

Top-ranked Drummond-Philipsburg's Avery Metesh goes up for a catch against Victor in an 8-Man game Friday night.

BOZEMAN — Was it the biggest upset of the season thus far?

The players and coaches at Valley Christian would no doubt disagree, but the Eagles (3-2) raised eyebrows Saturday night by rallying past third-ranked and previously unbeaten Hot Springs 40-36 in a 6-Man game. Upon further review, perhaps the result wasn’t a surprise given that Valley Christian was finally healthy, but by scoring a touchdown in the final two minutes the Eagles created the biggest shakeup among the five classes last week.

Hot Springs fell five spots to eighth and remains western Montana’s lone representative in the 6-Man rankings. Combined with Broadview-Lavina’s (4-1) dip to seventh after a 44-19 thumping by No. 3 Bridger (5-0) and No. 10 DGS-GRW’s (4-1) 38-14 loss to No. 6 Shields Valley (3-1), the classification underwent the biggest shifts – though Froid-Lake (5-0) and White Sulphur Springs (3-0) remained 1-2 after stout wins.

Elsewhere, Class A and 8-Man remain unchanged and Class B saw adjustments in the Nos. 8-10 slots.

In Class AA, the top four spots also remained the same, with Missoula Sentinel (4-0), Billings West (4-1), Butte (4-1) and Kalispell Glacier (4-1) winning solidly, Sentinel giving coach Dane Oliver a school-record 60th win and Butte’s Casey Kautzman setting a school mark with a 51-yard field goal.

Joining the ranks is surprising Great Falls CMR (4-1) after a noteworthy 36-12 win over Billings Senior after rallying from a two-point halftime deficit.

Upcoming Class AA game of the week: No. 4 Kalispell Glacier (4-1) at Helena (3-2): The Wolfpack will have their hands full against a desperate Bengals team that has suffered two tough defeats after beginning the season with designs on contending for a state title.

Class A saw no movement after all five teams won convincingly against overmatched opponents. Their margins of victory: 37, 42, 54, 36 and 35 points.

No. 1 Hamilton (5-0, vs. East Helena) and No. 4 Whitefish (5-0, vs. Ronan) should keep their perfect records intact this week, but the road gets tougher for the others.

Upcoming Class A game of the week: No. 2 Laurel (4-0) at No. 3 Billings Central (3-0) in an arch-rivalry rematch of last year’s state-title game that would be just as intense if both were winless. Honorable mention: Polson (5-0) will receive its first real test when it hosts a 3-0 Columbia Falls outfit that has outscored its opposition 125-12.

The first seven spots in Class B remain the same after all seven cruised to wins. The margins of victory for six of those seven were 41, 35, 47, 48, 25, 48, and that includes No. 3 Townsend clubbing previous No. 9 Three Forks 35-0 and No. 6 Eureka (4-1) dumping previous No. 10 Missoula Loyola by 25 points.

The only intense game was No. 2 Columbus’ 26-12 triumph over previous No. 8 Jefferson (2-2), which fell two spots. New to the rankings: Glasgow (4-1) and Big Timber (3-2).

Upcoming Class B game of the week: In a week of intriguing showdowns, rising to the top is No. 6 Eureka (4-1) at No. 1 Florence-Carlton (4-0). Honorable mention: No. 9 Big Timber at No. 2 Columbus (4-0), No. 4 Fairfield (4-0) at No. 8 Glasgow, No. 5 Bigfork (4-0) at Missoula Loyola and No. 3 Townsend (3-1) at Three Forks.

Separation was hard to come by in 8-Man as well, as nine of the 10 teams won and the 10th, No. 5 Culbertson (4-0), had a bye. Drummond-Philipsburg (4-0), Fort Benton (4-0), Joliet (4-0) and Thompson Falls (5-0) all cruised to hang on to the top four spots.

Upcoming 8-Man game of the week: Chinook (5-0) at Simms (5-0) in a battle of unbeaten teams that were unranked at the beginning of the season. Honorable mention: Plentywood at Culbertson and Drummond-Philipsburg at an Albertson-Superior team that was ranked until it was flattened by Thompson Falls two weeks ago.

Is Valley Christian for real? The Eagles will have a chance to elbow their way into the top 10 when they host No. 2 White Sulphur Springs in Missoula.

Upcoming 6-Man game of the week: No. 4 Richey-Lambert (3-1) at No. 1 Froid-Lake (5-0) in what figures to be the last major challenge in the regular season for the defending champion Redhawks. Honorable mention: No. 2 White Sulphur Springs at Valley Christian and No. 7 Broadview-Lavina at Roy-Winifred. 

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

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (4-0)

2. Billings West (4-1) 

3. Butte (4-1)

4. Kalispell Glacier (4-1) 

5. Great Falls CMR (4-1) (+1)

Class A

1. Hamilton (5-0)

2. Laurel (4-0)

3. Billings Central (4-0) 

4. Whitefish (5-0) 

5. Polson (5-0) 

Class B

1. Florence-Carlton (4-0) 

2. Columbus (4-0) 

3. Townsend (3-1)

4. Fairfield (4-0) 

5. Bigfork (4-0) 

6. Eureka (4-1) 

7. Malta (4-0) 

8. Glasgow (4-1) (+3)

9. Big Timber (3-2) (+2)

10. Jefferson (2-2) (-2) 

8-Man

1. Drummond-Philipsburg (4-0)

2. Fort Benton (4-0)

3. Joliet (4-0)

4. Thompson Falls (5-0) 

5. Culbertson (4-0)  

6. Scobey (4-1) 

7. Simms (5-0)  

8. Belt (4-1)

9. Sheridan (4-0)

10. Chinook (5-0)

6-Man

1. Froid-Lake (5-0)

2. White Sulphur Springs (3-0)

3. Bridger (5-0) (+2)

4. Richey-Lambert (3-1) (+2)

5. Power-Dutton-Brady (4-1) (+2)

6. Shields Valley (3-1) (+3)

7. Broadview-Lavina (4-1) (-3)

8. Hot Springs (3-1) (-5)

9. Geraldine-Highwood (4-0) (+1)

10. DGS-GRW (4-1) (-1)

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