The Braves are back in the playoffs.
Flathead defeated Helena 21-20 in the regular season finale on the road and clinched the fourth seed in the Class AA football playoffs.
The Braves (6-3 overall) will host Helena Capital (6-4) at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3 in the first round.
Flathead is among the eight teams advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 and is hosting a home playoff game for the first time since Nov. 4, 2005.
Head coach Kyle Samson is calling on all former Braves players to show up for Friday night’s game at Legends Stadium. He would like the former players to be in the locker room beforehand and on the sideline during the game. If you can participate, Samson asks you to RSVP with him directly.
Flathead’s banner season included the big win in Helena against the Bengals. Blake Counts rushed in a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and Anthony Jones caught a three-yard pass from quarterback Taylor Morton in the third quarter. Jaden MacNeil rushed in a seven-yard score with 5:25 left in the game, while Alex Coulter kicked the go-ahead point.
In other playoff action, No. 1 Billings Senior (10-0) hosts No. 8 Bozeman (5-5); No. 3 Helena (7-2) hosts No. 6 Billings West (6-4); and No. 2 Missoula Big Sky (8-2) hosts No. 7 Missoula Sentinel (5-4).
Glacier 69, Missoula Hellgate 21
Drew Turner rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns as the Wolfpack wrapped up the season with a big win over the Knights.
Glacier (4-5 overall) just missed out on the playoffs, finishing in ninth place in the Class AA standings.
Turner concluded his stellar senior season with another outstanding performance. The future Montana Grizzly finished with 1,409 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns.
Mark Estes had four catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, and the future Montana State Bobcat ended with 539 yards receiving and five touchdowns and 93 yards rushing and another TD.
Against Hellgate, Glacier quarterback Evan Todd completed 10 of 14 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Max Morris had three catches for 40 yards and a TD, Bred Rademacher had one catch for 20 yards and a score and Preston Blain had 81 yards rushing and a TD. Cole Crosby returned an interception 23 yards for a score.
Eureka 40, Cut Bank 6
The Lions continue to roar.
Quarterback Garrett Graves threw for four touchdowns as the defending state champs rolled past Cut Bank in the opening round of the Class B playoffs.
Eureka (8-0 overall) hosts Manhattan at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 in the quarterfinals. With a win, Eureka would host the winner of Fairfield and Huntley Project in the semifinals.
Brenton Pluid had two touchdowns, including a 28-yard TD catch. Bryant Little added two more scores and Hank Dunn scored a 25-yard TD catch.
Cut Bank scored its first and only TD with 1:25 left in the game.
Shelby 23, Bigfork 20
Wyatt Brusven kicked a 39-yard field goal with barely five minutes remaining in the game and the Coyotes’ defense stymied the Vikings’ comeback attempt in the first round of the Class B playoffs.
The narrow defeat ended Bigfork’s season at 6-2 overall.
Randy Stutz had a 38-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and Austin Varner kicked a 20-yard field goal and then a 23-yard field goal for Bigfork, which led 12-6 at halftime in Shelby. Shelby scored back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 20-12 lead. Bigfork quarterback Augie Emslie connected with Logan Taylor on a 30-yard TD pass in the fourth before Brusven kicked the game-winning field goal.
Columbia Falls Hosts Miles City
The Wildcats are back in action after a first-round bye in the Class A playoffs.
Columbia Falls (6-1 overall) is hosting Miles City (8-2) at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4 in the quarterfinals. The winner plays the winner of Sidney (9-1) and Dillon (8-1). In other playoff action, Hamilton (9-1) hosts Glendive (5-5) and Billings Central (9-1) hosts Frenchtown (8-2).