Sports

Eureka, Columbia Falls to Host State Championship Football Games

Eureka to play Shelby in Class B finale; Columbia Falls hosting Hamilton in Class A chipper

Northwest Montana is hosting a pair of state championship football games.

Columbia Falls and Eureka both advanced to the title contests in their respective classes with big wins in the semifinal round last weekend.

Columbia Falls (8-1 overall) defeated Sidney 17-0 on Saturday. The Wildcats, playing in the Class A state championship for the second year in a row, will host Hamilton (10-1) on Saturday, Nov. 18. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Eureka, the defending Class B state champ, defeated Fairfield 31-6 on Saturday to advance to the title game. The Lions (10-0) will host Shelby (8-3) on Saturday, Nov. 18. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

The season is coming down to an exciting conclusion for high school football. Columbia Falls is trying to win the first football championship in school history. The Wildcats have played in two title games, 1970 and last year, but have fallen short both times.

Eureka won its first state title last season with a dramatic win over Missoula Loyola in the final seconds.

In the semifinal round, the vaunted Columbia Falls defense lived up to its reputation, blanking Sidney. Colon McPhee scored a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter and quarterback Austin Green connected with Drew Morgan on a 32-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter. Auguste Emond kicked a field goal in the third.

Eureka jumped ahead early in the Class B semifinal. Quarterback Garrett Graves passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth. Hank Dunn caught a 42-yard score and Brenton Pluid converted a 51-yard pass into a TD. Pluid added another TD before half, a 14-yard pass, that put Eureka up 21-6 at intermission. Graves rushed in a nine-yard run and Simon Granberg kicked a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

In Class AA, Billings Senior is hosting Helena in the state title game on Friday night, Nov. 17.

Correction: This story previously stated that Eureka will be hosting its first state title game in school history. The school hosted the title match in 1990.

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