Don’t blame me because the Polson Pirates are still only ranked fifth in Class A.
I tried moving the Pirates (4-0) up a notch (maybe even as high as third place, to be honest), but the latest Associated Press high school football poll has Polson right where they were last week, ranked fifth. Dillon (4-0) still holds the top spot for the second week in a row, followed by Laurel (5-0), Billings Central (4-1) and Miles City (4-1).
Call it east-side bias maybe. Eastern Montana has always touted the most muscle in football, as explained in a great piece by Myers Reece last year. After all, only one team west of the Continental Divide has won a Class A football championship since 1999 (Northwestern A’s newest member, Frenchtown, in 2009).
But this Polson team is piecing together a special season. Now that we’re entering October and at the official midway point of the season it’s not too early to start the conversation, which I think deserves to include Polson as a real contender .
Last week in Columbia Falls, the first points of the season were scored against the Pirates and it came on a 32-yard interception that was returned for a TD. (For the record, the defense’s resume is still spotless.) Polson’s offense, led by QB Vince DiGiallonardo, wracked up 36 points, the first time below 40 this season.
The next four games are against three division teams (at Whitefish, hosting Frenchtown and Libby) before finishing the regular season at Browning.
In Class AA, Glacier (4-1) remains fourth after holding on to beat Bozeman. The Wolfpack are off to their best start in program history thanks in part to the third-best offense in the league. Glacier is averaging 35.8 points-per-game, with 20 TDs on the season. Third-ranked Billings Senior is first with 41.8 ppg and 24 TDs. The Wolfpack defense ranks sixth, allowing 22.2 ppg.
Flathead (2-3) edged Missoula Sentinel last Friday at home and has now doubled its win total of a season ago. The Braves are ranked seventh in offense (25.8 ppg) and 11th in defense (31 ppg).
Flathead hosts Glacier this Friday in what’s sure to be a great crosstown game at Legends Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
In Class B, Bigfork (3-1) climbed the rankings from ninth to seventh. The Vikings are hitting stride and beat Plains last week 56-6. They host Troy on Friday at 7 p.m.
Ronan dropped its first game of the season — 25-0 vs. Manhattan — and as a result dropped to eighth in the rankings. The Chiefs host Deer Lodge on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Associated Press Top 10 high school football poll
1. Helena (7) 5-0
2. Helena Capital (4) 5-0
3. Billings West 4-1
4. Glacier 4-1
5. Butte 3-2
Others receiving votes: Billings Senior 7.
1. Dillon (9) 4-0
2. Laurel (2) 5-0
3. Billings Central 4-1
4. Miles City 4-1
5. Polson 4-0
Others receiving votes: Hardin 27, Butte Central 6.
1. Fairfield (11) 4-0
2. Malta 4-0
3. Baker 4-0
4. Manhattan 3-1
5. Missoula Loyola 4-0
6. Columbus 4-0
7. Bigfork 3-1
8. Ronan 3-1
9. Plentywood Westby 4-0
10. Huntley Project 3-1
Others receiving votes: Choteau 6, Eureka 6, Big Timber 3, Florence 2, Townsend 2
Class C 8-Man
1. Fairview (1) 5-0
1. Chinook (7) 5-0
3. Wibaux 4-0
4. White Sulphur Springs 5-0
5. Drummond 4-1
6. Superior 5-0
7. Chester-Joplin-Inverness 4-0
8. Twin Bridges 3-1
9. Ennis 3-1
10. Absarokee 3-1
Others receiving votes: Circle-Richey 10, Lincoln 5, Park City 5, Centerville 5, Power-Dutton-Brady 3.
Class C 6-Man
1. Denton (9) 4-0
2. Savage 3-1
3. Hot Springs 4-0
4. Alberton 4-0
5. Fromberg Roberts 3-0
6. Big Sandy 3-1
7. Stanford Geyser 3-1
8. Bridger 3-1
T9.North Star 3-1
Others receiving votes: Terry 10, Richey-Lambert 7, Ekalaka 6, Geraldine/Highwood 2, Hysham 1.
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