Columbia Falls Undefeated and Ranked Second in Football

By Beacon Staff

Columbia Falls is undefeated and ranked second in Class A after four weeks of football action.

The Wildcats (4-0) moved into the runner-up spot of the latest Associated Press high school football poll, released Wednesday.

Another fourth-quarter nail-biter tipped in the favor of Columbia Falls last week as Josiah Osborne caught a 25-yard TD pass with six minutes remaining and the Wildcats held on to beat third-ranked Anaconda on the road, 20-14, in nonconference action.

Columbia Falls limited the Copperheads (2-1) to one touchdown in the second half. Ty Morgan had two touchdowns and hiked his state-leading scoring total to 80 points. He had a 19-yard catch in the first quarter and a 5-yard run in the second. Quarterback Jared Trinastich passed for 232 yards.

In what will surely be the game of the week in the Flathead Valley, the Wildcats host rival Whitefish (3-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. It’s Columbia Falls’ homecoming, and it’s the first conference game of the season. Last fall Columbia Falls spoiled Whitefish’s homecoming game, 14-13.

Sophomore quarterback Luke May scored four touchdowns and the Bulldogs’ defense was flawless in Whitefish’s 37-0 nonconference win at home over Corvallis.

May rushed for two TDs and passed for another pair as Whitefish improved to 3-1. Jack Streibich and Sean Foley each had scoring receptions and Caleb Thilmony reached the end zone from the ground. Nathan Boone added a 36-yard field goal.

In Class AA, Glacier remains ranked fifth. Evan Epperly scored three touchdowns and Glacier dominated on both sides of the ball to defeat Missoula Hellgate 40-0 in front of the homecoming crowd at Legends Stadium last Friday.

Brady McChesney passed for 269 yards and four touchdowns for the Wolfpack (3-1). Epperly finished with 137 yards receiving. Devin Cochran had two catches for 56 yards and a TD. Glacier’s offense piled up 444 total yards and the defense limited Hellgate to 87 yards. Josh Hill and Thomas Trefney each had interceptions and Cain Boschee recovered a fumble.

Glacier travels to Butte (3-1) Friday to take on the fourth-ranked Bulldogs.

In another dramatic finish, Flathead quarterback Easton Johnson plowed into the endzone from the 1-yard line to score the game-winning touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the Braves’ 21-14 road victory over Missoula Big Sky.

With the game tied 14-all, Johnson guided Flathead (2-2) 85 yards in the final two minutes. He finished with 142 yards passing and one TD. Alex Croymans had 119 yards on 10 catches. Cody Eacker caught an 11-yard TD pass in the second quarter and Jess Beaman returned an interception 61 yards for the score, putting Flathead up 14-7 after two quarters.

This is homecoming week for Flathead. The Braves host Great Falls C.M. Russell (0-4) Friday at 7 p.m.

In Class B, Bigfork is undefeated and ranked fourth. Boyd Rieke rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns to lead Bigfork past Ronan, 35-22, in a Class B nonconference game at home.

The Vikings (3-0) piled up 333 yards on the ground and built a 28-16 lead at halftime. Vinny Quirk rushed for 102 yards and quarterback Josh Sandry had 88 yards and a TD to go with 38 yards passing and another TD. Cameron Nissen had 27 yards receiving and a TD.

Bigfork travels to 10th-ranked Shelby (2-1) on Friday.

Quarterback Austin Perez connected on four touchdown passes and Eureka improved to 3-1 with a 28-7 nonconference win at home over Florence.

Perez finished with 181 yards. Dalton Smith and Miles Griffin each caught two TDs in the victory.

The Lions travel to Thompson Falls (1-3) on Friday for the first District 7B game of the season.

The Associated Press Top 10 Montana high school football poll:
Class AA
1. Bozeman (9) 4-0
2. Helena Capital (1) 4-0
3. Helena 4-0
4. Butte 3-1
5. Glacier 4-0
Others receiving votes: Billings Skyview 12.

Class A
1. Dillon (10) 3-0
2. Columbia Falls 4-0
3. Billings Central 2-1
4. Sidney 4-0
5. Hamilton 3-1
Others receiving votes: Miles City 26, Whitefish 20, Butte Central 7, Belgrade 6, Laurel 6.

Class B
1. Missoula Loyola (6) 2-0
2. Huntley Project (3) 4-0
3. Baker (1) 3-0
4. Bigfork 3-0
5. Townsend 2-0
6. Glasgow Hinsdale Nashua 2-1
7. Fairfield 1-1
8. Malta 2-1 29
9. Forsyth 3-0
10. Conrad 3-0
Others receiving votes: Whitehall-Harrison 16, Manhattan 11, Jefferson (Boulder) 3, Deer Lodge 2, Eureka 1.

Class C 8-Man
1. Ennis (5) 3-0
2. Wibaux (2) 4-0
3. Charlo 3-0
4. Belt 4-0
5. Drummond 3-0
6. Bainville-Culbertson 4-0
7. Superior 3-1
8. Broadview-Lavina 3-0
9. Chester-Joplin-Inverness 3-1
10. Chinook 3-1
Others receiving votes: Power-Dutton-Brady 3, Simms 2, Broadus 1.

Class C 6-Man
1. Geraldine Highwood (8) 3-0
2. Westby-Grenora 3-0
3. Savage 3-0
3. Alberton-St. Regis 2-0
5. Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap 3-0
6. Hot Springs 1-1
7. North Star 3-0
8. Stanford Geyser Denton 2-1
9. Winnett-Grass Range 3-0
10. Jordan 2-1
Others receiving votes: Custer-Hysham 4, Reed Point-Rapelje 3, Terry 3, Lima 2.

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