High School Football Roundup: Flathead Slips Past Great Falls CMR

Glacier upsets Helena Capital; Missoula Loyola delivers Bigfork its first loss

By Dillon Tabish
Flathead players celebrate a touchdown during the crosstown football game on the new turf field at Legends Stadium on Sept. 22, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Flathead 21, Great Falls CMR 13

Blake Counts scored two touchdowns and the Flathead defense limited the Rustlers to 232 yards of offense as the Braves picked up a pivotal win as the regular season winds down.

Counts finished with 23 carries for 91 yards, including a one-yard TD with 1:46 remaining that sealed the victory. Flathead quarterback Taylor Morton completed 13 of 26 passes for 180 yards and a TD strike to Anthony Jones in the fourth quarter. Morton overcame three interceptions.

Jones finished with five catches for 87 yards and Jonathan Baker had four catches for 60 yards as well as nine carries for 45 yards. Bobby Lowry had one catch for 18 yards and John Hinchey had one catch for 11 yards. Jaden MacNeil had seven carries for 37 yards.

The Braves defense held CMR to 71 passing yards. The Rustlers tallied 161 rushing yards.

Flathead’s victory pushed the team’s record to 4-3 overall with two games left in the regular season on Oct. 20 against Missoula Hellgate (0-8) at home and Oct. 27 at Helena (6-1). The top eight teams in Class AA advance to the playoffs, and Flathead is currently tied for sixth with Missoula Sentinel. Billings Senior (8-0) is in first place, followed by Helena, Helena Capital (6-2), Missoula Big Sky (6-2), Billings West (5-3) and then Flathead and Sentinel. Bozeman (3-4) is tied for eighth with Glacier (3-4).

Glacier 30, Helena Capital 27

Drew Turner rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, Mark Estes had 147 yards receiving and a touchdown and the Wolfpack upset the Bruins.

Turner scored twice in the fourth quarter to propel Glacier to a major victory as the team fights for a playoff berth as the season winds down.

Glacier’s defense scored a safety in the second quarter and Estes added his score just before halftime. Drew Deck caught a 22-yard TD from Evan Todd in the third. Todd completed nine of 17 passes for 193 yards. He had one interception. Jackson Pepe had 16 tackles on defense and Jared Brenden had 13.

Glacier won its third game in a row and improved to 3-4 overall. The Wolfpack are tied for eighth place with two games left in the regular season, at Missoula Big Sky (6-2) on Oct. 20 and at home against Missoula Hellgate (0-8) on Oct. 27. The top eight teams in Class AA advance to the playoffs.

Missoula Loyola 30, Bigfork 14

The Rams outscored the Vikings 16-0 in the fourth quarter to deal Bigfork its first loss of the season.

Bigfork quarterback Augie Emslie had two touchdown passes, a 77-yarder to Logan Taylor in the second quarter and a 42-yarder to Anders Epperly in the third quarter.

Loyola kicked a 29-yard field goal in the fourth and recovered a fumble and returned it 25 yards for the TD. Quarterback Scotty Twite also found Cooper Waters for a 12-yard TD as the Rams improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Western B.

Bigfork (5-1, 3-1) wraps up the regular season with a home game against Deer Lodge (0-7, 0-5) on Oct. 20. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Bigfork has secured a playoff berth and is vying for a higher seed below Eureka (7-0, 5-0) and tied with Loyola. Florence is 4-3 and 3-1. Thompson Falls is 2-5, 1-3 and Anaconda is 2-5, 1-4. The playoffs begin Oct. 28.

Columbia Falls 56, Whitefish 7

Colten McPhee scored four touchdowns to propel the Wildcats past the Bulldogs in a Northwestern A rivalry showdown.

McPhee rushed nine times for 172 yards and three scores and added a fourth TD with an 80-yard kickoff return. Columbia Falls quarterback Austin Green connected with Ben Windauer for a 14-yard TD in the third quarter and rushed for a 22-yard score in the fourth. Parker Greene and Logan Kolodejchuk added scores for Columbia Falls, which piled up 403 yards rushing. Kolodejchuk had 11 carries for 104 yards. Tanner Gove and Devron Harris each had interceptions on defense.

Whitefish quarterback Chad Queen found Mark Anderson for a six-yard TD in the second quarter.

Columbia Falls (5-1 overall, 4-0 in conference) hosts Polson (2-5, 2-2) on Oct. 20 in the regular-season finale.

Whitefish (1-6, 1-3) hosts Libby (1-7, 0-4) on Friday night.

Columbia Falls is in first place in Northwestern A, ahead of Browning (4-4, 3-1), Polson, Ronan (2-5, 2-2), Whitefish and Libby.