Sports

Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Bigfork All Pick Up Wins on Gridiron

Defending state champion Wildcats rebound after season-opening loss; Vikings improve to 3-0

Quarterback Mark Anderson’s late touchdown propelled Whitefish High School to its first win of the season, while Columbia Falls bounced back from a season-opening loss to pummel Dillon and Bigfork improved to 3-0 with a blowout win at home.

Whitefish (1-2), which won just one game all of last season, surprised Butte Central 28-27 one week after the Maroons throttled Ronan by 32 points. The game went back-and-forth all night, with Butte Central taking a 21-7 lead in the second quarter before Whitefish scored the next two touchdowns. Cade Holter reached pay dirt in the fourth quarter to give the visitors the lead, but the extra point was no good and Anderson’s touchdown, followed by Carver Gilman’s fourth successful PAT, gave Whitefish the win. Anderson had two rushing touchdowns and threw for another in the win.

Columbia Falls (1-1), the defending Class A champs, took out some frustration on the Beavers and raced to a 28-6 halftime lead en route to a 48-20 win. Colten McPhee had a monster game, rushing 22 times for 218 yards and scoring five total touchdowns. Drew Morgan was 16 for 24 through the air, hooking up six times for 86 yards and a score with Parker Greene. McPhee, who starts at running back and linebacker for the Wildcats, also made 14 tackles in the game, which was a rematch of the 2016 Class A title tilt that was won by Dillon.

In Bigfork, the Vikings (3-0) continued their hot start to the season with another decisive victory, 44-15 over Florence-Carlton. The Vikings, who scored 51 first-quarter points a week ago in a win against Anaconda, led 37-8 at halftime against the Falcons behind the two-pronged attack of Anders Epperly and Randy Stultz. Epperly threw for two touchdowns and ran in another, while Stultz had two scores on the ground along with a 95-yard kickoff return.

All three teams return to action Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., with Whitefish traveling to Corvallis, Columbia Falls hitting the road at Stevensville, and Bigfork visiting Eureka to take on the two-time defending state champs.

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