Glacier, Libby, Eureka Advance in State Football Playoffs

Wolfpack and Loggers will be on road in quarterfinal round, Lions set to host Columbus

By Andy Viano
Jake Rendina (33) of the Glacier Wolfpack breaks away from defenders in a game against the Helena Bengals at Legends Stadium in Kalispell on Oct. 11, 2019. The Bengals won 20-6. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Sophomore Jake Rendina ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Glacier Wolfpack went on the road to upset Great Falls High 33-24 in the opening round of the Class AA state football playoffs on Friday, Nov. 1.

Rendina’s six-yard score early in the fourth quarter extended Glacier’s lead to 27-17 and was all the Wolfpack (5-5) would need. Glacier put the finishing touches on the win in the game’s waning minutes when J.T. Allen found Luke Bilau for a 14-yard touchdown. Allen threw for a pair of scores in the victory. Great Falls led 17-13 at halftime before a Braedy Santens run midway through the third quarter gave the Wolpack a lead they would not relinquish.

The win is Glacier’s first in the postseason since 2016 and sends the Wolfpack back on the road for the quarterfinals, where they will take on undefeated, top-seeded Butte on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs beat Glacier 55-28 in Butte earlier this season and boast one of the state’s most potent offenses, averaging more than 47 points per game behind quarterback and Montana State commit Tommy Mellott.

Flathead, meanwhile, saw its season come to a close in Billings. In a rematch of the 2018 state championship game, Billings West rolled to a 51-22 victory. The Braves finish the season 2-8.

In Class A, Libby won its first playoff game in more than a decade with an emphatic 49-28 blowout of Butte Central on Nov. 2. The Loggers (8-2) put forth a punishing rushing attack despite playing without starting quarterback and second-leading rusher Jeff Offenbecher, who missed the game with an injury. Libby threw only seven passes in the game but ran it 48 times for 261 yards, including 121 yards and four touchdowns for junior running back Dawson Young. Jay Beagle, starting in place of Offenbecher, ran it 10 times for 64 yards and a score. Libby will travel to Laurel for its quarterfinal contest, a game slated to kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Whitefish (6-4) lost its playoff opener 34-7 in Frenchtown.

In Class B, Eureka (9-0) kept its perfect season alive, wiping out Baker 65-24 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Lions will host Columbus on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Eureka, the 2016 and 2017 Class B champion, has won every game this year by at least 20 points and scored at least 44 points six times.

Elsewhere in Class B, Bigfork put forth a valiant effort on the road against undefeated Red Lodge but fell short, 28-25. The Vikings finish the season 3-6.


Class AA | Class A | Class B