Call it the calm before the conference storm.
As many high school football teams completed the brief nonconference portions of their schedules, the top teams around the state largely held court over the weekend and ensured a status quo for the weekly rankings. An exception was Class B, which went full bore after a mere smattering of games on opening weekend.
Class B’s top 10 was almost literally turned upside down by Florence-Carlton’s 52-0 statement throttling of previously top-ranked and defending state champion Manhattan. As a result, the Falcons move up a spot to No. 1 and the Tigers sit at No. 10 as a show of respect for last year’s feat and the possibility that the drubbing was a one-game aberration.
Also revealed in Class B play: The South will be highly competitive and potent this fall. Five of the six teams — Townsend (1-0), Columbus (1-0), Three Forks (2-0), Jefferson (1-0) and Manhattan (0-1) — are ranked, and the sixth, Big Timber (1-1), is no slouch.
Class B game of the upcoming week: No. 1 Florence-Carlton vs. No. 7 Three Forks on Friday night in the Bitterroot.
As for the other classes, the rankings remain largely unchanged and the big news is some first-time arrivals. Bozeman Gallatin (2-0) makes its first appearance in its brief program history in Class AA, explosive Polson (2-0) arrives in Class A, Sheridan (2-0) and St. Ignatius (2-0) board the rankings train in 8-Man, and Savage (1-0) pops in at No. 10 in 6-Man.
Welcome also to Malta (1-0), which checks in at No. 8 in Class B.
In Class AA, the top four are unchanged and Gallatin supplants Billings Senior at No. 5 after thrashing Kalispell Flathead 49-7. The Raptors will learn lots more about themselves when they host No. 2 Billings West (1-1) on Friday in the class’ game of the week.
Hamilton (2-0) holds firm in Class A and look like the class of the class after a 48-6 road dismantling of longtime powerhouse Dillon. Billings Central (1-0) moves up a slot to No. 3 behind idle Laurel (1-0) after fending off previously No. 3 Miles City 17-9. The Cowboys (1-1) could still make a case for a top-5 ranking but a seven-touchdown, 565-yard passing performance by Polson’s Jarrett Wilson against Stevensville is hard to ignore.
Upcoming game of the week: No. 4 Whitefish visits unranked Butte Central (1-1).
- Missoula Sentinel (2-0)
- Billings West (2-1)
- Helena (2-0)
- Glacier (2-0)
- Gallatin (2-0)
- Hamilton (2-0)
- Laurel (1-0)
- Billings Central (1-0)
- Whitefish (2-0)
- Polson (2-0)
- Florence-Carlton (1-0)
- Fairfield (1-0)
- Townsend (1-0)
- Columbus (1-0)
- Bigfork (1-0)
- Eureka (2-0)
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