The Blitz: Friday Night Highlights
• Missoula Big Sky quarterback Levi Janacaro had 285 yards rushing on 34 carries and 115 yards passing on 10 completions in a 33-25 Class AA win over Billings West at Missoula County Stadium. Both his 285 yards on the ground and 400 total yards broke school records. “He was at another level and he finds a way to mentally focus and push through it,” Big Sky coach Matt Johnson said of Janacaro. “He did a heck of a job.” With under six minutes to play, Billings West was down by eight and had multiple chances to tie the game with the ball at midfield. Both of those late drives were snuffed out by the Big Sky defense. Janacaro scored on runs of 2, 15 and 24 yards as the Eagles held on after building a 20-0 lead.
• Missoula Sentinel defeated Billings Skyview 42-28 at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings in the Class AA opener for both teams. Junior quarterback Rylan Ortt ran for two touchdowns and passed for another and junior running back Elias Dewaters added two more touchdowns on the ground for the Spartans. Sentinel jumped to a 14-0 lead, scoring on their first two plays of the season after poor punts. Caden Messer added a touchdown on the ground for Sentinel and Griz commit Nick Germer caught the only receiving touchdown the Spartans had. Skyview senior quarterback Brock Bushfield had a rushing touchdown and a passing score to Jared Schaaf and sophomore Brayden Pond added two more rushing touchdowns.
• Helena’s defense stopped a two-point conversion attempt with no time on the clock as the Bengals held on to beat Great Falls CMR 28-27 in a Class AA game. Garrison Rothwell’s 38-yard strike to Kyle Bryne as time expired pulled the Rustlers within one point. CMR elected to go for two. Kaleb Winterburn threw three TD passes for Helena, and CMR’s Rothwell threw for two and ran for two scores.
• Behind an impressive second-half ground game, Helena Capital came from behind to defeat visiting Great Falls, 28-20, in Class AA action. The Bruins didn’t take their first lead until the third quarter, and trailed by six with 11:41 to play. But returning all-state fullback Seth Schneider found his footing and Capital scored two touchdowns in just over five minutes in the fourth to take the win. “We did some adjusting at half,” Capital coach Kyle Mihelish said. “Then again, I think maybe the Great Falls High kids got tired. We were a little tired. But our offensive line got great push in the second half -- that was the difference maker there.”
• Lane Sumner rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns and Wyatt Selman scored two TDs as Huntley Project beat Missoula Loyola 32-21 at Bobcat Stadium in a battle of Class B powers. Selman also forced two Loyola fumbles that led to touchdowns. Quarterback Scott Twite threw two touchdown passes for Loyola, the state runner-up from a year ago.
• Sawyor Thogerson ran for a touchdown and recovered a fumble in the end zone for another as Sidney shut down Belgrade 31-3 in Class A play. The Eagles also got rushing touchdowns from Alec Lovegren and Riley Kostelecky. Waylon Van Buren had an interception for Sidney.
• Eureka quarterback Garrett Graves threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the defending Class B champions earned a 41-0 home win over Cut Bank. Brenton Pluid had TD catches of 43 and 65 yards.
• Darby’s Dylan Parks accounted for six touchdown’s as his Tigers topped Troy, 68-6. It was the Trojans’ first game at Class C 8-Man after playing at Class B last season.
• Tanner Wood threw for three scores and Corbin Wood ran for two to help Ennis top Absarokee 74-22 in Class C 8-Man play. Brayden Oberg also rushed for two touchdowns and scored again on a 64-yard kick return. Absarokee’s Joaquin Pilcher ran for two touchdowns and threw for another.
• Nate Brunett ran for two touchdowns in leading Jefferson to a 13-0 over Florence-Carlton at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Brunett scored a short run in the second quarter, and then broke loose for a 62-yard sprint in the fourth period with 7 minutes left on the clock.
• Big Sandy scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat Noxon 28-26. Kade Strutz scored on touchdown runs of 8, 11 and 5 yards, the latter giving Big Sandy the win. Levi Brubaker caught one of Nick Westman’s two TD passes and also returned an interception 55 yards for a score for Noxon.
• Sunburst scored three times in the first quarter and ran away with a Class C 6-Man matchup against Valley Christian, 52-20. The Eagles answered with three rushing touchdowns, two coming from Branson Becker, who finished with 113 yards rushing on 14 carries. Drew Voelkel added another 120 yards on the ground for Valley Christian. Sunburst’s scores were not reported.
• Plains pitched a shutout in its season opener, besting Twin Bridges, 20-0. Tanner Ovitt accounted for all three of the Horsemen touchdowns, twice reaching paydirt on the ground. He added a 30-yard receiving touchdown from Kyle Weeks in the second quarter.
• Joliet made its debut in the Class C 8-Man ranks by winning at Broadview-Lavina 46-8. The J-Hawks received three touchdowns from Brett Robinson, who ran for one, caught a pass for another and also returned an interception 43 yards for a score. Joliet, which scored all of its points in the first half, also received two TDs throwing and one rushing from Taylor Rowlison.
• Trailing by five points in the fourth quarter, Bigfork rallied with a Chase Chappuis safety and an Emslie Varner 65-yard punt return for touchdown for a 23-19 win over host Shelby in a Class B game.
• Jase Sorenson completed 23 of 42 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but Thompson Falls dropped a 36-12 home decision to Priest River, Idaho. Danny Hoisington had 10 catches for 190 yards and two TDs for the Bluehawks.
• Noah Ambuehl threw three TD passes, two to Ethan Vincent, and Great Falls Central handed new coach Greg Horton a win in his first game, a 50-0 victory over Simms.
• Three different players scored touchdowns to help Glendive shut out Livingston 20-0 in a Class A opener. Karsen Kelly, Cade Dockter and Nelson Crisafullil all ran for Red Devil touchdowns.
• Riley Linder ran for 212 yards and four touchdown as Scobey defeated St. Labre 74-8 in Class C 8-Man play. Linder had scoring runs of 10, 71, 65 and 25 yards. Anders Knudsen ran for a touchdown and returned an interception 39 yards for a score for the Spartans.
• Chad Naillon rushed for three touchdowns, including scoring dashes of 60 and 50 yards, as Colstrip won at home over Red Lodge 40-14 in Class B play. Adam Weir and Cody Blaede had short scoring runs for the winning Colts. Joel McRae also hooked up with Nakoda Seigel on a 35-yard TD pass. Red Lodge’s Austin Heimer threw for a couple touchdowns.
• Connor Johnson opened the scoring with a 70-yard kickoff return as Whitehall won at Shepherd 28-12 in a Class B matchup. Teammate Max Feight passed for two TDs to Wyatt Alexander and also ran for a score. Shepherd’s Kohl Michels returned a kickoff for 75 yards and also scored on a 5-yard run.
• Big Timber used a 2-yard run by John Rennie and a 27-yard field goal by Junior Mosness in the fourth quarter to triumph at Roundup 15-7 in a Class B encounter. The Sheepherders’ other score came in the first quarter on a 26-yard pass from Casey Gunlickson to Blake Finn. Roundup received a 17-yard scoring pass from Bordy Grebe to Kelson Eselein in the second quarter.
• Jeff Scholla rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns, and Seth Prevost scored two touchdowns rushing, one receiving and one on a kick return to help Richey-Lambert beat Ekalaka 68-6 in a Class C 6-Man game. Scholla also scored on a pass from Gabe Gonsioroski and kick return.
• The Missoula Sentinel volleyball team picked up right where it left off the 2016 season, beating Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in straight sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20. The defending Class AA champs got a game-high 11 kills and 10 digs from reigning Montana Gatorade Player of the Year winner Elsa Godwin, and Cassie North added another eight kills.
• Arlee put its serve to good use against Seeley-Swan, tallying 25 serving aces in a 25-16, 12-25, 25-15, 25-14 win. Haley Crawford led the Scarlets with nine aces and Ashley Revis added eight kills. Seeley’s Autumn Morse had a team-high four kills, six assists and four aces.
• Destiny Ayers had 15 kills and Mercedes Hoff six aces to help Reed Point-Rapelje sweep Denton-Geyser-Stanford 25-19, 25-22, 25-14.
• Kate Koenig collected 12 kills and seven digs but it wasn’t enough as Hellgate dropped its opener to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 26-28, 25-11, 25-14, 25-16?. The match marked Matty Hancock’s debut as Hellgate coach.
• Alyssa McCulley had 10 kills and four aces to help Terry defeat Circle 25-19, 25-19, 8-25, 25-8. The Terriers had 14 aces. Sydnie Haynie had 11 kills and eight digs for the Wildcats.
• Led by Piper Johnson’s 18 assists and eight aces, Winnett-Grass Range swept Jordan 25-10, 25-8, 25-8. Taylor Stahl had nine digs and six kills for the winners. Tawny Stanton led Jordan with five kills, five assists, two blocks and two aces.
• Libby went 3-0 and was the only team to win all of its games in the first day of pool play at the Class A Volleyball Tip Off Tournament. Corvallis (3-0-1) won three games and tied with Whitefish, which went 2-0-2. Hamilton went 3-1 and was the only other team with three wins, losing to Whitefish.?
• Jordan Schlauch scored his second goal in the 75th minute to give the Belgrade boys a 3-2 win over Hamilton. The opener was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Broncs twice rally from a goal down, with Austin Drake and Clay Kellar scoring.
• Senior William Kelly scored two goals and dished out an assist in a 4-2 win for the Frenchtown boys over Laurel. Luis Vega and Kaleb Ripley each scored to give the Locomotives an early lead but they failed to hold off the Broncs.
• Billings Central rolled to a 9-0 win at Missoula Loyola in a season opener as Braxton Ferraguti and Camden Elletson combined for four goals. Sam Dull had a goal and assist for the Rams, who led 4-0 at intermission. Michael Horrel was the winning goalie in making five saves.
• Morgan Maack scored a goal and assisted on another as Laurel defeated Frenchtown 4-1 in girls play. “Our defense is fairly new, but they came together and did a great job,” Laurel coach Aloma Jess said. “We have a veteran goal tender in Paige O’Toole and we have a bunch of good defenders who did a good job.”
• Three goals were scored in the span of six minutes, leading to a 2-2 draw between Hamilton and Belgrade. Kaylynn Linton and Hayden Cade scored twice for the Panthers, and Tessa Della Silva and Rylee Wiediger scored for Hamilton. A year ago, Belgrade won 8-0.
• Zoie Althoff ?scored three times in the second half to help two-time defending Class A champion Billings Central pull away from Missoula Loyola, 8-2. Tessa Burke scored first for the Breakers 10 minutes into the game. Syd Koppang, who assisted Burke’s goal, added a goal to open the second half. Koppang’s score cut into Central’s lead 3-2, but the Rams closed out the game with five goals, including Althoff’s hat trick.
• Livingston’s Colin McKenzie scored four goals, including three in the first 14 minutes, in an 8-0 victory over Corvallis. Morgan Rosberg added two goals.
• Manhattan runners Zak Meeker and Hannah Boyd were race winners at the Park High Invitational. Meeker ran 17:38, four seconds ahead of second-place finisher Noah Majerus of Lewistown. Boyd won in 20:43, followed by teammate Hannah Madsen at 21:15. Manhattan’s girls won the team title as did the Manhattan Christian boys.