BILLINGS — Six for six.
That statistic represents Billings Senior's success rate in football games this season. But it has a significant pairing with Micah Ans, who on Friday night against Missoula Big Sky, came away with his sixth interceptions in as many games.
The senior safety notched an impressive sideline interception, bobbling the catch but securing possession and keeping both feet in bounds to snag his sixth takeaway early in the fourth quarter, as Senior won its 19th straight game with a 49-14 Class AA football victory over Big Sky.
And no one is enjoying it more than Ans himself.
"It's been phenomenal," Ans said. "It's unreal stepping into (Keaton Anderson's) shoes and then just trying to compete at his level. Going out there and getting six picks, it feels great."
Anderson was the Class AA defensive MVP a year ago and is now a member of Montana State's football team. Ans' six picks have passed Anderson's four from a year ago.
"That makes me feel pretty good," Ans said with a laugh, adding that he'll get a seventh next week.
Senior quarterback Nolan Askelson was 20 for 27 for passing for 231 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for another. He found Gabe Sulser for nine receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns and Carter Garsjo reeled in five catches for 61 yards and two scores. Blake Allred and Adan Trevizo each added a rushing score.
For good measure, Sulser was name homecoming king at halftime.
According to former Billings Gazette sports reporter Ed West, Senior's 19 wins are a school record. The previous mark was 17, accomplished in 1938-1939.
Garsjo is another Senior receiver who's playing time has increased. He scored at last year's homecoming. So he doubled that performance on Friday.
"It feels great," Garsjo said. "There's nothing better. I was definitely itching to get into the end zone. I guess homecomings are my game.
"I was really excited to come out and play and work hard. It's great. Winning (19 straight) is awesome and we're just going to keep doing our thing."
Senior's defense had its hands full with Big Sky standout Levi Janacaro. Janacaro, the do-it-all quarterback for the Eagles, finished the game with 29 carries for 149 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He also completed 13 of his 26 passes for 179 yards and an interception.
Senior's defense harassed Janacaro all night. Askelson ended the night with three sacks. Linemen Gunner Hegg, Jager Skidmore and others helped contribute to at least three more sacks.
"It seems like when he carries the ball he gets 8 to 12 yards each time," Senior coach Chris Murdock said. "He's a frustrating guy to defend as a coach and as a player. We always say on defense, 'Just settle in.' Our kids find a way to get it done and that's really fun to watch them do that."
Big Sky falls to 4-2 and will host Kalispell Flathead next week while Senior will hit the road to Butte.
"They're a good team and we knew that coming in," Big Sky coach Matt Johnson said. "There's a reason they've won 19 in a row. We knew we had to play a dang near perfect game and mistake free and we put ourselves in a hole a bunch of times. Realistically, I think we proved we can hang with them at points but we have to execute."