The Missoula Big Sky Eagles picked up their first win in thrilling fashion Friday at rainy Bozeman. The Eagles (1-1) thwarted a last-minute drive by the Hawks in posting a 21-18 triumph. Key to the outcome was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Draven Lincoln to Everett Fred with 69 seconds left. Fred broke several tackles.
"It must have rained two inches since the afternoon and our kids, we challenged them to go out there and make plays," Big Sky coach Matt Johnson said. "Everett made a huge play.
"Another big play was made by Doug Swanson. There was a fumble on a punt and Swanson ran 40 yards to score in the fourth quarter."
Johnson used one word to describe the win for his program: Huge.
"I give our kids a ton of credit because we're undersized and don't have their numbers and it was just all-around effort not letting the weather be a factor. (Running back) Colter Janacaro had a great game. Our whole line as a whole ... we were gutsy at the end."
In a rematch of last year's State B championship game, Fairfield rolled to a 38-7 win over visiting Loyola Sacred Heart Friday. The Rams fell to 1-1.
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The ninth-ranked Valley Christian Eagles (1-1) suffered their first loss at the hands of 10th-ranked Shields Valley, 55-6, in Alberton. Emmett Gilbert and Aidan Jenkins each had multiple touchdowns for the visitors.
In other action, Columbia Falls beat Ronan, 37-6. Eureka moved to 2-0 with a 49-14 win over Townsend. Billings West beat Kalispell Flathead in a rematch of last year's State AA final, 48-7. Libby beat Browning, 35-12, and Whitefish topped Polson, 28-15. Frenchtown posted an impressive 28-0 win over Butte Central. Clark Fork stopped St. Ignatius, 54-32. Dillon dumped Stevensville, 42-0. Manhattan beat Florence, 54-14. Deer Lodge blanked Three Forks, 33-0. Hot Springs whipped Sunburst, 52-6. Flint Creek stomped Troy, 68-20. Bigfork edged Cut Bank, 12-6, in overtime. Charlo beat Arlee, 28-14. In games not completed by press time, Seeley-Swan led Plains 50-6, Thompson Falls led Victor 62-0 and Noxon led Heart Butte, 64-7.
The Loyola Sacred Heart boys jumped to an early lead on a Will Burns goal, assisted by Jace Kruer, but couldn't hold off host Billings Central. Sam Dall and Camden Casper scored for the Rams midway through the first half and their team kept the upper hand. The Loyola girls dropped a 9-2 decision to Central. Sydney Koppang scored the Breakers' only goal on an assist from Lani Walker.
The Laurel girls beat Hamilton, 4-0.
James Normandeau posted a winning time of 16 minutes, 43.21 seconds in leading Ronan to a boys team title in the Canal Bank meet in Ronan. The Chiefs scored 45 points, underscoring runner-up Polson by 12. Frenchtown took the girls team title behind a winning performance by Abigail Sherwood in 21:10.05.