(Editor’s note: this article will be updated with scores and highlights as games finish)
Park City 48, Joliet 34
After a back-and-forth affair in Friday night’s first half, Park City rattled off 28 unanswered points across nearly 21 minutes on its way to stunning top-ranked Joliet on the road, 48-34.
After allowing a Joliet score to give the J-Hawks a 26-20 lead with 2:42 to play in the first half, the Panthers hit a big play to grab the lead before halftime. Jacob Gauthier found Wyatt Hamilton who sprinted up the left sideline 57 yards to give Park City a 28-26 lead at the break.
The Panthers then marched down the field on the opening possession of the third quarter before a wild play resulted in six points for Park City. Gauthier rolled to his right looking to pass before tucking the ball and running. He was hit and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where Colby Coleman fell on it for a Panther touchdown. The two-point conversion gave Park City a two-possession lead, 36-26.
A pair of interceptions of Joliet quarterback Hayden Ward led to rushing touchdowns by Hamilton and Gauthier to effectively put the game away midway through the fourth quarter.
The two sides went score for score early on. Less than a minute into the game, Rye Brastrup pounded his way in from 10-yards out to put Joliet up 6-0. Park City, though, answered right back on a Jacob Gauthier to Eyan Jordet touchdown pass.
Brastrup would again find paydirt on the ground, but Gauthier and Hamilton’s first scoring connection from 10-yards out tied the game at 14-all. Ward hit Paxton McQuillan to put Joliet back ahead, 20-14, but a 39-yard scamper by Stockton Zimdars less than two and a half minutes later had Park City back in front, 22-20. Brastrup’s third scoring run of the first half gave Joliet a brief lead and were the J-Hawks’ last points until a 43-yard touchdown pass from Ward to Seth Bailey.
Joliet falls to 4-1, 3-1 8-Man South, while Park City improves to 4-1, 3-0.
Simms 41, Fort Benton 29
SIMMS—In a matchup of the unbeaten teams in the 8-Man North, the Fort Benton Longhorns and Simms Tigers did not disappoint in their up-front physical approach.
Senior running back Andrew Ballantyne scored twice in the first half for the Longhorns to go ahead 22-14 but in the second half, the Tigers kept their motor going at home for senior day as they allow only one more score in the second half and cruise to 41-29 victory.
Fortunately for Fort Benton, next week they get another shot at the Tigers for the divisional championship as they will host Simms at home next Saturday.
Alberton-Superior 74, Seeley-Swan 20
Belt 58, Shelby 8
Chinook 55, Choteau 18
Culbertson 49, Ekalaka 20
Lone Peak 38, Ennis 36
Scobey 66, Forsyth 6
St. Ignatius 56, Darby 6
Thompson Falls 61, Arlee 24
Westby-Grenora 42, Lodge Grass 6