Prep football power rankings: More shakeups bring new teams into mix

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 18:46:45-04

After weeks of relative steadiness, a No. 1-ranked team has fallen. The Joliet J-Hawks (4-1) finally suffered a loss at the hands of divisional foe Park City (4-1) last weekend in the 8-Man South, shaking up the power rankings and bringing the Panthers into the mix.

Elsewhere though, the top teams continued to win. In Class AA, Missoula Sentinel (6-0) easily dispatched crosstown rival Missoula Big Sky (2-5) on Friday, and No. 2 Billings West (6-1) did the same in its crosstown game, a shutout over Billings Senior (5-2). However, the Broncs still received enough votes to stay this week's rankings. Meanwhile, previous No. 3 Great Falls CMR (5-2) lost to Bozeman, allowing for Helena Capital (5-2), Butte (5-2) and Helena (5-2) to climb into the mix.

Hamilton (6-0) is still the team to beat in Class A, while Laurel (6-0) and Polson (7-0) follow. Billings Central (5-1), who's only loss is to Laurel, just barely edges Whitefish in the voting for the No. 4 spot, so the undefeated Bulldogs stay at No. 5.

A ranked team lost in Class B as well, as then-No. 4 Columbus (5-1) fell on the road to No. 2 Townsend (5-1). The Cougars still received votes this week, but not enough to stay in the top 5. Unbeaten Bigfork (6-0) slides into Columbus' spot, and Glasgow moves into the Top 5. Glasgow will play No. 3 Malta (6-0) this week in a major showdown to decide the Northern B.

After Joliet's first loss, the J-Hawks drop from the 8-Man rankings, but continue to receive votes. Western unbeatens Drummond-Philipsburg (6-0) and Thompson Falls (7-0) each move up a spot, while Simms enters the rankings at No. 3, leapfrogging Culbertson (7-0) thanks to a win over then-No. 4 Fort Benton. Culbertson sticks at No. 4, and Park City enters at No. 5 thanks to the upset. Meanwhile, unbeaten Sheridan (5-0) continues to receive votes, but not enough to crack the rankings. Sheridan and Park City will play on Friday.

The 6-Man rankings remain the same. No. 3 Bridger (6-0) and No. 4 Shields Valley (4-1) meet on Friday to decide the 6-Man South.

The rankings after seven weeks can be found below.

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (6-0)
2. Billings West (6-1)
3. Helena Capital (5-2)
4. Butte (5-2)
T5. Helena High (5-2)
T5. Billings Senior (5-2)

Receiving votes: Bozeman High

Class A

1. Hamilton (6-0)
2. Laurel (6-0)
3. Polson (7-0)
4. Billings Central (5-1)
5. Whitefish (7-0)

Class B

1. Florence (6-0)
2. Townsend (5-1)
3. Malta (6-0)
4. Bigfork (6-0)
5. Glasgow (6-1)

Receiving votes: Columbus


1. Drummond-Philipsburg (6-0)
2. Thompson Falls (7-0)
3. Simms (7-0)
4. Culbertson (6-0)
5. Park City (4-1)

Receiving votes: Fort Benton, Joliet, Sheridan


1. Froid-Medicine Lake (6-0)
2. White Sulphur Springs (4-0)
3. Bridger (6-0)
4. Shields Valley (4-1)
5. Power-Dutton-Brady (5-1)