Montana Class AA preps notebook: CMR, Butte, Missoula football, Glacier golf, Senior volleyball

Much to the excitement of patrons around the Treasure State, high school sports are back in full swing.

And with that, the C.M. Russell High football team made waves Friday night, trekking into the Flathead region one week after being stunned by the Butte Bulldogs and stealing a win from top-ranked Glacier High.

“That was a big win for us,” CMR head coach Jack Johnson said. “We needed that one.”

What’s more astonishing is that the Rustlers did it with their starting quarterback sidelined.

Junior standout signal-caller Jayse McLean broke his collarbone midway through the game. Luckily for the Rustlers, stud tight end Josh Horner proved he’s more than competent to lead CMR to victory as a QB.

The Wolfpack amassed 345 yards to CMR’s 187, but the Rustlers used a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown to open the second quarter and take a 14-7 lead.

CMR added a field goal before Glacier showed why so many coaches across the state voted them No. 1 by scoring back-to-back touchdowns to grab a 21-17 advantage into the final quarter.

Cue Josh Horner.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete led a late drive that ended with him barreling his way into the end zone. CMR’s defense held strong, sealing the win for the Rustlers and righting a ship that some feared was sailing in the wrong direction after the early season misfortunes.

“Josh is going to have to lead us now,” Johnson said.

Horner, who saw time at quarterback last season, may be the temporary hero in CMR lore, but McLean warrants applause, too.

The multisport star spent his weekend after the win, despite being in considerable pain, — there’s not much that can be done for a collarbone fracture — watching film from the game.

He wanted to see what went wrong, what could be have gone better, how to help his teammates grow.

For a kid who is expected to miss most, if not all, of the season, his dedication to Rustlers football is unwavering. And that’s worth applauding.

“I know he feels bad and I feel terrible for him,” Johnson said.

Me too, Coach.

THE BUTTE BULLDOGS football team fell to Billings Skyview in a 55-48 shootout on Friday night in Billings.

Despite the loss, Butte QB Dallas Cook put on a show. The 6-4, 220-pound lithe signal-caller sprinkled two touchdowns over his 523 passing yards in the game.

That’s right, 523 yards through the air.

He completed 41 of 61 attempts, threw one pick and added 51 yards on the ground. The performance smashed former Butte quarterback Matt Berg’s record for 395 passing yards in a single game, set in 2010.

Berg also had 56 yards on the ground to set Butte’s record for most total yards in a game with 451. Cook’s 574-yard performance surpassed that mark as well.

The kicker? Cook is only a junior.

 

THE SPARTANS of Missoula Sentinel were ecstatic Friday night.

And that’s not because alum Zach Wagenmann was about to make his first career start at defensive end for the Montana Grizzlies on Saturday.

It’s because they rallied to defeat crosstown rival Hellgate, earning new Sentinel football coach Dane Oliver his first win.

The Spartans stormed back in the second half for a 15-12 win over the Knights on Friday night at Missoula County Stadium.

Senior quarterback Tres Cunningham used a 3-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter and the Spartans’ defense prevented the Knights from countering.

“This means a lot,” Oliver said to the Missoulian. “There’s so much time and effort that goes into something like this, it’s more than just coaching. It’s players and parents and … this is for the whole Spartan community.”

SPEAKING OF Hellgate, the boys’ soccer team, the reigning state champ, showed its dominant run has no clear end in sight.

The Knights rode two early goals to glide past Kalispell Flathead 7-0 on Friday.

Hellgate fired an impressive 22 shots on Flathead. Leading the scoring barrage was Reid Birgenheier and his three-goal day. Macky Scott added two more goals.

Steen Shober scored off a penalty kick and Kyle Higgins recorded a scoring strike as well.

OUT ON THE links in Flathead, Glacier freshman golfer Teigan Avery continued her eye-popping start to her high school career as she wielded to the top two-day score of 152 after firing 76 in both rounds at the Glacier Invite last week.

Avery, along with Ryan Porch, helped guide the Glacier boys’ and girls’ golf teams to team victories.

Behind Avery’s first place result, the Glacier girls (326-337–663) ran away from the field, as second-place Polson finished 82 strokes back.

The Wolfpack boys posted a team score of 603 over the two-day tourney. The first day the Wolfpack recorded a 304 before breaking the 300 mark on the second day with an awesome 299.

Porch earned top honors with a 36-hole score of 71-67–138, a fine six-under-par showing from the stud.

 

THE BILLINGS SENIOR Broncs girls’ volleyball team took to a whole other state to showcase its dominance.

The Broncs did not drop a set on Saturday as they cruised to winning the Camel Volleyball Invitational in Gillette, Wyo.

It is the first time the Broncs (8-0) have won the tournament.

Senior swept Wyoming squads from Rawlins, Cheyenne East and host Gillette on its way to the banner.

The Broncs beat the Camels 25-21, 25-11 in the championship match.

Stellar senior Kiahna Steiner rocked the tournament for the Broncs with 11 kills and Andrea Bowers was a wall in the middle, racking up five of the team’s nine blocks.

Jace Henderson chipped in 18 assists and two aces, along with rushing into the stands to save a point, head coach Jeff Carroll told the Billings Gazette.

Daniel Mediate is a Tribune Sports Writer and can be reached at 791-1491or or at dmediate [at] greatfallstribune.com

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