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Missoula Sentinel, Hamilton, Florence-Carlton, Drummond-Philipsburg, Froid-Lake reign in final football rankings

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BOZEMAN — From start to finish, the teams expected to reign over Montana’s five high school football classes have done just that.

In four of the five classes, the team ranked No. 1 in late August — Missoula Sentinel in Class AA, Hamilton in Class A, Drummond-Philipsburg in 8-Man and Froid-Lake in 6-Man — cruised through the season unbeaten and were rarely tested. All but Hamilton were defending state champions.

In Class B, defending champion Manhattan was given the nod in the first rankings but Florence-Carlton moved into the top spot after the first week and remained there the entire fall.

All remain atop their classes in the final rankings as they enter the playoffs this week.

Their primary challengers also remained steady: Billings West in Class AA, defending champion Laurel in Class A, Townsend in Class B, Thompson Falls in 8-Man and White Sulphur Springs in 6-Man. Of those five, only two suffered defeats, both to the No. 1 team: West to Sentinel on the opening weekend and Townsend to Florence-Carlton.

The final rankings see little movement.

In Class AA, Helena and Butte swapped the Nos. 3 and 4 spots after the Bengals trounced No. 5 Helena Capital in the annual crosstown showdown and Butte fell to Sentinel in a dogfight. This is despite Butte topping Helena early in the season.

Class A remained unchanged and Class B saw Huntley Project return to the rankings in the No. 10 slot after upending former No. 10 Red Lodge to secure the Southern B title.

Most 8-Man teams were idle after playing seeding games the previous week.

In 6-Man, Valley Christian made its first appearance after finishing second in the West. The No. 3 team in the West, Hot Springs, remained seventh after a hard-nosed 8-6 loss to No. 2 White Sulphur Springs.

With the playoffs beginning this week, many first-round games typically are blowouts. The top four teams in Class AA and Class A earned first-round byes.

A few first-round games to keep an eye on:

Class B: No. 9 Fairfield at No. 5 Eureka, No. 6 Bigfork at No. 8 Glasgow, No. 7 Jefferson at Red Lodge.

8-Man: No. 9 Chinook at Fairview, No. 8 Belt at No. 6 Culbertson, No. 5 Scobey at No. 4 Simms.

6-Man: No. 6 Richey-Lambert at Roy-Winifred, No. 7 Hot Springs at No. 1 Froid-Lake, No. 8 Big Sandy at No. 10 Valley Christian, No. 9 Broadview-Lavina at DGS-GRW.

High school football

406mtsports.com rankings

Oct. 26

The rankings (+/- = movement upward or downward):

Class AA

1. Missoula Sentinel (8-0)

2. Billings West (8-1) 

3. Helena (7-2) (+1)           

4. Butte (6-3) (-1) 

5. Helena Capital (6-3)   

Class A

1. Hamilton (8-0)

2. Laurel (8-0)

3. Polson (9-0) 

4. Lewistown (7-1) 

5. Billings Central (6-2)

Class B

1. Florence-Carlton (8-0) 

2. Townsend (7-1) 

3. Columbus (7-1)  

4. Malta (8-0) 

5. Eureka (7-2)

6. Bigfork (6-2)    

7. Jefferson (5-3)  

8. Glasgow (7-2) (+1) 

9. Fairfield (6-2) (-1)

10. Huntley Project (7-2) (+1)

8-Man

1. Drummond-Philipsburg (7-0)

2. Thompson Falls (9-0) 

3. Fort Benton (6-1) 

4. Simms (7-1) 

5. Scobey (6-1)  

6. Culbertson (6-1) 

7. Joliet (6-1) 

8. Belt (7-1)

9. Chinook (7-1) 

10. Park City (7-1)

6-Man

1. Froid-Lake (9-0)

2. White Sulphur Springs (7-0)

3. Power-Dutton-Brady (8-1) 

4. Shields Valley (6-1)  

5. Bridger (7-1)  

6. Richey-Lambert (6-2) 

7. Hot Springs (6-2) 

8. Big Sandy (6-2) (+1)

9. Broadview-Lavina (5-2) (+1)

10. Valley Christian (6-3) (+1) 

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