Florence’s Derrick Brown battled Loyola defenders all night but never stopped moving forward. Jean Schurman photo
In a battle of the undefeated and for the top spot in District 6B, Missoula Loyola and Florence matched up in Florence on Friday night. Not only was the conference championship on the line but also seeding for the playoffs that begin this week. Loyola won, 53-20.
Loyola scored early and built up a 24-point lead before Florence scored right before the half. Florence scored when Aaron Ward rushed four yards for the score. But Florence’s celebration was short-lived as Loyola’s Bo Hughes returned the kickoff for another six.
“They are a tough team,” said Florence coach Terry Maki of Loyola. “But Florence didn’t quit. They played their hearts out the entire time.”
Midway through the third quarter, Ward connected with Tanner Cobbs from 30 yards out. Cobbs caught the pass by his fingernails and raced in for the score. Florence’s final score was another rush by Ward, this time from five yards out.
Florence will travel to Red Lodge this Saturday to battle another undefeated team in the first round of the playoffs.
Victor will also be making a trip east of the mountains for the playoffs. They clenched third place in the Western C conference and will take on the Chinook Sugar Beeters on Saturday. Chinook is the No. 2 team in the Northern Division. The Pirates finished third after Drummond lost to Charlo. That took the pressure off the Pirates as they cruised to a 52-30 win over Seeley-Swan.
Victor used a balanced attack to top the Blackhawks. Zac Agee had four touchdowns on the ground. He rushed for 158 yards on 22 carries. Corey Deering caught a Matt Kittel pass for a score and Nate Bishop also caught a Kittel pass for six. Tyler Scheffer recovered a Seeley fumble for a score also. Kittel passed for 235 yards and completed 16 of 30 passes.
Stevensville defeated Corvallis, 55-0, in the second battle of the Bitterroot. Stevensville opened their scoring with an attack from the air when Jared Schultz hit Zach Gavlak from four yards out for the score. Schultz then called his own number for the next two touchdowns. He rushed 12 yards and five yards for the scores. Schultz had two more rushing scores later in the game on runs of three and nine yards. Kyle Behner had a one-yard plunge. Austin Lords picked off two Corvallis passes and returned them for touchdowns as well. One was a 96-yard return. Stevensville finished their season with a record of 4-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Corvallis went 0-8 for the season.
Hamilton fell to Anaconda, 48-12. They finished their season at 2-6.
Darby was hosts to the Superior Bobcats who won, 68-32. Dylan Knox had three touchdowns: a 35 yard reception from Joe Caicedo, a 49 yard pass from Caicedo and a 48 yard run. Colton Johnston scored on a six-yard run. Caicedo scored the final touchdown on a two-yard push. Darby finished their season with a record of 2-7.