Columbia Falls punched its ticket to a second consecutive Class A football championship Saturday, downing Sidney 17-0 after a long trip across the state.
The Wildcats’ defense was stellar in the win, holding the Eagles to just over a 100 yards in the game. Most of that came on the first possession of the game when the Eagles had a run of about 60 yards and would have likely scored, but defensive back Devron Harris ran the runner down.
It was pretty much backwards for the Eagles after that. At one point in the second half, they had only seven yards of offense.
“It was one of the old-style tough hard-fought battles for sure,” said coach Jaxon Schweikert.
The Cats got most of their yards on the ground, pounding the ball against Sidney.
The Cats ran the ball 49 times for 262 yards and had 11 passes for 76 yards. Quarterback Austin green led the charge. He was 7 for 11 passing, with two interceptions (one on a tipped ball) for 76 yards and a touchdown and had 22 carries for 104 yards.
Junior running back Colten McPhee led the ground game with 21 carries for 132 yards, including a 32-yard run for a touchdown to put the Cats up 7-0 in the first quarter.
Logan Kolodejchuk had six carries for 26 yards. Kolodejchuk did most of his damage on defense, including a bruising hit on Sidney’s quarterback in the second quarter that knocked him out of the game.
“It was one of the biggest shots I’ve ever seen anyone take,” Schweikert said.
The Cats harassed Sidney’s quarterbacks all game long.
“Our defense was spectacular again. I think they only completed two or three passes,” Schweikert said.
Kicker Auguste Emond put the Cats up 10-0 with a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter and then receiver Drew Morgan scampered 33 yards on a screen to seal the game midway through the fourth quarter. Ben Windauer also had three catches for 30 yards and Kolodejchuk had two catches for 11 yards.
The Cats will face a familiar foe in Hamilton. They edged the Broncs 23-20 in the opening game of the season on the road. Schweikert said they run virtually the same offense as the Cats, but they throw the ball more.
Defensively, however, Hamilton has improved.
The Broncs beat Billings Central 35-28 in the semis.
The Cats will look to stop Bronc quarterback sophomore Carson Rostad, who leads state A in passing with more than 2,600 yards in the air and running back Bridger Bauder who is second in state A in rushing this season with more than 1,300 yards on the ground.
It should be a classic, as both teams have only one loss this season.
Game time is 1 p.m. The weather forecast is saying mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow.
C. Falls 7 0 3 7 — 17
Sidney 0 0 0 0 — 0
CF — Colton McPhee 32 run (Auguste Emond kick)
CF — Emond field goal
CF — Drew Morgan 32 pass from Austin Green (Emond kick)