The Wildcats proved to be too much for visiting Ronan Friday as Columbia Falls opened the game with 64 unanswered points on Senior Night at Satterthwaite Field.
The Chiefs finally got on the board in the game’s closing moments as Columbia Falls earned a 64-7 victory.
Running back Colten McPhee moved above 2,000 career rushing yards in the win as he torched the helpless Ronan defense, amassing 265 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries (26.5 yards per carry). McPhee also caught two passes for an additional 42 yards. McPhee also pushed his season rushing touchdown total to 18, three more than the team record he set in 2017.
Quarterback Drew Morgan finished the night 7-9 passing for 160 yards and three touchdowns, hooking up with Lana Sapa for two scores and Parker Greene for the other.
In total, the Wildcats picked up 489 yards on just 31 plays in a game where the mercy-rule running clock started midway through the first quarter.
Columbia Falls led 36-0 after one quarter of play.
Not to be outdone, the Wildcat defense also had a dominating performance, forcing five Ronan turnovers in the opening quarter alone as they held the Chiefs to just 95 yards of total offense on the evening.
Brayden Stone picked off Ronan quarterback Eric Dolence twice in the opening quarter while Brad Nieves ran in a pick-six from 21 yards out, also in the first quarter.
Dominant on both sides of the ball, McPhee also led the Wildcat defense with eight tackles (three solo), while Tanner Gove added seven and Cade Morgan and Greene each had six.
The Cats’ defense recorded four sacks in the victory as Gove had one and McPhee, Isaac Balla, Cade Morgan, Greene, Steven Ciraolo and Skylar Morrow combined on three.
With the win, the Cats maintain their half-game lead over Whitefish atop the Northwest A Conference standings, meaning this Friday’s game against the Bulldogs in Whitefish will decide the conference championship.
The Bulldogs enter Friday’s game on a five-game winning streak, coming off a 38-0 win over the Pirates in Polson. Whitefish’s two losses came against Hamilton and Frenchtown in the opening two weeks of the season.
Kickoff for Friday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.