For the first time in 23 years two Missoula Class AA football teams will meet each other for a Montana High School playoff game when the 7th seeded Sentinel Spartans will play the 2nd seeded Big Sky Eagles in the first round of the 2017 postseason Friday night.
The Big Sky Eagles flew through the 2017 season with an 8-2 record on the wings of their quarterback Levi Janacaro. The 6’0″ elusive senior torched opposing defenses with his legs racking up 1,496 yards on 195 carries and scored 23 touchdowns while adding another 790 yards through the air and seven touchdowns to his totals. Big Sky is notorious for their power run game and Janacaro is backed by the hard hitting Kadin Lahti who has scampered past Class AA defensive lineman for 607 yards on 107 carries and 6 touchdowns. Lahti is creative out of the back field and has the ability to catch the ball adding 270 yards to his statistics on 24 catches.
For the Sentinel Spartans it has been a roller coaster ride in 2017 with games surprising fans and experts alike. The Spartans finished the season 5-5 on a must win game over the Capital Bruins. Sentinel’s final game of the regular season was one that will not be forgotten by the Spartan faithful for a long time as Capital had the running clock ran against them for the first time in over a decade. The Spartans have produced another dual threat quarterback in Ryaln Ortt who has quietly passed for 12 touchdowns on six interceptions and ran in an additional seven touchdowns. With a stable full of gifted receivers the Spartan offense is sparked by the wheels of junior tailback Elias Dewaters who leads the team with 519 rushing yards on 95 carries.
Big Sky has been crowned the 2017 city champions after first knocking off Sentinel 44-40 in the second week of the season and then powering by the Hellgate Knights 45-8 in week four. In the regular season meeting the two teams combined for a total of 914 yards, a whooping 525 on the ground. Friday nights game promises to be a fridge match up with game time temps dipping into the lower 30’s and a chance of snow leading up to kick off. The game will come down to the run game once again, expect this to be a low scoring game that will feature the front seven of each defense.
Kick off from Missoula County Stadium is at 7:00 pm Friday night.