DILLON — Justus Peterson passed and ran for touchdowns and Zane Johnson ran for one in addition to a pick-six as Dillon (6-2) topped Whitefish (5-5) in Class A football playoff action Firday night 27-7.
Dillon led 13-0 at the half.
Mark Anderson scored for Whitefish on a 1-yard run in the third quarter to close within six, but Dillon scored twice after that to put the game away.
Dillon advances to quarterfinal play next week at Billings Central.
In Friday’s other playoff matchup, Corvallis defeated Frenchtown 28-23.
Corvallis moves on to play at Laurel.
Laurel, Billings Central, Hamilton and Columbia Falls had first-round byes.
Whitefish 0 0 7 0 — 7
Dillon 7 6 8 6 — 7
D — Brad Rakich 30 pass from Justus Peterson (Jace Fitzgerald kick)
D — Zane Johnson 1 run (kick failed)
W — Mark Anderson 1 run (kick good)
D — Peterson run (conversion good)
D — Johnson interception return (conversion failed)
Two-time defending state champion Eureka (6-2) opens the postseason today with a trip to Manhattan (5-3) while Bigfork (7-1) is home against Townsend (5-3).
Both games begin at 1 p.m.
The Bigfork-Townsend matchup is a rematch of the Oct. 5 meeting in Townsend, won by Bigfork, 21-14. Randy Stultz ran for two touchdowns and Anders Epperly passed 48 yards to Luke Schmit for another.
Bigfork was top-ranked then and that win moved the Vikings to 6-0 on the season.
Eureka and Manhattan did not play during the regular season.
“They have some very good athletes,” Eureka coach Trevor Utter said of Manhattan, “a very strong run game. They spread you out and try to run the ball.”
Eureka has bounced back after back-to-back losses to Bigfork and Missoula Loyola. The Lions then beat Anaconda 48-0, Florence 29-27 and Deer Lodge 45-12.
“We’re in pretty good shape, feeling good about it,” Utter said.
“We had some early injuries and we had to learn to live without some guys. I think were getting there, finding out what our identity is. We’re just getting better every game.”
Offensively, first-year quarterback Hank Dunn, who was an all-state defensive back last year, has transitioned to his new position very well. He has 464 yards rushing on 82 attempts and six touchdown and has passed for 1,072 yards and 15 touchdowns.
He is 73 of 143 passing.
Terell Helgert, 426 yards on 49 attempts, is the team’s No. 2 rusher and has scored six times.
Helgert, 12 receptions for 298 yards and four touchdowns, and Cory Chaney, 26 receptions for 292 yards and three touchdowns, are the leading receivers.
Defensively, Jake Kindel, and all-state middle linebacker, anchors that crew. He leads with 43 total tackles (30 solo and 26 assisted) and tackles for loss with 9.5.
Defensive end Mason Davis had five sacks against Deer Lodge and a team-high 6.5 for the season.
“He’s performing at a very high level,” Utter said of Davis. “He’s a kid who can change the game in a hurry.”
The Eureka/Manhattan winner will play the Fairfield/Red Lodge winner on Nov. 3.
Bigfork’s lone loss was to Missoula Loyola on Oct. 12 in Bigfork, 26-21. Loyola scored the first 13 points, but Bigfork bounced back for a 14-13 halftime lead.
Loyola led 26-14 when Bigfork scored the game’s final TD on a 2-yard run.
Epperly had two touchdown passes to Schmit, 66 and 28 yards.
Stultz powers the Vikings’ ground game, rushing for 742 yards on 116 attempts. He averages 6.4 yards per carry and has scored 13 touchdowns.
Taylor has 299 yards on 55 carries.
Epperly has passed for 1,424 yards. He’s 94 of 156 passing for 16 touchdowns.
Schmit, 36 receptions for 530 yards and six TDs, and Stultz, 26 for 354 and 4 scores, are the two leading receivers.
Bigfork has outscored its foes 285-83.
The Bigfork/Townsend winner moves on to play the winner of Roundup/Cut Bank.
Football Playoffs Pairings
Columbia Falls, Hamilton, Laurel, Billings Central
Dillon 27, Whitefish 7
Corvallis 28, Frenchtown 23
Miles City at Belgrade, 1 p.m.
Sidney at Lewistown, 2 p.m.
All games Saturday at 1 p.m.
Florence at Big Timber
Glasgow at Colstrip
Three Forks at Missoula Loyola
Huntley Project at Malta
Cut Bank at Roundup
Townsend at Bigfork
Red Lodge at Fairfield
Eureka at Manhattan
Class C 8-Man
All games Saturday at 1 p.m.
Scobey at Joliet
Alberton-Superior at Great Falls Central
Chinook at Fairview
Centerville at Arlee
Darby at Shelby
Circle at Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap in Hobson
Choteau at Drummond-Philipsburg in Drummond
Ennis at Culbertson
Class C 6-Man
Richey-Lambert 80, Bridger 30
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Denton-Geyser-Stanford at Hot Springs
Jordan at Roy-Winifred in Winifred
Noxon at Geraldine-Highwood in Highwood
Shields Valley at Wibaux
White Sulphur Springs at Big Sandy
Westby-Grenora at Grass Range-Winnett in Grass Range
Sunburst at West Yellowstonethe