New season, fresh start for area football teams

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The Daily Inter Lake

High school football teams in northwest Montana have enjoyed a banner postseason stretch of success the last six years and it should continue again in 2019. Those playoff programs, for the most part, are solid year-in and year-out and their winning traditions are well established.

Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Flathead, Glacier and Whitefish have all been in title games during that time frame with Glacier (2014), Whitefish (2015), Eureka (2016, 2017) and Columbia Falls (2017) winning championships for Class AA, A and B.

Postseason participants a year ago were Bigfork and Eureka in Class B, Columbia Falls and Whitefish in Class A and Flathead and Glacier in Class AA.

The playoff run for 2019 starts tonight with all the area teams in action.

Home games are: Bozeman at Flathead, Libby at Whitefish, Townsend at Bigfork, Columbia Falls at Polson and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, at Eureka.

Traveling for the first week are: Glacier at Billings Skyview and Ronan at Browning.

All games begin at 7 p.m.

Flathead was the lone local finalist a year ago, falling at Billings West in the championship game 20-14. Billings Senior won back-to-back titles before that. The Braves also lost in the final in 2013 to Bozeman, 24-14.

Billings Central stopped Hamilton for the Class A crown last fall, 28-21. Fairfield/Augusta rolled by Missoula Loyola in the Class B finale, 30-13.

Drummond/Granite dumped Great Falls Central 50-14 for the 8-man trophy while Wibaux County crushed Garfield County 70-27 in the 6-man championship game.

Hamilton has been a finalist in Class A for the last two seasons, in the playoffs for 16 straight seasons and features one of the state’s top quarterbacks in Carson Rostad. He was named Montana Gatorade Player of the Year after last season. He has already signed with the University of Montana.

The Montana High School Association on Thursday approved a co-op for Grass Range-Winnett, which earlier this week canceled all its games for 2019 because of low numbers, with Lewistown (Fergus High School) effective immediately.

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