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Harrison, Hawks hold off Pack for AA crown

by FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | November 17, 2023 11:57 PM

BOZEMAN — The Glacier Wolfpack’s dream season ended in the hands of Bozeman linebacker Quaid Ash Friday, with an interception of a pressured Jackson Presley pass with 41 seconds left.

That clinched the Hawks’ 35-27 win, and the program’s sixth state championship at filled-up Van Winkle Stadium.

Glacier’s talented, senior-laden squad gave the 12-0 Hawks — last year’s State AA runners up — a run. They led 7-0 early and got a Presley-to-Rhett Measure bomb late, covering 76 yards.

Even after Measure’s ensuing PAT kick was blocked, leaving Bozeman ahead 28-27 with 7:55 left in the game, you felt the Pack (10-2) might pull it off.

But Bozeman quarterback Kellen Harrison was pretty unstoppable, and Ash — also the Hawks’ tight end —  provided two touchdown catches to the cause, the second with 1:49 remaining..

“First of all, it was just a fantastic Class AA state championship football game, which I thought it was going to be,” Glacier coach Grady Bennett said. “Bozeman proved what kind of team they are, and congratulations to Coach (Levi) Wesche and his kids. They’re outstanding; they’re really, really good. 

“Kellen Harrison is the real deal. I told you he was a gamer, and he just made every play he needed to make tonight.”

Harrison, a 160-pound senior, made a statement on Bozeman’s second drive, after the Pack went ahead on the first of Kash Goicoechea’s three touchdown runs, covering 10 yards. 

Harrison completed three passes for 36 yards, then scrambled and cut back nicely on a 34-yard TD scamper.

Five snaps later he stepped in front of a deep ball by Presley and picked it off, returning it 31 yards to Glacier’s 30. On second down he bought time and then found Ash for a 23-yard touchdown.

While Goicoechea kept capping drives — his 6-yard run tied the game at 14-all before the end of the first quarter, and his 1-yard run on fourth and goal knotted it up at 21-all in the third — Harrison kept coming up with answers.

One killer was a perfect strike to Brady Casagranda on a wheel route, covering 19 yards for the score. It capped a 15-play, 78-yard, “how is that possible?” drive that ate up all but four seconds of the second quarter.

Harrison would end up 19 of 24 for 243 yards and four scores, and run for 84 yards and a TD.

Presley and the Pack kept coming. The sophomore quarterback threw for 308 yards, 76 coming on a sideline throw that Bozeman safety Evan Hughen dove and just missed. Measure caught it, tiptoed a few yards and stayed in bounds for the TD.

There was plenty of excitement left — including perhaps Harrison’s only mistake, a scrambling throw that Goicoechea made a leaping attempt at.

“Just right off my hands,” said the senior. “Little high, but yeah.”

“I thought he had it,” Bennett said. “And if he does, he’s gone. But there were a couple moments where I thought, ‘We’re going to make that play, or it’s going to happen.’ And then It just didn’t. But again, our guys laid it all on the line tonight. What an effort.”

A few plays later, Ash hauled in a scrambling throw, getting the 27-yard TD through shared possession  — Alex Hausmann appeared momentarily to have an interception. It was another just-miss for the Pack, which also saw Isaac Keim block a fourth-quarter punt only to give the ball up on downs at the Hawk 22.

After Ash’s second TD Presley guided the Pack from their 25 to Bozeman’s 24, before Ash got in the way again.

Keim and Johnson led the defense with eight stops each. Keim, Goicoechea, Carson Baker and Henry Sellards all had sacks. The Pack matched the Hawks yard for yard (each had 412).

“Well, I’m proud of our kids,” Bennett said. “They battled, man. I mean, they battled. That’s all you can ask. I asked them to leave it all out on the field and they did, Bozeman just made a few more plays than we did and that’s what championship games come down to.”

“I’m proud of what we accomplished this season,” Goicoechea said. “I think we did a lot of great things. The result wasn’t what we wanted but we still got a lot of great stuff out of this year. There are still some things to be celebrating.”



Glacier    14    0    7    6    -    27

Bozeman    14    7    7    7    -    35

G — Kash Goicoechea 10 run (Rhett Measure kick), 9:09-1Q

B — Kellen Harrison 34 run (Rocky Lencioni kick), 6:26-1Q

B — Quaid Ash 23 pass from Harrison (Lencioni kick), 3:48-1Q

G — Goicoechea 6 run (Measure kick), :08-1Q

B — Brady Casagranda kick (Lencioni kick), :04-2Q

G — Goicoechea 1 run (Measure kick), 6:44-3Q

B — Cordell Holzer 29 pass from Harrison (Lencioni kick), 3:22-3Q

G — Measure 76 pass from Jackson Presley (kick blocked), 7:55-Q

B — Ash 27 pass from Harrison (Lencioni kick), 1:49-4Q

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: Glacier (30-104) —Goicoechea 13-48, Kobe Dorcheus 10-37, Presley 6-19, Isaac Keim 1-0. Bozeman (38-167) — Harrison 14-85, Harley Bianchini 13-43, Casagranda 10-43, Team 1-minus 4.

PASSING: Glacier — Presley 17-28-2 for 308 yards. Bozeman — Harrison 19-24-0 for 245 yards.

RECEIVING: Glacier — Cohen Kastelitz 5-51, Measure 3-96, Dorcheus 3-40, Birdger Smith 2-31, Kole Johnson 1-33, Goicoechea 1-27, Alex hausmann 1-20, Van Scholten 1-10. Bozeman — Lencioni 6-66, Holzer 4-59, Kash Embry 4-46, Ash 2-50, Casagranda 2-23, Bianchini 1-1.


    Glacier wide receiver Rhett Measure (11) catches a 76-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 


    Glacier wide receiver Rhett Measure (11) celebrates after a 76-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier wide receiver Kole Johnson (4) holds on to a 33-yard reception in the second quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier running back Kash Goicoechea (6) dives for a touchdown in the first quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier wide receiver Cohen Kastelitz (1) picks up yardage after a reception in the first half against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier defensive lineman Isaac Keim (9) stops a run by Bozeman running back Brady Casagranda (8) in the first half of the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 


    Glacier running back Kash Goicoechea (6) scores a touchdown on a run in the first quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 


    Glacier defensive back Carson Baker (38) celebrates after a sack in the third quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 


    Glacier running back Kash Goicoechea (6) celebrates with offensive lineman TJ Gannon (62) after a touchdown run in the third quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 


    Glacier running back Kobe Dorcheus (33) picks up yardage after a reception in the second quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier wide receiver Rhett Measure (11) and quarterback Jackson Presley (12) celebrate after a 76-yard touchdown reception from Presley to Measure in the fourth quarter against Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider 
 
 
    Glacier quarterback Jackson Presley (12) and offensive lineman TJ Gannon (62) talk after a 35-27 loss to Bozeman in the Class AA state championship at Van Winkle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
 Casey Kreider