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Wolfpack finish off Helena, 35-7

by FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | September 15, 2023 10:45 PM

Kash Goicoechea started the ball rolling for the Glacier Wolfpack Friday, and Cohen Kastelitz finished things off.

Goicoechea ran for three touchdowns and Kastelitz took a Jackson Presley pass 83 yards for the final TD in the Wolfpack’s convincing 35-7 win over Helena High at Legends Stadium.

A dominant defense that held the Bengals to 193 yards certainly helped Glacier improve to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in Western AA games.

But after a fourth-quarter collapse in a 28-27 loss at Butte last week, the Wolfpack was looking for a better finish. They got it thanks in large part to Kastelitz, who first supplied a 12-yard, tackle-breaking reception on fourth-and-8 to set up a 2-yard TD run from Kobe Dorcheus, with 8:41 left in the game.

Then, after Helena punted from midfield, the senior receiver made a leaping grab on a slant route and outran everyone to the south end zone.

“That was crazy,” said Goicoechea, who watched the play from the sideline.

“There’s my plug for track,” a happy Grady Bennett, Glacier’s veteran coach, said. “We try to make all of our guys run track, because speed is key. Cohen didn’t want to run track but he got faster and faster and faster, and you saw it right there.”

Kastelitz ended with seven catches for 166 yards. Dorcheus piled up 106 yards rushing on 16 carries. Goicoechea had nine carries for 51 yards, and Presley was money: 19 of 28 for 289 yards.

For all that, Glacier stayed stuck on 21 points for a long time, just as it had in Butte. A first-half pick by the Wolfpack’s Carson Baker was negated by a fumble two plays later. Up 21-7 after Goicoechea’s third TD, a 2-yard run, Glacier got the ball back when Mark Ahner recovered a muffed, squibbed kickoff — then went nowhere.

An almost certain TD pass was dropped to blunt the Pack’s first drive of the second half. Then theyr turned the ball over on downs on their next possession.

“Here we go again, right?” asked Bennett. “I’m just so proud of the kids because last Friday, that was gut wrenching. That was one of the hardest losses, for me, that I’ve ever experienced. It was hard on the kids, and it shakes your confidence.

“What I said at halftime, was: ‘So It’s 21-7. Man, we need that grit we talked about just a little bit more.’ A little bit more competitiveness, a little more courage, a little more desire… gosh they did all of that tonight.”

The drive that ended with Dorcheus’ TD was saved by a roughing the passer call, and Kastelitz’ catch in tight coverage and tough yards after catch were also critical. But it also featured a nifty Presley dump-off pass that went 12 yards for a score only to be called back by a blindside block. It would have been Goicoechea’s fourth score.

As it was Goicoechea’s second TD, a 13-yard, third-effort run, came one play after an apparent 11-yard pass play was negated by a hold.

“We had a screen called back,” the senior said. “It was frustrating, but we just have to erase it, come back and do what we know how to do.”

Helena (2-2, 1-1), with the extremely mobile Carter Kraft at quarterback, had just the one sustained drive that covered 63 yards. Kraft managed just 94 passing yards. Speedy Manu Melo, squared up with Glacier’s Alex Hausmann most of the evening, had had two catches.

The offense eventually did the rest.

“We’re a great team,” Presley said. “We have all the talent we need to achieve everything we want. We just need to get back to practice, watch film tomorrow, and fix all our little mistakes. I think if we fix all the little mistakes, we’re going to be alright.”

Helena 7 0 0 0 - 7

Glacier 14 7 0 14 - 35

G — Kash Goicoechea 12 run (Rhett Measure kick), 7:47-1Q

H — Tevin Wetzel 2 run (Trygve Braun kick), 2:34-1Q

G — Goicoechea 13 run (Measure kick), :26-1Q

G — Goicoechea 2 run (Measure kick), 2:49-2Q

G — Kobe Dorcheus 1 run (Measure kick), 8:41-4Q

G — Cohen Kastelitz 83 pass form Jackson Presley (Measure kick), 4:19-4Q

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: Helena (26-99) — Wetzel 10-44, Carter Kraft 10-33, Braun 5-17, Dylan Mosness 1-5. Glacier (38-189) — Dorchus 16-106, Goicoechea 9-51, Kaleb Shine 5-27, Chase Chaffin 3-13.

PASSING: Helena — Kraft 10-28-1 for 94 yards. Glacier — Presley 19-28-0 for 289 yards.

RECEIVING: Helena — Wetztel 5-53, Manu Melo 2-16, Justin Lieberg 2-12, Kyler Larson 1-13. Glacier — Kastelitz 7-166, Alex Hausmann 4-40, Evan Barnes 2-30, Measure 2-19.

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The Glacier defense puts a stop to a run by Helena quarterback Carter Kraft (5) in the first half at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Kash Goicoechea (6) scores a touchdown on a run in the first quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Kole Johnson (4) picks up yardage after a reception in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier linebacker Jaden Dannic (40) tackles Helena running back Tevin Wetzel (2) in the first quarter at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Cohen Kastelitz (1) picks up yardage after a reception in the third quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Alex Hausmann (3) is brought down by Helena's Brett Grange (11) after a reception in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Evan Barnes (8) is brought down by Helena's Sam Ark (8) after a reception in the first half at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Alex Hausmann (3) pulls down a reception in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier quarterback Kaleb Shine (16) picks up yardage on a run in the first half against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Kash Goicoechea (6) scores a touchdown on a run in the first quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier linebacker Mark Ahner (31) celebrates with teammates after recovering a fumble in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier running back Kobe Dorcheus (33) picks up yardage on a run in the first quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier defensive back Carson Baker (38) intercepts a pass in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier's Aiden Krause (79) and Kobe Dorcheus (33) celebrate after a defensive stop in the first quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier wide receiver Cohen Kastelitz (1) picks up yardage after a reception in the second quarter against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

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Glacier quarterback Jackson Presley (12) drops back to pass in the first half against Helena at Legends Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)