Playing with its back to the wall, Glacier football has dominated its last two games to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Those hopes meet their biggest challenge this week when the Wolfpack travels to Helena Capital (6-1), the state’s top defense and a team nearly as laden with talent as the resurgent Wolfpack.
The Bruins have allowed just under 13 points per game, nearly four points fewer than the second-best team this season. In its last three games, Capital has allowed just 25 points.
“(It’s a) typical Capital defense, just very physical.” Glacier coach Grady Bennett said.
“You just never see a defense like them where their kids are so well coached and so disciplined. Their kids line up perfectly and execute their assignments perfectly. Beating Capital’s defense, you truly have to beat them. They’re not going to beat themselves. They’re not going to make mistakes. You really have to play well and you have to execute.”
Capital is powered by its massive offensive line, featuring University of Montana commit Conor Quick. The line has plowed the way for senior running back Seth Schneider to lead the state with 1,079 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
“Capital’s got a great run offense,” Bennett said. “They’re definitely going to do that. We have to be ready for their physical line play. They have great, great linemen on both sides of the ball. A couple of guys that are Division I. They’re just big and physical up front.”
Glacier has improved on its fronts the last few weeks, gumming up the Sentinel and Great Falls High run offenses while opening up big holes for Drew Turner on the other side of the ball. The resurgence in line play has helped the offense overall, with the Wolfpack averaging 42.5 points a game in its current two-game win streak.
Junior quarterback Evan Todd has been quick and decisive with his throws and has gotten the passing game humming, which has helped ease pressure on Turner and the run game. It has also helped the Wolfpack get the ball to its plethora of receiver talent with open space, which has brought back the big play into the offense.
“This is the team that we thought we could have and thought we would have,” Bennett said.
“Unfortunately it took a little bit longer to get going. But we still have a shot. We still have hope, we still have life. That’s all you can ask for at this point in the season, especially when you start out so bad. We just have to keep trying to stay on that arc. If we can keep improving like we have been, then who knows? We have to just give ourselves a shot. That’s what we want to do tomorrow night. Man, if we can just keep it close and make it a game in the fourth quarter, then who knows what can happen? We have enough weapons that we always feel like we can have a chance if we keep it close.”
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Vigilante Field. It will be broadcast in the Flathead on 103.9 FM The Monster.