Senior running back Preston Blain scored four touchdowns as the Glacier Wolfpack kept its Class AA playoff hopes alive with a 34-14 romp over the Missoula Big Sky Eagles (2-7) on Thursday at Legends Stadium.
Glacier, winners of three straight, improves to 4-5 on the season.
“We’ve won three in a row, we’re getting better week by week,” Glacier coach Grady Bennett said. “I like a lot of the signs I’m seeing. We really have each other’s backs and that’s a sign to me that we can go somewhere with this.”
The Eagles struck first, with Wyatt Shinn receiving Colter Janacaro’s 26 yard pass at 1:46 in the first quarter.
Early in the second, Blain broke lose with a 46-yard run that tied it 7-7. The senior running back had 232 yards, putting him at 1,397 for the season. If the Wolfpack make the playoffs, Blain could break Drew Turner’s 2017 season record of 1,666 yards.
“Preston is a kid that gets better every week,” Bennett said. “I think he’s learning how to play running back every week. He just figures the next thing out and grows as a player week by week and it’s neat to see.”
Blain ran for three more touchdowns in the second half, one made possible by Gator Mosek’s fumble recovery and another by a crucial defensive stop on Big Sky on a fourth and two situation.
“They go out and they get stop after stop and then they created two huge turnovers in that second half which really ignited us,” Bennett said of the defense. “I like where we’re going as a team as far as all the signs and the improvement but I really like how our guys are playing for each other and they have each other’s backs.
A blocked kick kept the score 13-7 in the third quarter, but quarterback Evan Todd ran for two points early in the fourth quarter after Blain’s fourth touchdown for a 27-7 Glacier lead.
After the Eagles scored with eight minutes remaining in the game, the Glacier offense marched back on the field and added to its lead. Todd connected with reciever Drew Deck for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Todd threw for 146 yards and was intercepted twice. Glacier’s offense produced 485 total yards. Big Sky was held to 89 yards on the ground and 262 total.
Glacier takes on Hellgate in Missoula next Thursday to close out regular season play.
Big Sky 7 0 0 7 – 14
Glacier 0 7 12 15 – 34
BS – Wyatt Shinn 26 pass from Colter Janacaro (Jim Seielstad kick)
G – Preston Blain 26 run (Carter Purdy kick)
G – Blain 15 run (Purdy kick blocked)
G – Blain 2 run (Purdy kick no good)
G – Blain 1 run (Evan Todd run)
BS – Janacaro 2 run (Seielstad kick)
G – Drew Deck 40 pass from Todd (Purdy kick)
First downs 16 22
Rushes-yards 43-173 47-339
Passing yards 89 146
Passing (att-com-int) 20-9-1 19-10-2
Penalties 3-25 12-93
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Punts-avg 5-33.2 2-38.0
Kickoff returns 4-42 3-39
Int (no.-yds) 2-3 1-0
RUSHING – Big Sky, Colter Janacaro 29-147, Everett Fred 3-12, Ben Maehl 3-9, Jett Rebish 4-6, Andrew Gardianier 2-1, Draven Lincoln 2- -2; Glacier, Preston Blain 31-232, Tim Brough 11-76, Evan Todd 4-31.
PASSING – Big Sky, Draven Lincoln 7-12-1-0-54, Colter Janacaro 1-3-0-1-26, Andrew Gardianier 1-5-0-0-9; Glacier, Evan Todd 10-19-2-1-47.
RECEIVING – Big Sky, Colter Janacaro 4-21, Wyatt Shinn 3-49, Ben Maehl 2-19; Glacier, Drew Deck 5-114, Colin Bowden 3-29, Preston Blain 2-3.
Class AA Standings
*Bozeman 9 0
*Billings West 8 1
*Billings Senior 6 2
*Helena High 6 2
*Flathead 6 2
Missoula Sentinel 4 4
Great Falls High 4 5
Glacier 4 5
Helena Capital 3 5
Butte 3 5
Missoula Hellgate 2 6
Great Falls CMR 2 7
Missoula Big Sky 2 7
Billings Skyview 0 8
*Clinched playoff berth
Glacier 34, Missoula Big Sky 14
Billings West 34, Great Falls Russell 21
Bozeman 52, Great Falls 26
7 p.m. — Flathead vs. Missoula Hellgate at Washington-Grizzly Stadium
7 p.m. — Billings Skyview at Butte
7 p.m. — Billings Senior at Helena Capital
7 p.m. — Helena High at Missoula Sentinel