A dominant defensive display helped Glacier roll over Flathead 42-0 in Friday night’s Western AA football crosstown clash at Legends Stadium on Friday.
The Wolfpack (4-4 overall, 3-3 Western AA) held the Braves (1-6, 1-7) to just five first downs and 37 yards on offense. They also had four sacks and forced two fumbles, one of which was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by Thomas Cole in the third quarter.
Glacier Coach Grady Bennett was thrilled with his defense’s performance. It was the first shutout in the rivalry’s 13-year history.
“Awesome, awesome effort. I really like the trend that we’ve been on. I think the last three or four games our defense has been getting better and better and better,” he said.
Flathead ran just one play in Glacier territory all night, late in the second quarter when the Braves sacked Glacier quarterback JT Allen and recovered a fumble at the Wolfpack 47. But offensive penalties and a sack dashed any hope of Flathead cashing in on the turnover.
The Braves stopped Glacier on their first drive of the game, but after a quick three-and-out, punter Travis McCully fumbled the snap and fell on the ball at the 4-yard-line. Glacier capitalized on the prime field possession when Allen found Luke Bilau on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone.
Glacier made it 14-0 early in the second quarter when Allen threw a perfect pass to Drew Deck, who sprinted down the sideline for a 57-yard score.
But Allen was not in the game for the Wolfpack’s next touchdown. Instead, quarterback Braedy Santens rushed into the end zone from four yards out, making up for a goal-line fumble in the first quarter.
Bennett said the competition at the quarterback position has been “great” for the team, especially with the different skill set each quarterback brings.
“We’ve got two guys that can play and we’ve always known that. So we just want to start using all of our athletes ... I thought it worked really well tonight,” he said.
Allen threw for 143 yards on 10 completions, three of those for touchdowns. Santens rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts.
Drew Deck caught Allen’s third touchdown toss to make it 42-0 with 4:23 to go in the third. Deck finished with three catches for 91 yards and two scores.
Glacier running back Jake Rendina never broke free for a long run, but was effective on the ground, tallying 56 yards on 16 attempts. He opened the scoring in the second half as some excellent blocking set him up for an easy 10-yard touchdown rush.
Bennett said his line was fantastic throughout the game, and said Henry Nuce had an especially standout performance.
“He sets the tone. He just so destructive, he makes so many plays and he just creates havoc up front which the rest of our guys feed off his energy and effort,” he said.
Tanner Russell led the Braves in rushing with 29 yards, and Chance Sheldon-Allen hauled in two catches for 24 yards.
Glacier now owns a 9-4 record in the crosstown clash and snapped Flathead’s two-game winning streak in the rivalry.
Next week, Flathead closes out the regular season by hosting Missoula Big Sky, while Glacier travels to Missoula Sentinel.
Glacier 7 12 21 0 — 42
Flathead 0 0 0 0 — 0
G — Luke Bilau 5 pass from JT Allen (Patrick Rohrbach kick)
G —Drew Deck 57 from Allen (Rohrbach kick)
G — Braedy Santens 4 run (Rohrbach kick)
G — Jake Rendina 10 run (Rohrbach kick)
G — Thomas Cole 43 run (Rohrbach kick)
G — Deck 18 pass from Allen (Rohrbach kick)
First downs 16 5
Rushes-yds 40-135 32-8
Passing yards 179 45
Comp-att-int 12-19-0 3-14-0
Total offense 314 37
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-2
Penalties-yds 2/25 7/60
Punts-avg 3-38.7 10-31.3
RUSHING — Glacier, Jake Rendina 16-55, Braedy Santens 8-50, Drew Deck 3-27, Casey Peiffer 2-23. Flathead, Tanner Russell 11-25, Drew Harrison 5-16.
PASSING — Glacier, JT Allen 10-17-143-0-3. Flathead, Charlie Hinchey 2-12-30-0-0, Cooper Smith 1-2-15-0-0.
RECEIVING — Glacier, Drew Deck 3-91, Luke Bilau 3-49, Jonah Pate 3-19. Flathead, Chance Sheldon-Allen 2-24, Tannen Beyl 1-21.