Missoula's Rylan Ortt and Senior's Nolan Askelson

Missoula Sentinel's Rylan Ortt, right, and Billings Senior's Nolan Askelson dive for the ball during the Class AA semifinals at Wendy's Field at Daylis Stadium on Friday.

BRONTE WITTPENN, Gazette staff

BILLINGS — With Week 12 of the high school football season in the books, here is a look at some of the top storylines from over the weekend.

Will the Broncs repeat?

For the third straight season, the Class AA will feature Billings Senior in the state championship game. 

Senior got back to the title game after handling Missoula Sentinel 49-7 on Friday night at Wendy's Field at Daylis Stadium. The win marked the 25th in a row for the defending champions.

This year's team is coming into the game with a slightly different scenario. Last year, the Broncs were coming off of a state-championship loss to Bozeman in 2015. The school had not won a title in 37 years but the Broncs were seen as the overwhelming favorites coming in.

This year, more people questioned whether or not Senior would be as good. Those thoughts were put to rest early on, but the Broncs have had a few more close games this season, notably the opening round of the playoffs against Bozeman

But after the win against Sentinel, a game the Broncs won without do-everything star Gabe Sulser who missed most of the contest with a groin injury, Senior looks to be back on track.

"Really it's a blessing to be able to start for the varsity team," senior defensive lineman Noah Christopherson said after Senior's win over Sentinel. "I'm just blessed to be able to play."

Christopherson is one of the new faces for Senior that has had a key impact. After attending Miles City as a freshman and sophomore, he moved to Billings as a junior but didn't play football. However, he decided he wanted to, "go all out," for his senior year, so he joined the football team. He was a force on defense vs. Sentinel with two sacks.

"It's definitely a trip. I love all of them," Christopherson said of the Broncs. "They took me in as one of their brothers and I can't take any of it for granted."

And now with the weight of the championship drought gone, Senior is focusing on completing the back-to-back title chase.

"I couldn't do it without most of my brothers and just being able to have the opportunity," Christopherson said. "It's hard not to do as much as I can to help my team win and that's what it's really about. It's not about me, it's about the (horse) shoe."

Their championship game opponent will be Helena High, which defeated Helena Capital 30-7 at Vigilante Stadium on Friday night. Helena and Senior met in Week 2 as the Broncs came away with a 43-19 victory. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. on Friday at Daylis.

Senior linebacker/fullback Blake Allred, who had a pick-6 in last year's title game, pointed out an interesting fact about Senior's three-year run.

"I'm looking forward to it because if you look at the past three years, we've played three playoff games each year to get to the state championship," Allred said. "That's almost another full season of high school football. So it's a great opportunity to get out there for the last game of my high school career."

Will Columbia Falls take the title home this year?

Last year, Columbia Falls was tasked with the daunting challenge of defeating Dillon in the Class A state championship game. 

The Wildcats fought, but ultimately the Beavers were too much and won 34-17.

Fast forward to this year, and the Wildcats find themselves back in the state title game after blanking Sidney on the road 17-0.

Their opponent this year will be red-hot Hamilton. The Broncs defeated Billings Central 35-28 on Saturday.

After upsetting Dillon in the final week of the regular season, Hamilton has looked like the toughest team in Class A. But Columbia Falls' defeat of Sidney on the road has them looking equally as formidable.

Now the Wildcats are back. Will they bring the trophy home the second time around?

Can Shelby prevent Eureka's bid for a repeat?

Injuries played a part in Shelby losing its first two games of the season. 

Since, the Coyotes have won eight of their last nine games, and find themselves in the Class B state championship game. 

The Coyotes defeated Missoula Loyola 28-27 on Saturday thanks to a touchdown connection between Aaron White and Zach Torgerson with under two minutes to play. It was similar to a week ago, as Shelby conducted a fourth-quarter comeback behind White to upset then-undefeated Whitehall in the quarterfinals. Shelby's win prevented Loyola and Eureka from meeting for a second straight year.

Shelby's task gets even taller now, as its opponent, Eureka, has looked seemingly impossible to beat. The Lions drubbed Fairfield 31-6 behind four touchdowns from senior quarterback and Griz commit Garrett Graves.  

The Lions, the defending state champions, have won 19 straight games and have averaged almost 44 points per game this year. Ironically, the last time Eureka lost a football game was to Shelby on Sept. 9, 2016 by a score of 28-18.

So will Eureka keep up its trend of success? Or will Shelby play spoiler? That decision will be made on Saturday. 

Will Forsyth earn its 1st footbal state championship?

Emotions were high on Saturday when Forsyth knocked off defending champion Ennis. The Dogies won 50-38 behind big performances from Paul Johnstone and Caleb Knoche as Forsyth advanced to its first-ever state championship football game. 

The Dogies dropped to the 8-Man ranks this year from Class B and are now 12-0 and playing for a state title. 

Forsyth will hit the road for the first time this postseason and will play Drummond-Philipsburg for the 8-Man title. The Titans defeated Circle 46-14 to advance

The Titans (12-0) have a track record of success in 8-Man football. When they were just Drummond, the team won five state titles from 2003-2009.

So when next week's game concludes, we could have a first-time champion or a familiar face that hoists the trophy.

Rematch! Rematch!

In Week 2, Westby-Grenora and Bridger met in what some thought was a look at a potential state championship match

Well, they were right.

The Thunder and Scouts will meet in Bridger on Saturday for the 6-Man state championship. When they met earlier this year, the Thunder won 48-47 in overtime. 

Both teams walked away with blowout wins in the semifinals. Bridger topped White Sulphur Springs 64-36, while Westby-Grenora defeated Valier 59-19.

These teams have an interesting history. They met in last year's postseason in the semifinals, as Westby-Grenora won that one as well 30-19. The Thunder were ultimately defeated by Hot Springs for the state championship.

Now the two will clash again — this time for all of the marbles. 

Email Kyle Hansen at kyle.hansen@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsHansen

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