They had one last play, and one last chance. But late-game heroics fell just short and Helena High dropped a 13-9 decision to Kalispell Flathead at home Friday night.
Meanwhile, in Butte, the Bulldogs ran away from Capital, 56-38.
In Helena, the teams traded touchdowns in the first half, with the Bengals’ Logan Brown scoring from 23 yards out to tie it up at 7 apiece.
The Bengals then took the lead in the third quarter when Flathead, punting from their 35 yard-line, sent the snap off the mark. Rather than giving up field position deep, the Braves’ punter ran out of the back of the end zone to give HHS two and make it 9-7.
That’s where it stayed until less than three minutes remained.
Helena had Flathead looking at a second-and-22 from its own 35, but then watched Tanner Russel break loose for a 61-yard run to the Helena 4. He scored from there but the two-point conversion failed with 2:13 to play.
An interception gave the ball back to the visitors, but the HHS defense stood them up and managed to get one more shot with 73 seconds to play. The Bengals thrilled the crowd by reaching the 5 and had one shot with five seconds to play, but their final passing play fell incomplete in the end zone as time expired.
For the Bruins, the game started close with the Bulldogs up 7-3 early.
But things quickly spun out of control and Butte took at commanding 35-3 lead into the locker room.
Capital put up a fight and scored to open the second half and then tacked on four more touchdowns in the final two frames, but it wasn’t enough to dig out of that early hole.