Story and photos by Mike Coil Explore Big Sky Contributor
BOZEMAN, CHARLO – The Bozeman Hawks (12-0) won their Class AA semi-final game Nov. 15 while the Ennis Mustangs (11-0) won their semi final game in Class C8 on Nov. 16. Both teams qualified for the state championship games next weekend, and both are on the verge of perfect seasons. It’s the first time in recent memory that neighboring squads are playing for the state championship in different classes.
The Hawks prevailed 56-26. Billings Skyview (7-5) was never in the contest, though they did rally early in the third quarter to make the score 42-26. They just couldn’t close the gap. Star running back Hunter Gappmayer returned to the Hawks line up after being out with a cracked collarbone for several weeks. He ran a few plays and scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball. Once again the Hawk defense came up big with interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick that resulted in a touchdown.
Despite its perfect record, Ennis was required to travel to Charlo but showed, as they have all season, that they can win on the road by clobbering the Vikings, 50-14. The game was never close. The Mustangs led 36-6 at halftime. This will be Ennis’ first trip to the championship game since 1983.
The Hawks will play Glacier (11-1) for the state championship Friday night, November 22 at 7 p.m. in Bozeman. Glacier’s only loss of the season was to Bozeman 27-12 on Sept. 13. The Mustangs will play Wibaux (11-0) Saturday, November 23 at 1 p.m. in Ennis.