October 26, 2018 Northern Sports Network

A Scary Night Of Playoff Football!


The Scariest Night In Playoff Football!

        To be honest I was having fun on that Halloween night of 2003.  We were playing some haunted music coming in and out of the commercial breaks and really did not expect the game to be close.  Friday night October 31, 2003 I was at one of my favorite football venues….War Memorial Stadium in Great Falls announcing the Billings West – Great Falls High game.  It was round number one of the “AA” playoffs and the Golden Bears of Billings West were the number seven seed, Great Falls were the favorite, the second seeded team in the “AA” football playoffs.  During the regular season the Bison of Great Falls had beaten West easily 28-3.  Well I guess the Golden Bears that night did not want to see their season come to an end.  West quarterback Casey Chaffin passed for three scores and ran for another as the Golden Bears pulled off the huge upset winning 41-17.  The win snapped the Bison’s 7 game winning streak.  The 7th seeded West High Bears had just blown out the second seeded team in the playoffs.  Wow, what a great win!  

      West winning was only the beginning of one very unusual night in Montana high school football.   The Broncs of Billings Senior also unexpectedly had pulled off their own upset.  Led by the future all time passing leader in state history Mark Desin, number six Senior shocked third seeded Bozeman 49-20.  Desin was just a sophomore and he had one epic game going 20 of 27 for 416 yards and 4 touchdowns.  By the way the week before Mark had thrown for 548 yards in a win up against that same Bozeman Hawk team.

    Two upsets on the same night?  Surely top ranked Helena Capital winners of 23 games in a row and the defending state champs would be safe, right?  I mean they were set to play the 8th and last seeded team Flathead, a ball club that they clobbered in week one 28-0!  Surprise, surprise the Braves of Flathead pulled off a stunning win 24-23.  They won the game in the final seconds as Clay Lindsay hit Colter Smith for a 38-yard touchdown.

     So just to recap on that Halloween night of 2003 the top three seeded “AA” teams all lost!  Three teams who had entered the post season playoffs with a combined win – loss record of 27-3! 

     Hate to admit this but I was one of those guys who was against expanding the “AA” playoffs from four teams to eight.  And yes, I was the same sportscaster who thought it was crazy to have so many class “A” teams in the playoffs.  Than last year 3-5 Glendive stunned 7-2 Laurel in round one.

    All I can say is best of luck to the favorites during this 2018 post season football playoffs as they try to avoid losses that’ll haunt them for a long time.