Hamilton’s Rostad takes home MVP honors
GREAT FALLS — Saturday night was a West Side story at Memorial Stadium.
Hamilton star Tyson Rostad had a hand in four touchdowns to lead the way as the West beat the East 40-21 in the 75th Montana East-West Shrine Game.
Rostad, a future Montana Grizzly, took home game MVP honors.
The win was the second straight for the West, which held off a barrage of big plays from the East with a few of their own.
The biggest winner was the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. More than $56,000 was raised during the telecast, which was broadcast live by the Montana Television Network. When all is said and done, another check north of $100,000 will again be sent to Spokane.
The West Side took advantage of some East Side missteps and did not trail.
Things went bad for the East on its first offensive play from scrimmage. Seconds after Glacier’s Patrick Rohrback’s punt pinned the East inside its own 10-yard line, a snap sailed over the quarterback’s head and through the end zone for a safety.
The West parlayed the safety into nine points as Rostad punched it in from 2-yards out.
Isaiah Claunch, a future Carroll College quarterback from Billings West, hit Tyler Nansel of Gallatin for a 70-yard touchdown in the game’s first big play. It was not the last.
Sentinel star Drew Klumph blocked an East punt, and teammate Connor Sullivan of Glacier scooped it up and raced 50 yards for a score and a 16-7 lead.
After Claunch and former West teammate Taco Dowler hooked up for an 80-yard touchdown pass, Rostad hit Ian Finch of Hellgate for a 12-yard touchdown pass less than a minute before the half.
The score gave the West a 23-14 lead heading into the break.
West made it 33-14 in the third quarter. Rohrback booted a 35-yard field goal and Rostad scored on a 5-yard run in the frame. The touchdown was set up by a punishing run by Florence’s Tristan Pyette.
Hamilton’s Tim Zohner also had some big runs as the West outrushed the East 252-59.
The fourth quarter saw a little history.
Laurel’s Beau Dantic intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone and raced 102-yards for a touchdown and a Montana Shrine Game record.
The return eclipsed the record of 85 yards for an interception return. That mark was set by Lynn Schenk of Fairfield in 1969.
With the West running to kill the clock, Rostad broke free for a 30-yard score to cap the scoring.
Helena High’s Forrest Suero, a Carroll College signee, led the West defense in the win. Dillon’s Jon Kirkley and Sentinel’s Charlie Kirgan also stood out.
That West defense included Butte High graduates Dylan Snyder at defensive end and Cole Stwart at safety. Snyder, a future Montana State receiver, got in on a sack.
After the West win, the East still leads the all-time series 41-34.
Next year’s game will be played in Butte. Rosters for that game will be announced on Christmas morning.
East 7 7 0 7 — 21
West 9 14 10 7 — 40
West — Safety, ball snapped through end zone, 12:51
West — Tyson Rostad 2 run (Patrick Rohrback kick), 7:12
East — Tyler Nansel 70 pass from Isaiah Claunch (Trey Mans kick), 6:19
West — Connor Sullivan 50 punt return (Rohrback kick), 11:44
East — Taco Dowler 80 pass from Claunch (Mans kick), 2:38
West — Ian Finch 12 pass from Rostad (Rohrback kick), :50
West — FG Rohrback 35, 11:24
West — Rostad 5 run (Rohrback kick), 2:07
East — Beau Dantic 102 yard interception return (Mans kick), 2:09
West — Rostad 30 run (Rohrback kick), :30