West wins Shrine Football Game to benefit children’s hospital in Spokane

West wins Shrine Football Game to benefit children’s hospital in Spokane


West wins Shrine Football Game to benefit children’s hospital in Spokane

It wasn’t the way Mark Samson envisioned his very last game as a head football coach.

Not that the Montana East-West Shrine Football Game is about a final score, you understand. But for the record, in the 75th edition of the classic game played Saturday night at Great Falls Memorial Stadium, the final count was West 40, East 21.

No, the Shrine Football Game is about something a little bit more pressing, as 81 of the best prep football players in Montana and Alberta came together in a benefit game for the Shrines’ Hospital for Children in Spokane, helping to raise the necessary so funds that children who can’t walk and run and play like a whole child may eventually be able to do so.

Now, I’ll get off of my soapbox.

“We made some mistakes when it really hurt us,” Samson said. “The kids played hard, and you can’t take anything away from West; they’re a good football team.

“It would take a lot to beat that team on any given day.”

West QB Kaden Huot (2) of the Helena Bengals looks for an open receiver as Missoula Hellgate's Tommy Nilson (70) blocks East DE Ryan McGinnis (14) during the 75th Montana East-West Shrine Football Game Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

It was an ominous sign when East’s first play from scrimmage resulted in a safety, as the center snap sailed past East QB Isaiah Claunch of Billings West and out of the end zone.

From there, West offensive MVP Tyson Rostad of Hamilton went to work, scoring the first of his three rushing touchdowns in the first quarter on a two-yard romp from scrimmage to make it 9-0.

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