It looks like Friday night lights will go dark for one anticipated high school football game this week. And if you haven't heard the news already, I'll give you one guess as to why! An NBC MONTANA story shared the news that Hellgate "is in COVID-19 protocol and has suspended football duties until next Monday." That's a pretty big bummer for teams, students, and fans of the crosstown rivalry.

It looks like they'll try and get the game rescheduled if possible - or call it a no-contest if they can't. But nobody want's to settle for a no-contest when bragging rights are on the line. I say we find a way to settle things off the field if we can't settle things on the field.

If they can't find a way for the game to be played later in the season, I propose one player is chosen to represent each team and we pick one of these 10 ways to decide a winner between Hellgate and Sentinel.

#1 - PIE FACE

Photo: Amazon

You know it, your kids love it, and it provides big laughs for the family during the holidays. What better way to crown a winner of a football game than to have the representative of the losing team with a glob of whipped cream on his face?

#2 - WORDS WITH FRIENDS

Photo: TSM

We'll let their brains settle the score! It's not quite as thrilling as scoring the winning touchdown in front of a cheering crowd, but it's still a pretty great feeling when you play that final word to lock up a win. You just don't want to end up on the wrong side of a 287 pointer like I...err...a guy I know did.

#3 - A GAME OF MADDEN

Photo: Amazon

If they can't play real football, how about video game football? Break out an Xbox or Playstation and the two teams can settle things virtually. For added entertainment, we can fire up a Sega Geneses or Super Nintendo and let these high schoolers play a game console that's completely foreign to them.

#4 - LET AN ANIMAL PICK THE WINNER

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We see a couple of stories like this every year when the Super Bowl rolls around. Zoos and other organizations around the country let a random animal choose between two items with each one representing one of the participating teams, and the one picked by the animal is the winner. This shouldn't be too hard. We'll just need a grizzly bear, a couple of leftover ham sandwiches, and a picture of the Hellgate and Sentinel logos.

#5 - ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS

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It's been settling grade school debates for ages! And we won't leave it up to chance with just one game of rock, paper, scissors.....this isn't some crazy challenge thrown down in a Wild West saloon. No, we'll do it the dignified way with a best-of-three series to crown a champ.

#6 - THE MILK CRATE CHALLENGE

Credit: Yunitez via YouTube

It's all the rage right now! Stack up milk crates, like you see everyone doing in their TikTok videos, and whoever lasts the longest before wiping out wins.

Coaches might not like this idea though.....there's probably a better chance of injury in the milk crate challenge than there is in playing the actual football game.

#7 - SHOE KICK COMPETITION

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Football might be played by gladiators on the gridiron, but the real athletes are the ones putting their legs on the line day in and day out to reach maximum distance when it comes to kicking a shoe for glory. It's pretty much what it sounds like: let your shoe hang off your foot a bit, take a couple of steps, and kick your leg to make your shoe fly the farthest. I would even be willing to do the coin toss to see who kicks first.....considering my back-to-back championships during elementary school field days in 1987 and 1988.

#8 - HOT DOG EATING CONTEST

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I don't know about you, but they have me hooked and watching every 4th of July when they're downing dogs and buns in record time on ESPN! It's all about strategy in this one as coaches pick who will represent the teams. Do you go with an offensive lineman who looks like he could do some damage to a few packs of Ball Park Franks? Or are you rolling the dice with a skinny cornerback who chows down in the cafeteria like he has a hollow leg?

#9 - SOCIAL MEDIA VOTES

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It's the way winners are picked in this day and age. It's the tried-and-true practice of posting two options on social media and asking people to vote for their favorite. The only bad thing about this option is that it just comes down to a popularity contest. There's no skill involved like you would find in a random competition like, let's say, a shoe kick--which I'll remind you I was crowned champion of in 1987 and 1988.

#10 FLIP A COIN

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As a last resort.....when all else fails and we want to crown a winner between Hellgate and Sentinel.....we can resort to the most basic contest of all contests. Call it in the air and then hope for the best. One person will forever be known as a hero or a fool, based on their choice of heads or tails to decide the outcome of a high school football game in a way that would never be expected.

There you have it - my thoughts on some fun ways to pick a winner if we needed to. But, it's probably just as well that we find a day to reschedule the game and call it good.

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