The Arlee High School football team has quietly flown under the radar the entire season.
The Warriors, who are in a conference with Montana High School Association Class C powerhouses such as Charlo and Flint Creek ,and don’t have the headline-grabbing offense as Clark Fork, just keep on winning. With the 50-16 victory over Mission High School, they further solidified themselves to be in competition for the third playoff spot out of their conference.
“Arlee is a great team and they have lots of talent,” Bulldogs coach Tyler Murray said. “The older kids on their team know how to win. Hats off to them and (coach) Forgey because he has a great thing going on over there.”
The Warriors boast of speedy wide receivers, which put a lot of pressure on the perimeter of the field and where statistically 70 percent of the football game is now played.
“They are pretty tough to guard because they are more diverse than most teams in our conference,” Murray said. “Arlee can pass and run, and they make playing any defensive formation pretty tough.”
The Bulldogs, who will play Flint Creek at 7 p.m. Friday in Phillipsburg, are going to try to make the most of their final two games, according to Murray. If Mission wins its final two games, they still have an outside chance for the playoffs, but will need some help.
“We talked to them after the game about not giving up on the season,” Murray said. “We talk about being a finisher in life. We still have a chance at a winning season and it would be a huge positive for us.
“I told the players to enjoy every chance they get to play, and that is if you don’t mind being injured because you never know when your last chance (to play high school football) will be.”
The Warriors, now 4-2, are playing to secure either the third or the fourth spot in the Western portion of the MHSA Class C 8-man conference. It is shaping out that the season-finale game against Clark Fork on Oct. 19 will be the final game of the season.
Arlee will be playing for playoff seeding and conference place going into the final game of the season. The Warriors host Victor for Senior Night action. Game time is 7 p.m.
Western C 8-man
Arlee 50, Mission 16
Arlee (5-2), Mission (4-3)
Arlee 12 6 20 12 – 50
Mission 0 8 8 0 – 16
A – Lane Schall 1 run (PAT failed)
A – Colt Crawford 11 run (pass failed)
A – Chase Gardner 51 pass from Schall (pass failed)
M – Troy Matt 31 run (Flint McPherson pass from Isaac Dumontier)
A – Darshan Bolen 5 run (run failed)
A – C. Crawford 5 run (run failed)
M – Layne Spidel 71 KO return (Jedi Christy pass from Dumontier)
A – C. Crawford 61 run (D. Bolen pass from Schall)
A – Lane Johnson 2 pass from Schall (pass failed)
A – D. Bolen 24 run (run failed)
RUSH – M 19-124 (T.Matt 6-90, Dumontier 11-32). PASS – M (Dumontier 10-24-140-1). REC – M 10-113 (Wacey McClure 9-106).
Expanded stat spec postings can be viewed online at maxpreps.com. Warrior player identifications courtesy of Arlee coaching staff.
— John Hedlie contributed to this story.