Warriors dominate season opener
ARLEE — When it comes to the Warriors’ fury on the field Friday while crushing Superior, the 2012 State champs, 70-34, Coach Mike Rogers said it best: “Unbelievable, if you really want to know the truth. Unbelievable.”
After somewhat of a struggling season last year due to an absent JV team and a young crew learning the ropes while playing at a varsity pace, the Warriors came out of the gate with nothing to lose and one thing on their mind, “We don’t take the first punch, we give the first punch.” And that they did, controlling a big lead throughout the entire four quarters.
“They’re starting to really understand how to play the game and what it takes to win,” Rogers said. “It showed Friday night.”
Quarterback Riley Rogers had a phenomenal game, passing for five touchdowns and running in five more. Rogers was 8-12 in passing while adding 148 yards in rushing. PJ Haynes chipped in 105 yards under his feet, including a big 43-yard touchdown.
“It makes my job very easy, and I don’t mean to brag by any means, when they execute the plays the way they did,” Rogers said. “You just don’t beat Superior like that, but our kids were just amazing. They played so unbelievably tough and did everything that they needed to do.”
Rogers said his lineman “did their job blocking everything and deserve big praises,” and with six sacks and two interceptions, Warrior defense kept the Bobcats locked up.
With five seniors this season, compared to only one last year, the Warriors are putting a bit more experience on the field. Yet Rogers said there’s not one single kid he can say is a vocal leader with his seniors preferring to lead by example — something considered strange among football teams, but is working well for the Warriors.
“You know that’s the funny part about my kids, I have a very quiet group of kids. I don’t have anybody boisterous at all,” Rogers said. “They just go out and play hard, they practice hard; it’s just a little strange, but I mean it’s good. Friday nights they’re there to play, so I guess I can’t harp on them too much.”
With the season ahead, Rogers hopes to keep the fire lit and is confident the Warriors will continue to pick up experience yet lives by the mantra of taking one play at a time and one game at a time.
“I have a very good group of kids, a very talented group of kids,” he said. “I tell them you just got to play one play at a time. Don’t worry about the next one; forget about the last one. Just play each play to the best of your ability and if it works, it works; and if it doesn’t, you just got to come back and work for the next play.”
Next up for the Warriors will be a game at home against Seeley Sept. 12.
Arlee 14 16 18 22 – 70
Superior 12 0 0 22 – 34