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Warriors claim homecoming victory over Flint Creek

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ARLEE – The Warriors went into their homecoming game against Flint Creek afraid to make any predictions that might “jinx” the outcome. Last year, the Warriors’ only loss was against Flint Creek, a co-op team between Drummond and Granite high schools.

In the first quarter, the outcome was still a little shaky with only two points on the board in Arlee’s favor. The Warriors strategized in the second quarter, bringing the score to 16-8 by halftime. Tyler Tanner picked up a 31-yard pass from Patrick Bigsam to score a touchdown, and Phillip Malatare grabbed a touchdown after a pass from Bigsam.

This is Todd Yocum’s first year as head coach, although he has two years of experience as an assistant coach. He said he has a great team with four strong seniors. Bigsam, he said, stands out as an all-around great player. “He can do it all: passing, catching, running, defense,” Yocum said.

The Warriors scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter after a flat 0-0 third quarter. Malatare added six points on a 1-yard run for the third touchdown before Bigsam scored on a 24-yard run. As the game 34-14 ended, the Warriors held onto their winning streak again, bringing them to 5-0 on the season.

Bigsam has played on the varsity team since he was a freshman. The past few years have allowed him to acclimate to the “fast pace” of the game. He said that hours of practice and conditioning have also helped him do well, but he said the overall reason for his success is because of the team.

“We have a great group of guys that all work hard in practice,” he said. “We have a good cohesion. We’ve known each other since we were in sixth grade and that helps us work together.”

Before the game, the Warriors took off their helmets as Steve Matt road across the field in full regalia on the back of a horse holding the American flag. This is the 37th years he has carried the flag while the National Anthem played.

“I graduated from this school,” he said. “I was born here. I worked here. Back in the day, they asked me if I would carry the flag.”

And he agreed to carry the flag, but he had one condition.

“The students have to find me a horse to ride,” he said. “That way they can participate in this. I keep doing it for the kids.” 


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