ARLEE — The undefeated Warriors continued to display their strength on the field Saturday as they demolished Harlowton, 54-16 to advance to the second-round State playoffs for Class C eight-man football.
Although Harlow scored first, Arlee answered with four touchdowns, including Tyler Tanner’s 35 and 36 yard catches from Pat BigSam and a 25-yard pass from BigSam to Harold Yocum. Rylan Crawford scored the fourth Arlee TD of the game on a short run before Harlowton matched it with their own 2-yard touchdown run.
Tanner and BigSam continued to connect on two more long touchdown passes, BigSam ran in for 6, and Alex Bertollt screamed into the endzone on a 31-yard run. Harlowton capped off the night with a safety.
The Warriors, ranked second in the state behind Chinook, have been averaging 58 points per game and will host Eastern C’s No. 2 Wibaux County Longhorns (5-4) on Saturday, Nov. 7. The second-round playoff game starts at 1 p.m.
Arlee 54, Harlowton 16
Harlowton 8 6 0 2 – 16
Arlee 14 20 20 0 - 54
CHARLO — The Charlo football team will move on to second-round playoffs after hosting and stomping all over Gardiner, 62-0, in state playoffs on Halloween.
The Vikings scored first with a Trent Dennison touchdown run in the first few minutes, followed by three more TDs by Dennison, Toby Odom and quarterback Michael Delaney before the end of the first quarter.
The domination continued through the second quarter as Delaney completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jade Smith and a 12-yard pass to Sabin Perry. Jared Doty ran three yards for a touchdown as the Vikings went to the locker room up 48-0 at halftime.
“Once we were up by a little bit, we took out a lot of our starters and rotated the younger ones in,” Head Coach Mike Krahn said. It’s like a reward for coming to practice all week, according to Krahn, and the youngsters get playoff experience.
A 35-yard touchdown pass from freshman rookie Landers Smith to Doty highlighted the third quarter. There may have been miscommunication, Krahn noted with a chuckle, because the coaching staff had called for a short pass.
Then a 16-yard Doty touchdown run in the fourth sent Gardiner crying “uncle” as the game ended in a blowout.
“I’m really proud of defense for shutting them out,” Krahn said. “With respect to Gardiner, their running back was injured, and I felt bad for him. It’s hard to be on the sideline.”
On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Vikings (8-1) will face Fairview High School (9-0), ranked seventh in the state for Class C eight-man football. Charlo is ranked 10th, but tallies similar high-scoring games as the Fairview Warriors. The Vikings lost their only game to district rival Arlee Warriors, and have scored 89 touchdowns on the year — more than twice the national average for similar schools — while averaging more than 280 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the Vikings have intercepted 13 times and averaged more than 38 tackles per game, with junior Jared Doty leading with 46 on the year. Doty also leads the team with 288 receptions and 1,888 total yards.
But Fairview boasts very similar stats. Their team is “good sized, athletic, fast,” according to Krahn, and they both run a similar spread-type offense using motion and speed for their matchups.
“That’s unusual,” Krahn said. “On paper it looks like it will be a real knock down, drag out fight.”
The Vikings will make the trip in a yellow school bus — “We don’t ride in comfort,” Krahn said — for 680 miles to Fairview, located just 3 miles from the North Dakota border for their 1 p.m. game on Saturday.
But if they continue to win, the semifinal game and the state championship game would both be played at home on the Charlo field.
“Hopefully we can take care of business and be back here,” Krahn said.
Gardiner 0, Charlo 62
Gardiner 0 0 0 0 - 0
Charlo 28 20 8 6 - 62
COLUMBIA FALLS — The Polson Pirates kept the score close in Saturday’s Class A round-one state playoff football game against the Columbia Falls Wildcats, but lost 9-6.
Columbia Falls scored just one touchdown against Polson’s strong defense, led by linebacker Matthew Rensvold’s 17 tackles. Four of his tackles resulted in a loss of Wildcat yards. Linebacker Walter Wood, linebacker Jonah Burke and safety Tanner Wilson contributed eight tackles each. But the Wildcats’ 32-yard field goal in the first quarter kept them ahead for the win.
Wide receiver Hudson Smith caught the lone score for the Pirates in the third quarter on a 8-yard pass from Tanner Wilson. Running back Colton Cote had 62 yards on nine carries.
The Pirates entered the state playoffs as a wildcard team and finished the year 1-2 in conference and 3-6 overall.
Polson 6, Columbia Falls 9
Polson 0 0 6 0 - 6
Columbia Falls 3 0 6 0 - 9