Arlee earns silver
CHINOOK – Arlee ends the football season as one of the top two teams in the state after their only loss to Chinook on Saturday at the State Championship.
Considering Montana is the fourth largest state in the nation, boasting 38 Class C 8-man football teams, that’s quite an accomplishment. And it was the first time in 29 years the Arlee team has played in the state championship.
But to the players, it’s still not first place.
“It hurts when you get beat, but our kids played hard the whole game,” said Assistant Coach Jim Taylor.
Isaac Desjarlais scored the first touchdown on the board in the first quarter with a 36-yard-run to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead.
“We scored first and then they made some adjustments,” Taylor said. “Their strengths were in their offensive and defensive lines.”
The opposing team focused on one of the Warriors’ top scoring players, Patrick Bigsam.
“We knew they were going to key in on him,” Taylor said.
In the second quarter, Chinook scored first, but the Warriors came back with a touchdown after Desjarlais picked up a 15-yard pass from Bigsam. Chinook scored two more TDs at the bottom of the second and took the lead, 22-12.
Chinook made the only touchdown in the third quarter, 30-12. And in the fourth quarter, the Warriors scored again after Bigsam grabbed an eight-yard pass from Tyler Tanner to bring the Warriors within 10 points, but Chinook picked up two more touchdowns to end the game, 44-20.
“It was a good game both ways,” Taylor said.
And at the end, the Warriors did their usual line up.
“We usually line up to thank everyone for coming out,” Taylor said of the team’s tradition of shaking hands with the fans. “The team always shows great team spirit.”