Warriors head to playoffs after shutting down Seeley-Swan
ARLEE — The Arlee Warriors coasted into a playoff berth Friday, crushing the Seeley-Swan Blackhawks 48-7 to take the fourth seed in the Western C Conference.
The Warriors bounced back from their Oct. 22 loss to Lincoln by taking an early lead and showing improved ball control, coach Scott Palmer said.
“We were able to move the ball offensively in the first quarter … defensively, we were more disciplined, and probably the biggest thing was we were able to hang onto the ball,” Palmer said.
After putting up 22 points in the first quarter, Arlee kept the momentum going, opening the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown by Cole Rice. Less than a minute later, Cody Sheridan recovered a Blackhawk fumble in the end zone to add six more. He was followed by Rice with a 35-yard TD to make it 40-0 with 7:25 to go before the half, bringing the mercy rule into play.
With the clock rolling and a hefty lead, Palmer decided to give some of his younger players more time on the field.
“We’ve been kind of plagued with injuries,” he said, so he opted to give the starters a break before going into playoffs.
The Warriors allowed only one touchdown from the Blackhawks, when Brandon Vanderiet scored on a 48-yard pass from Connor Marlatt early in the fourth quarter.
For Arlee, Rice rushed for 135 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns of 3 and 35 yards. Dylan Moran put up 57 yards on seven carries, scored once and threw to Dakota Desjarlais for a 32-yard touchdown. Damon Cordier scored once and added 21 yards on six carries, and Sheridan scored twice, with nine yards on eight carries.
Overall, the Warriors posted 276 rushing and 46 passing yards.
Arlee ends the regular season 4-3 and will face the Southern C Conference's top seeded Twin Bridges for the first time in 2 years in the first round of playoffs, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Twin Bridges.
“So it’s been a few years since we’ve seen them,” Palmer said. “We’ll have our hands full in the game.”
Arlee 48, Seeley-Swan 7
Seeley 0 0 0 7 — 7
Arlee 22 18 8 0 — 48
A - Dakota Desjarlais 32 pass from Dylan Moran (Cole Rice run)
A - Damon Cordier 1 run (Kieran Ursua pass from Moran)
A - Moran 21 run (run failed)
A - Rice 3 run (pass failed)
A - Cody Sheridan recovered fumble in end zone (pass failed)
A - Rice 35 run (run failed)
A - Sheridan 1 run (Christian Charette run)
SS - Brandon Vanderiet 48 pass from Connor Marlatt (kick good)