Arlee High School football coach Chuck Forgey doesn’t feel he has to over emphasize the finality of his team’s Western conference divisional playoff showdown with Victor.
The winner advances to the state playoffs and will play next week’s game to get a better seed in the Class C, 8-man playoffs. The loser will be done for the season.
“Pretty much if you can’t get up for these types of games, I don’t know what to tell you,” Forgey said.
The Warriors, who are seeded No. 2 out of the west, will play Victor, a team seeded No. 3 in the southern portion of the western division at 7 p.m. Friday night at Arlee High School.
During the first game of the season, Arlee lost to Victor 36-28 exactly eight weeks ago. Forgey isn’t putting a lot of emphasis on the result of the first meeting because he knows things change in the world of football between the start of the season and the end of the season.
“I think it’s always interesting playing the same team again in the season because things change from week one to eight and eight weeks ago in football is ions ago,” Forgey said. “Our football team has changed quite a bit since then. We’ve grown a lot and I am happy with where we are. We can use some of the things that we were successful at in that game and always throw some new wrinkles at people when they are trying to improve and get after them on Friday.”
Forgey said he felt his Warriors defensive effort against Victor wasn’t their best performance.
“We didn’t have a good game on the defensive side of the ball and they were able to get some big runs because we had some breakdowns in the first game,” Forgey said. “Victor had a good game plan and didn’t execute very well. They burned us on some big runs. We had some missed opportunities and left quite a few opportunities on the field. We have executed the offense and defense much better throughout the season than we did in the first game.”
During some of his film study on Victor in recent weeks, Forgey said he felt Victor modified a few things since week one.
“Like I said, eight weeks ago is a long in football,” Forgey said. “I noticed they changed and do some different things. I am going to prepare for the most recent version of Victor more than the team we played in week one. Victor is well coached, they have a great running offense, blocked well and they did a nice job on the edge. We are playing our position and our techniques. The boys are taught to execute at a high level and that is what we are going to have to do to stop them.”
Forgey said he felt his team has improved significantly since week one.
“We had breakdowns and missed opportunities and we used that game as a learning experience on the offensive side of the ball,” Forgey said. “If we execute on the offensive side of the football, we will have success. Our team has come a long way and they’ve done an outstanding job. Our linebackers have grown a lot since week one as I am sure they will be a different team than what we played in week one as well.”
The Pirates’ offensive attack is heavily predicated on the run and somewhat one-dimensional. However, if their run-game is working they are hard to stop, Forgey said.
“They depend on the run and there is a little option,” Forgey said. “Basically, they will just hand off, run right at you and say ‘come and get us.’ They will just pound the ball and hope they break one. In the game against Twin Bridges, they had some nice long runs. They will get two yards here and three yards there and then they will go for 50 yards to try to burn you on long runs.”
Forgey expressed a lot of confidence in his team if they execute well.
“If we prepare like we always do, I am confident we will have a good chance to win,” Forgey said. “Playing elimination games before the playoffs helps you be more prepared if you are successful to get into the playoffs and already have an elimination mentality headed into the first round. In our opinion, the last two or three games have been elimination games and it’s good to have that mentality earlier than some other teams entering the playoffs.”