The Arlee High School football team has quietly lived in the shadows of their conference counterparts Charlo and Flint Creek all season.
The Warriors have also quietly continued to win with their most recent 60-12 victory over Darby Friday night at Darby High School. The win improved their team record to 4-1, and now has positioned them to gain some separation from their conference counterparts, in the hypothetical situation they keep winning.
“Overall, I thought Darby scored 50 to 60 points in their first game of the season,” Warriors football coach Chuck Forgey said. “We went in there with a plan and our boys executed it. We were able to get about five interceptions, and it worked out pretty well for us.”
This week, the Warriors will be facing the No. 1 ranked team in Class C 8-man football and the MHSA defending Class C state champion Flint Creek at 7 p.m. Friday at Arlee High School.
When Forgey was asked in a pre-game interview if Flint has any weaknesses on their team, his answer was simply “no.”
“There are pretty solid in every position, their subs are good and there isn’t really much of a drop off when they come in,” Forgey said. “It will be a challenge for any team the rest of the season. We have to plan together, go out and execute it and see where it goes.”
Aside from their skill and physical prowess, Forgey said the Tetons just don’t make mistakes.
“They are very good in every phase of the game,” Forgey said. “Their defense is very disciplined and there are not a lot of things to take advantage of. We are going to have to be very patient on offense because we are out sized quite a bit. We are going to have to really scrap this week and not take any plays off. The game will be a total fight from whistle to whistle.”
One player the Warriors will have to account for from the start of the game to end is Jaxon Lee. Lee, who joined Flint Creek as a transfer student last year, was essentially the last piece to the team’s championship puzzle. Last year, Lee torched the Charlo secondary for a total of 205 yards and had five punt returns for touchdowns in the victory over Seeley-Swan.
“Jaxon is the real deal and he is going to be a threat to every time he touches the ball,” Forgey said. “You have to be ready to tackle and be fundamentally sound. If you aren’t, he is going to score. I watched film and he had four or five punt returns against Seeley.”
Forgey acknowledged Lee is “tremendous” on both sides of the ball.
“He is tremendous and the offense is very good,” Forgey said.” “We are going to have to be on point and execute. We have all season to beat this team and all together we have to leave it on the field. We will see where everything falls.”
The Warriors, in order to have a chance to pull of the biggest upset in the state of Montana, will have to “get after it” and not take a down off from the start of the game to the end, according to Forgey.
“They get after it, they are pretty physical, they have good team speed and discipline and they don’t let their eyes take them out of their assignments,” Forgey said. “Our team is going to have to trust everyone on the field. They are the defending champs and they didn’t lose many kids. They haven’t lost a game in forever.”
If the Warriors were able to pull off the win, they would not only upset the state champions but the victory would also put them in prime position to have a chance at the conference title.
“They are going to be our biggest challenge,” Forgey said. “They are going to go out and we just have to do what we do and get after them.”