FRENCHTOWN -- Frenchtown avoided a tiebreaker scenario and punched its ticket to the Class A state football playoffs with a 14-6 win over Libby on Friday.
The Broncs finish the regular season 7-2 and will be the Western A's No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Hamilton and Dillon are the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively. Columbia Falls will be the No. 4 seed.
Like many teams throughout Montana on Friday, Frenchtown and Libby battled snow throughout the game. Yards and points were hard to come by, but Tel Arthur twice found the end zone in the first half to help Frenchtown build a 14-0 lead.
The Broncs wouldn't need any more points, as Libby was able to score only once in the second half on a 1-yard run by Dawson Young. Frenchtown blocked the point-after try, and its defense did enough the rest of the way to secure the win.
"I told them all week it’s gonna be a back alley fight," said Frenchtown head coach Ryne Nelson. "Throw punches, throw punches, throw punches and I said the last guy standing that’s obviously who is going to be on top. Conditions changed things and we knew that they (Libby) were a physical team and they like to run the ball but I was just proud of how our offense played. We were able to run in between the tackles with Tel Arthur and so it was a big, huge win for us. We are 0-0 now and I said now the season starts, just super proud of the effort on both sides of the ball."
"There are always nerves to a game but we’ve kind of been clicking at practice, we’ve been playing pretty well, things have been going well for us," said Arthur. "Coming into this game it was just emotional, last game on our home field, senior season. So it was a must-win."
As the Western A's third seed, Frenchtown will travel to Laurel next week in the first round of the playoffs. The Locomotives clinched the Eastern A's No. 2 seed with a 21-0 win over reigning state champion Miles City on Friday. The Cowboys will now be the East's third seed and visit Dillon in the first round of the playoffs.
Billings Central is the Eastern A champion and will host Columbia Falls in the first round of the playoffs. Sidney, the East's fourth seed, will travel to Hamilton for a first-round game.
Class A football scores
Dillon 39, Whitefish 33
Frenchtown 14, Libby 6
Hamilton 42, Polson 8
Laurel 21, Miles City 0
Ronan 18, Corvallis 13
Sidney 40, Hardin 6