FRENCHTOWN — Emotions were high for Tel Arthur.
After Frenchtown topped Libby 14-6 on Friday evening to clinch a spot in the Class A playoffs, Arthur and his fellow Bronc seniors took one last walk up and down their home field in the heavy snow to celebrate their win and time with the football program.
It could be the last time the group steps on their home field for a game, so they wanted to make the moment count.
"Things have been going well for us but coming into this game it was just emotional," Arthur said. "Last game on our home field, senior season, so it was a must-win. Just a flood of emotions, happiness, sadness, that this is our last game on this field. Just everything that you can feel, I felt.”
Arthur ran for both of Frenchtown's touchdowns in the snowy victory. The win locked the Broncs (7-2) into the No. 3 seed from the Western A in the Class A state playoffs.
And doing so in a blizzard? Well, check that off of the bucket list.
"This is just a third grader’s dream, man, just going out to the playground and playing in the snow," Arthur said with a smile. "We got to do it for real. It’s just a different feeling and just feels great. Conditions were bad, but we still pushed through.”
Arthur has been one of Frenchtown's workhorses this season at running back while also starring as a starting linebacker. Through nine games, Arthur has racked up 572 yards and nine scores on the ground while also catching two more touchdowns. Defensively, Arthur leads the team with 99 total tackles, 10 of which are for loss.
According to 247Sports, Arthur is ranked as Montana's No. 11 in-state recruit, making him one of the highest-rated recruits who has yet to commit anywhere to continue his college football career.
So being one of the players the Broncs lean on in this season's run has meant a lot to the senior and is something he doesn’t take for granted.
“It’s meant everything just that the team can lean on me to make big plays and make them at the right times," Arthur said. "Those touchdowns and big stops on defense it just feels great to have them have that trust in me to make those plays.
“Just happy that I could help out my team. It starts in the front line with those guys blocking for me and if they don’t do that I don’t get those yards. It’s everybody, it’s the center, it’s the line, and I just had to make plays and they gave me the chance to.”
Frenchtown coach Ryne Nelson said performances like Friday's personify what Arthur means to the team.
“We know what we’re going to get from him defensively. He’s our defensive leader. He’s one of, if not the best, player on that side of the ball but I tell you what, what he’s done offensively as well when we’ve had to lean on him, I’m just super proud of his effort on the offensive side as well," Nelson said. "He can take a game like this over and he did so. Huge game for him and just really proud of him.”
Now, Frenchtown turns its attention to Laurel in the opening round of the playoffs while enjoying each final minute together as the season winds to a close. As one of the final eight teams in the Class A field, the Broncs get a chance to showcase what they're made of down the stretch.
“Oh man, this senior boys group, we’re brothers," Arthur said about his teammates. "Every single one of us are brothers. Just going into the playoffs with this team and with the brotherhood we all have, it’s just going to push us over the hump to try to get that first win.
"Best feeling in the world making it past that hump and getting through to the playoffs, now we just have to make it over there and get to the state championship game.”