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The Big Red offensive line worked hard to protect quarterback Payton Grant as he completed several passes. 

The first game of the 2022-23 football season began at Arrowhead Stadium as Big Red took on Frenchtown before a home crowd. And a crowd it was, filling the stands on the home side and about half the brand new stands on the opposite side of the field.

Fans approached the stadium in their vehicles and passed by the “ticket shack” that folks were accustomed to seeing at the old field at Napi Elementary. This avoided having people physically standing in line for tickets and instead allowed them not only to sit comfortably in their vehicles, but also permitted school officials to direct them to appropriate parking places. Once a person exited a vehicle, they simply walked into the stadium having already been checked through.

“First game jitters were pretty bad,” Coach Shance Hall remarked as the home team went down, 41-0. “There’s tons of potential.  We just didn’t get the off-season like everyone else did.”

Coach Hall had very little time to prepare for the season, having been hired just weeks ahead of the opener. And many of the new team members are fairly new to playing varsity football.

“I have a few with experience, but the rest are pretty new,” Hall said. 

“We’re inexperienced on the line. It’s a building year, but our defense did really well and stopped some Frenchtown drives.”

Besides good defense, quarterback Payton Grant proved he “has an arm.” Coach Hall says he can easily throw 60 yards on target, and it showed on Friday at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I seriously think we can be competitive,” Hall said. “They really want to make the playoffs.’

This week, Big Red is off to Butte Central on Friday, Sept. 2, where kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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