The Bonnyville Voyageurs celebrate after beating the St. Paul Lions 28-21 in a thrilling finish at Walsh Field last Friday. Image credit: Rohdy Reed.
Miles Debler connected with Mason Ward with only 15 seconds left in a tied game to lift the Bonnyville Voyageurs to a big victory on home field on Friday.
The 28-21 victory puts the Voyageurs at 3-0 for the regular season heading into a non-conference game next weekend against Fort McMurray at the Scott MacDonald Memorial.
“We had a lot of guys pick up and play really well today,” said Voyageurs head coach Larry Godziuk.
“A lot of our seniors put it all out on the field. I call a game and Miles [Debler] mostly listens to me and I was going to punt on third down with 20 seconds left and Miles had a play. When my quarterback is very confident in a play, I’ll give him the play and he scored a touchdown.”
It was good chemistry between Debler and Ward to set up the crucial winning play, especially reading the defence.
“I know he [Ward] can do that and Miles set him up for success. Miles flipped him on the field. Mason was playing the other wide receiver. Miles also noticed they were playing a double safety. He wasn’t sure he was going to be that wide open, he’s been working on his look offs….couldn’t have been any more perfect,” said Godziuk.
“St. Paul played really well. Our playbook isn’t varied, it’s not wide, but we try to run it well. We put in a couple plays today that I thought we executed reasonably well that got us out of some pickles. Duncan [Critch] played a helluva game offence and defence. He only came off the field for kickoff return. He was on the field for every single play besides kickoff return.”
Critch scored a touchdown to complete a brief drive after Brody Gamble intercepted the ball on the Lions 20 yard line.
The Voyageurs were up 21-14 with nine minutes left before St. Paul took the ball the length of the field to tie the game.
“We prepared well and we played an excellent first half. In the second half, we were playing a pretty vanilla defence and we burned a couple of timeouts and we had trouble making adjustments as they realized we were playing a pretty vanilla defence. Kudos to them. They went with what worked and actually, I’m quite surprised. They ended up scoring on that long drive, but I’m surprised they went to the air on it because they were having their way on the ground,” said Godziuk.
The game was touted as a battle of speed versus size.
Both the Voyageurs and Lions has trounced the Cold Lake Royals, while St. Paul had just dusted the Westlock T-Birds by 55 points.
The St. Paul Lions are now 2-1 and host the Holy Rosary Raiders on Friday.
The Cold Lake Royals had a bye this week.