Friday , 16 April 2021

Lions defeat Royals to Advance in Playoffs

The St. Paul Lions move onto the semi-finals of the Wheatland Football League

If you’ve been following the Wheatland Football League this season, you know there was one battle parents, fans, coaches, and players were all looking forward to and that was a St. Paul – Cold Lake showdown. The two clubs met in mid-September for an exhibition match at Clarke Stadium, in Edmonton. After the outcome, 7-0 in favour of Cold Lake, when it was determined these clubs would meet in the post-season it was as if Mother Nature was playing on all of our emotions by adding to the anticipation.

The showdown was supposed to happen Friday afternoon, but due to a wicked and out of character for October, snowstorm, the match was postponed to Monday. It was wasn’t until mid-Monday morning the club decided to brave the cold to get heated on the field. And it was heated, with strong defenses playing the key role for both clubs, the score was kept at a sheer minimum. In the end, it was a 9-2 decision for the Lions.

“It was kind of a defensive struggle,” Head Coach of the St. Paul Lions, Jon Lumby, says defense – for both clubs, worked hard on Monday afternoon. “We had a little trouble scoring; we did move the ball, more than [the Royals] did. We had a couple chances, and almost got a couple touchdowns in the first half, but didn’t.” The first half was left 2-0 for the Lions.  “In the third quarter we were able to connect on a deep ball,” to make up the nine points for the Lions. The Royals scored some extra points for their two points, but failed to complete a touchdown during the game.

There were some stand-out plays on the field, says Lumby, “we did have a great pass-play, that connected for the touchdown. #4 Parker Lumby to #6 Sheldon Scrannage for the game winning touchdown. That was a nice play.” Other notable players that elevated Monday’s game were Madison Brousseau and Shayne Hurtubise, both players had some nice runs and catches, says the coach.

“The defense carried the day. Our D-line played well, we had pressure from our defense, all game. I’m not sure who had the best game there; guys like Brad DubruleJustin Fodchuk, and Matt Kotowich, and Spencer Graling all had big games. Defensively [the Royals] couldn’t do anything against us; it’s our defense, more than anything, that won it for us.”

The Lions will face off against The Holy Rosary Raiders. The Raiders are the top seeded team, enjoying an undefeated season, and won League Championships last year. Lumby says the club knows it’ll be a tough battle; but one they will be prepared for. “We know they have a tough team, but we hope to go in there with a winning attitude.” The game will be played out in Lloydminister on Friday afternoon.


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