The St. Paul Bengals will be bringing the Alberta Bantam Football Champion game to St. Paul on Saturday, November 18th. The game will be played out at 1:00 pm on the Regional High School football field, after the Bengals successfully defeated Sexsmith 55-12, over the weekend. Head Coach, of the Bengals, Todd Tanasichuk says the club was able to get ahead early in the semi-final match up, against the Shamrocks.
“We got out on them early and often,” the team had struggled with offense during the season; however that wasn’t the case in Saturday’s game, says the coach, “we’ve been struggling with out offense the last few weeks.” The team recorded 13 points in each the Bonnyville game the week prior and the Lloydminster game, two weeks before. Against Sexsmith, the team excelled on offense, “we scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. We were executing very well. Our blocking was very well and our offense… and our offensive-defense was very well.” The coach says a lot of their offensive difficulties, previous to this weekend, were a matter of self-destruction, “we took advantage of our opportunities and didn’t have the bad penalties that we have had [earlier in the season]. We didn’t have as many fumbles. I really felt that we’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot, offensively, more than other teams had been stopping us.”
“In football, when you can dominate up front, you’re usually going to be the victor. We dominated upfront and have good skill in our other positions. It’s easy to run, when there’s nobody around to tackle you.” Coach Tanasichuk says it was a strong Wheatland Bantam Football League that helped prepare the club for this point, “we’ve played two tough teams, in our league, the two weeks before and we were used to that tough, physical football. We went out hitting and I don’t think [Sexsmith] had been hit as hard as they were early. It put them on their heels and we rolled from there.”
Coach Tanasichuk says it wasn’t all easy for the team and recognizes Sexsmith’s strengths, “they had a good running back, on their team. Unlike anybody we’ve seen in our league. He did break two long-runs for touchdowns; but otherwise we contained them.”
The team will bring the Provincial Championship game to St. Paul at 1:00 pm on Saturday, versus the Lacombe Raiders confirms the coach. Adding he saw early on this team had what it took to get to this point, “the possibility was there, you don’t take it for granted, but the possibility was there.” The volunteer force came out to support the team and ensure the game could be played out on the home field, “the response has been tremendous. We were looking at moving the game, because we had felt it was a lot of work to get the field ready. But the parents, and the Town and the school division, were all on board, that they want this game in St. Paul.” Coach says thanks to the volunteer force he’ll be able to focus on coaching this week. Depending on the field conditions, the team may venture outside for a practice during the week, but it’ll mostly be held indoors.