Photo Credit: Tiffany Smith
The St. Paul Bengals are the Alberta Tier III Bantam Football Provincial Champions. This is a first Provincial Championship for St. Paul Football, in the history of 34 years of the club. The team successfully beat Lacombe on home field, 27-9, on Saturday. Coach of the Bengals, Todd Tanasichuk, says it was a great team with a strong community that helped them host the championship cup above their heads.
Off the start of the game, the Bengals kicked off to Lacombe and off that play were able to get the recovery, to score their first touchdown. That was followed with a fumble by Lacombe, that resulted in a touchdown for the St. Paul club. The game was 13-7 at half time for the Bengals. Assistant Coach, Zap, explained that the club would have to clean up their plays in the second half to secure the win, “we had some penalities that cost us and we were able to recover the ball, but we couldn’t seem to get the points up.”
We just gotta keep playing hard and keep going; no bad penalties. – Brett Halfe #99 St. Paul Bengals
“Tough team, they were a big physical team, but our boys responded well,” Coach Tanasichuk says the team came together when it mattered, “we were on our heels at times. We came back and played tough and physical. We started tackling better in the second half and stared taking away penalties that were hurting us in the first half.”The Bengals came out flying in the second half and keep the pressure on Lacombe. They made some key recoveries and were able to excel the score 27-9 at the end of the fourth quarter, becoming the 2017 Alberta Teir III Provincial Champions.
It feels tremendous, it’s starting to sink in. We earned it! – Todd Tanasichuk, Head Coach St. Paul Bantam Bengals.
The team would like to thank all the fans, volunteers, businesses, and organizations that helped make the game happen on home field. With the threat of the game being moved to Sherwood Park, to accommodate for weather, the Town of St. Paul, volunteers, football parents, businesses, and the school board, rallied together to ensure the field was ready for the championship game. Coach Tanasichuk, says winning on the home field made it extra special. “You couldn’t ask for any better conditions, with the snow we had and the cold.”