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St. Paul Lions ground and pound and strong defence leads them to 30-12 win in North Semi-Final

David Campeau, left, celebrates his second-quarter touchdown with Josh Foote, right, in the Lions 30-12 North Semi-Final win on Saturday over the Sexsmith Sabres. 

Josh Foote returned the opening kickoff 80 yards and the St. Paul Lions high school football team never looked back in a 30-12 victory over the Sexsmith Sabres on a snowy, slippery Regional Field.

Both teams played a very physical game, with several personal foul and objectionable conduct penalties going against each team.

The win advances the #6 seed Lions to the Tier IV North Final where they will face the #4 seed Ardrossan Bisons on the road.

If the Lions win, they will play for the Provincial Championship for the second straight season.

St. Paul Lions defeat the Sexsmith Sabres 30-12 to advance to the Tier IV Northern Final. Lions head coach Mark Tichkowsky joins me thanks to Caouette & Sons Implements Ltd.

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Saturday, November 9, 2019

“We came out and we kind of established the run, of course, and that’s kind of our ground and pound game,” said Lions coach Mark Tichkowsky.

The Lions cycled four running backs/tailbacks in the ground game as the weather conditions hampered the ability to throw the ball.

David Campeau’s size proved to be a big factor as he rumbled down the frozen tundra for a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter.

However, Tichkowsky was not impressed by the number of penalties his team took.

At one point in the third quarter, the Lions faced a 1st and 45 (45 yards to gain a first down) due to a string of holding and personal foul calls, which saw them free kick the ball on second down to flip field position.

Another drive for the Sabres was aided by a roughing the passer penalty on third down in the Lions red zone, which extended their possession and led to their first touchdown.

“We took lots of bad penalties. That was kind of a detriment to them scoring a couple of touchdowns. So we got to get better next week in that area. We can’t be undisciplined. Otherwise, it’ll be a long, long game next week,” he said.

The Lions defence played a great game, limiting any big plays for the Sabres and stifling any comeback attempt in the second half.

The Sabres scored a touchdown to start the second half edging the score to 21-12 but missed a two-point convert. They did not come close to scoring again.

“We knew that they had some really skilled players at slot and running backs and we saw them last year and all week we prepped well. We ran our dummy offense against our starting D and I think they did the job today,” said Tichkowsky.

“The boys are ramped up and we need to prove ourselves. We got to the final last year, now our goal is to win. So we have to prep all week and hopefully, we come out next week and get it done. And then if things go our way, we’re heading down to Raymond so we’ll see what happens there.”