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Thursday , 2 December 2021
The St. Paul Lions line up before their playoff games vs the Sexsmith Sabres. Image credit: Jeff Burke.

St. Paul Lions season ends in battle against top Tier IV team Sexsmith

The St. Paul Lions playoff hopes were vanquished on Saturday as the football team travelled to Grande Prairie to play the number one ranked Sexsmith Sabres in Provincial quarterfinals. 

Despite scoring an early touchdown, the Sabres won the contest 29-7 and will advance to the semifinals. 

St. Paul was the Tier IV area representative after beating the Wainwright Commandos the previous week. 

After punting on the game’s first drive, the Lions recovered a misplayed return and began driving at the Sabres 30-yard-line. Dorion Tomlinson scored a touchdown on a screen play to give the Lions the lead.

Ball security was a consistent issue in the game. The Lions also mishandled a punt return, which the Sabres capitalized on with a touchdown drive, but missed the extra point to keep St. Paul ahead 7-6.

A 35 yard reception down the seam from Sexsmith gave the home team a lead, and the Lions took a safety to be down 15-7 at the end of the half.

The teams remained at a stalemate through the third quarter into the fourth. St. Paul worked their way into field-goal range and attempted a kick, but the Sabres special teams bore down to block the attempt.

The Lions stopped them right back but began running out of time for the game-trying drive. St. Paul went to the air but the Sabres intercepted the pass and scored on the ensuing drive.

Getting the ball back, the Lions were stiffled once again, but had their punt blocked and the Sabres took the rest from there for the 29-7 final.

With files from Mark Tichkowsky, St. Paul Lions head coach.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.