It’s a new season and a new look for the Peacock Tornadoes.
Thursday the Tornadoes used their passing attack to lead the way to victory. Quarterback Sawyer Buettner threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns as the Tornadoes beat the Estevan Elecs 31-14 in Moose Jaw High School Football League play at Gutheridge Field.
It was the Tornadoes first game of the season, while the Elecs drop to 0-2.
“We’ve got some pretty good receivers so it’s nice when you can chuck it up and they can go out and make plays,” said Buettner.
Only five times in 38 seasons have the Peacock Tornadoes passed for more yards then they have rushed.
Buettner’s favourite target was Levi Paul who caught six passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Paul’s total was six yards shy of the yardage the Tornadoes’ leading receiver gained all of last season.
“We’ve got a good receiving corps and a young QB and we’re doing good. We’re connecting well,” said Paul.
The Tornadoes didn’t set out to be pass-happy to start the season.
“We went to the pass game a little more than we wanted to,” said Tornadoes head coach Blake Buettner. “We had another injury to our tailback (Austin Abbott). We had to move Jordan Collicot in and he did pretty well for us. Austin Abbott had pulled his hip flexor in our exhibition game.”
When Abbott re-aggrevated the injury in practice, Collicot stepped into the backfield and gained 84 yards on 12 carries, including a 34-yard touchdown.
Paul caught an 82-yard touchdown to open the scoring in the second quarter, but Estevan struck back when Colten Bachorcik ran in from three yards out to cut the lead to 7-6 at the half.
In the second half, the Tornadoes connected on a number of big passing plays to break the game open.
“We had them second-and-long a couple of times and they went for 30 or 40 yards on the long bomb,” said Estevan head coach Mark Schott. “Those are back-breakers.
“They have a strong quarterback and a talented receiving corps. We need to get a stop on those plays. Those are huge plays and big momentum swings.”
The Tornadoes started the second half with a bang as Collicot extended their lead 44 seconds into the third quarter. Kyle Arndt kicked a 27-yard field goal and Caleb Havanka scored on a 36-yard pass and run to give the Tornadoes a 24-6 lead after three quarters.
Blake Olsen caught a 10-yard touchdown for the Tornadoes while Kaleb Memory ran in from a yard out for the Elecs to round out the scoring.
Kolby Fleury completed 15 of the 28 passes he attempted for the Elecs and passed for 204 yards.