With the game on the line, the Peacock Tornadoes turned the game over to running back Nathan Fall and their offensive line.
Fall scored his third touchdown of the day with 3:48 remaining to give the Tornadoes a lead. He scored his fourth touchdown with 50 seconds left to give them a playoff bye.
The Tornadoes 28-14 win over the Central Cyclones created a three-way tie on top of the Moose Jaw High School Football League standings at the end of the regular season between Central, Peacock and Yorkton at 5-1. The Tornadoes’ margin of victory gave them the regular season title and a first round bye.
“I’m exhausted. It was lots of running,” said Peacock’s Nathan Fall who carried the ball 36 times for 249 yards. “We ran the ball and kept running the same play over and over. It worked out well.
“I got really good blocking, so I was happy about that.”
For the Cyclones, it was a tough loss to take as they had their unbeaten season spoiled and tumbled from first place to third place in the standings.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Central head coach Colin Belsher. “We’re still 5-1. The boys played hard all year. Unfortunately it came down to one half of football that determined where we sat in the playoffs.
“We didn’t get the opportunity to have that bye, but maybe it’s a good thing for us. We struggled all year at trying to play at the level of competition. Maybe the boys realize that we’re not the top dog and we have to work twice as hard in practice to get to where we need to be.”
In other action Tuesday, Weyburn beat Swift Current 26-10. That created a three-way tie for fourth place. Weyburn will finish fourth, Swift Current fifth and Vanier sixth.
Vanier will face Central (1 p.m., Gutheridge Field) in one of Saturday’s quarter-finals. Yorkton will host Estevan and Swift Current will travel to Weyburn in the other quarters.
After Peacock and Central played to a 14-14 tie in the first half, both defences tightened up considerably.
Peacock drove 95 yards before having their drive stall. When Central turned the ball over on the next play, the Tornadoes took advantage.
Fall scored on a 10-yard run and after forcing Central to punt, he capped a 65-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown.
Central opened the scoring when quarterback Bren Forbes scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter.
Tornadoes fullback Blake Olsen broke two tackles on a 36-yard pass and run to set up a three-yard Fall major.
Peacock’s Levi Paul intercepted Central pass in his end zone to snuff out a drive. Later in the second quarter, a 31-yard pass from Sawyer Buettner to Havanka set up a two-yard touchdown for Fall to give the Tornadoes a 14-7 lead.
The Cyclones got good field position after a muffed punt, but the Tornadoes stopped them on second and long only to be flagged for roughing the passer. The Cyclones scored on the next play when Lisik carried a pair of Peacock defenders over the line for a one-yard touchdown.