It took a half for the Saskatoon’s Bishop James Mahoney Saints to hit their stride offensively.
The Peacock Tornadoes offence never really got going in a 22-0 loss to the Saints Saturday in the 3A provincial football semifinal.
“We needed to bring our ‘A’ game and we didn’t against a very solid team,” said Peacock head coach Blake Buettner. “We hung in there in the first half, but we weren’t making plays.”
It was a defensive struggle in the first half as Peacock collected three first downs to Mahoney’s two. In fact Peacock had 74 yards in returns on their three first half interceptions, which was significantly more than their 43 yards of total offence for the half.
The Tornadoes failed to get much of a boost from any of their first half interceptions — a pair by Levi Paul and the other by Clayton Bloch.
“They didn’t allow us to get going and we had no momentum,” said Buettner. “I guess in hindsight we peaked last week. We have to take some responsibility for that. I thought we should have been more motivated for this, but it didn’t happen today.”
Peacock found little room to run the ball, but created some openings in the passing game, but failed to connect when they had open receivers.
Peacock attempted an onside kick to start the second half and three plays after the Saints recovered they opened the scoring. Tyson Pylypow found Daymen Ashmeade for a 35-yard touchdown.
“That first touchdown lifted a weight off of our shoulders,” said Pylypow.
Peacock conceded a safety and the Saints extended their lead when Seb Turcotte caught a 45-yard touchdown pass.
Early in the fourth quarter Pylypow dove in from two yards out on a third down game to round out the scoring.
“In the first half we weren’t executing. We regrouped at half time and in the second half we went back to our fundamentals and we were able to get some drives together and put some points on the board,” said Pylypow who finished with 150 yards passing.
“I was trying to do too much in the first half and trying to make plays when I didn’t have to. In the second half we settled down a bit as an offence.”
It was a tough way for the Tornadoes to finish the season, but Buettner was proud of how the young group grew over the season.
“I’ve said it a lot this year, but I’m so proud of our Grade 12s and the leadership they’ve shown this year,” said Buettner. “We weren’t sure how we were going to do this season with our youth and the mix of kids, but I thought they gelled our team together. I’m proud of our team this year.”