© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Weyburn running back Reece Williams gets brought down by Central's Josh Cadotte, left, Tyson Pisio and Dustin Miller in Moose Jaw High School Football League action Saturday.
There are three important phases to a football game.
Saturday the Central Cyclones were out-played in all of them.
The Weyburn Eagles won the war in the trenches and rolled to a 31-8 win over the Cyclones in Moose Jaw High School Football League action.
The Eagles ran for 334 yards, while the Cyclones only had 112 yards of total offence. While Weyburn was out-playing Central on offence and defence, they also took advantage of some Central special teams mistakes. Two snaps went over the Cyclones' punter’s head and allowed the Eagles to start drives on the one and 18 yard line. The Eagles scored touchdowns after both turnovers.
“We were making mental mistakes. We were making physical mistakes. The little ones compounded into big mistakes. When you compound that many little mistakes you look up at the scoreboard and you’re down quite a bit,” said Central coach Colin Belsher. “It’s a tough start to our season. We’ve got a pretty young team and I’ve told them all along that the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily matter at this time of the season as long as we’re improving.”
The Eagles controlled the line of scrimmage and that went a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
“We’ve got a few big kids on the line, but we don’t have a lot of size. We have some key big guys who can move the pile,” said Eagles head coach Darren Abel. “We didn’t have to pass the ball a whole lot. We were able to control the game on the ground. I thought they did an excellent job.”
Belsher said they may need to look at being more creative in how they line-up and block to help them win the battle up front.
“We’re not the biggest O and D line. With being under-sized, I think we, as coaches, have to be a little creative and take some of the stress off the kids who are being pushed around by some bigger bodies,” said Belsher.
The Cyclones trailed 31-0 before they strung together a nice drive late in the game. They finished it off with 13-yard touchdown catch by Jacob Laboccetta off of a pass from Parker Chow. Bailey Wong threw a two-point convert to Zach Hagerman.
“I think that’s what Parker Chow needs, being basically a first-time quarterback. He needs a little bit of confidence and to trust the players around him,” said Belsher. “He’s an athlete and he made a couple of good plays as an athlete.”
Chow finished 7-of-12 passing for 60 yards and he ran for 27 yards. Hagerman led the Cyclones on the ground with 39 yards.
“We saw a lot of good plays from some young players who were on the field for the first time in high school football,” said Belsher. “We want to build off of the small things that we’ve done and moved forward.”
The Eagles boasted a balanced running attack. Rhett Williams, Reece Williams and Quentin Ruckaber each ran for touchdowns. Reece Williams finished with 126 yards on the ground, Chase Ryan had 73 yards and Ruckaber picked up 64 more.
Aaron Dionne caught a three yard touchdown pass from Kirk Winter to open the scoring for the Eagles who led 15-0 at the half.
“We didn’t know what to expect. We only have 13 returning kids from last year,” said Abel. “We have a lot of good athletes coming in this year. Some of these guys have never played football before but they’re great athletes. They’re just finally starting to get it.”
The Williams twins, both seniors, could provide a pretty good tandem in the Eagles backfield.
“They’re both outstanding athletes — not just football players, but as basketball players and track guys. You can see they’ve been working hard in the off-season,” said Abel.