Swift Current ends four-year losing streak in Moose Jaw
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Vanier running back Drew Nimegeers, right, throws a stiff-arm into the face of Swift Current Colts safety Zac Nickel in Moose Jaw High School Football League action at Gutheridge Field Saturday.
The Swift Current Colts won in Moose Jaw for the first time in four years.
Unfortunately for the Vanier Vikings, they did their part in helping the Colts earn a 28-21 win at Gutheridge Field Saturday.
The Vikings took 120 yards in penalties off a dozen infractions and had three plays of more than 20 yards called back due to penalties.
The Vikings tied the game at 21-21 with 3:57 left and promptly took an objectionable conduct penalty that was applied to the kickoff.
“We took undisciplined penalties and I don’t even know how many penalties we took in that last quarter,” said Vanier head coach Ryan Gottselig. “It’s disappointing that it was kind of a discipline thing that did us in.
“We have two Grade 12s on the team and it’s up to the players to squash that stuff as much as the coaches," added Gottselig who could be heard telling his players to keep their mouths shut and to walk away from confrontations all game.
“I don’t know if we have those voices right now, but hopefully a couple of leaders step up and take responsibility for that.”
After that late objectionable conduct penalty pushed the kickoff back 10 yards, the Colts ended up started their final drive on the Vanier 48 yard line. Colts running back Austin Larochelle scored the winning touchdown with 1:32 left.
“This is the first time we’ve won since the (2009) league semifinal four years ago,” said Colts coach Derek Murdock. “None of these guys have won on this field. This is a special day for the Swift Current Colts.”
The Colts only took 45 yards in penalties and Murdock was proud of the composure his team showed as the game got a little more heated in the final quarter.
“We’re a young team and we kept our composure. We kept ourselves under control and stayed pretty composed,” said Murdock.
The Vikings don’t have a lot of players on their roster and they were visibly tiring with each passing quarter as a number of players were playing on both sides of the ball.
“That was evident. Even by the second quarter guys were taking a knee (at the bench). You could see they weren’t flying around on defence any more,” said Gottselig. “That’s where we’re at numbers wise right now. We’re going to have to commit to fitness I guess.”
The Vikings started the game strongly. Drew Nimegeers rushed for two first half touchdowns as the Vikings took a 14-6 lead into the half.
“We talked at half time that we needed to finish some drives because we were confident that our offence were going to be able to move the ball,” said Murdock. “Our defence stepped up and only allowed one touchdown in the second half with new guys everywhere and Grade 9s all over the place, I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”
Lamontagne is a third-year starter and his experience helped the Colts. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 214 yards.
His biggest was a short hitch pass that Marcus Mayall took 66 yards to tie the game midway through the third quarter. Lamontagne ran in from a yard out to give the Colts the lead.
Nimegeers’ third touchdown of the game came from seven yards out and tied the score late in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings actually had more total offence and more first downs than the Colts, but we’re able to translate that to a win.
“I was happy with how we came out and moved the ball. We kind of patched an o-line together and we weren’t sure how they were going to perform and we were able to move the ball up and down the field. I’m very excited about that,” said Gottselig.
“There were tons of positives, especially the way we ran the football. There were a couple of defensive breaks, but overall it was pretty good. It’s just the discipline thing that is angering me right now.”
The running game was varied and dangerous. Kelton Kouri had 93 yards, Jackson Klein added 79 more yards, while Nimegeers had 59 and quarterback Rylan Blacklaws had 52 yards on the ground.