It’s hard to put into words, just how dominant the Peacock Tornadoes have been in the first halves of games this season.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Peacock's Nathan Fall, right, throws a straight-arm into Central defensive lineman David Julé.
It’s not so hard to put into numbers.
Peacock has out-scored their opposition 203-27 in the first half of their games. That’s 29 touchdowns scored in five first halves. They’re scoring a touchdown every four minutes and eight seconds to start games.
Thursday it was more of the same as the Tornadoes didn’t miss a beat against their arch-rivals from Central.
The Tornadoes took a 42-0 lead into the half and remained unbeaten with a 45-26 win over the Cyclones.
“We were really happy with our first half. That was our best first half of the season,” said Peacock coach Blake Buettner. “They executed really well and played with good intensity. We did a better job of playing good team defence and the special teams were good too.”
The Tornadoes have plenty of experience at the skill positions on offence as quarterback Sawyer Buettner, running backs Nathan Fall and Blake Olson and receivers Levi Paul, Lane Bossence and Kyle Arndt all have plenty of experience.
“With our experience over the last season or two that gives them confidence. They know each other well and I think that really helps,” said Buettner.
Nathan Fall rushed for 172 yards off of 15 carries and a pair of touchdowns. He also caught a pass for a 41-yard touchdown.
“We executed right from the start again. We had a good push from the get-go,” said Fall. “It really starts with our o-line. They set the tone for the game. That affects Sawyer, that effects me, Levi, everyone. It starts with them.”
Arndt caught a 12-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring and Olson ran in from nine yards out to put Peacock up 14-0 before Central had a first down to their credit.
“We didn’t play with heart. We weren’t playing as a team. We were just going through the motions. The coach said a few words at half time and we finally picked it up,” said Central senior Jacob Laboccetta. “I’m not happy with the outcome, but our team will gain from this.
“Our big thing is that we have to play with one heartbeat. We’re all one. We’re family. Instead of playing as individuals you have to play as a group. Our defence picked it up and our offence started clicking.”
Laboccetta did what he could. He finished with 10 catches for 196 yards and four touchdowns, though the scores came in the fourth quarter when Peacock didn’t have many defensive starters left in the game.
Buettner scored on a one-yard run and he completed 9-of-10 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Paul caught three passes for 84 yards for the Tornadoes.
Parker Chow passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception. Jonah Branning had 48 yards receiving and a 60-yard run for the Cyclones.
Peacock’s Dabulis Ebet had a very good game. He ran for 66 yards off of four carries and made an impressive fumble recovery on defence where he ripped the ball out of the receiver’s hands and ran the other way with it.
In other action Thursday, Weyburn beat Swift Current 50-13 and Yorkton beat Estevan 58-6.
Central (3-3) has a bye before heading into the playoffs. Peacock will meet Yorkton Tuesday in a battle of unbeaten teams with first place and a playoff bye on the line.
“We’re going to be as ready as we can be. They’re a very big team size-wise and they do some really good things. They’re diverse: they can run and pass,” said Buettner. “It’s for first place, so that will bring a lot excitement and intensity too.”
Football notes ... the Peacock players all wore a a number nine decal on the backs of their helmets to honour Chris Sauder, a former Tornadoes player who died Saturday.