Going for gold

Katie Brickman
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Buettner and Sask Green in final versus Ontario at Canada Cup

Sawyer Buettner will look to lead Saskatchewan Green to a championship title.

Moose Jaw's Sawyer Buettner threw for three touchdowns, leading Saskatchewan Green to a 40-32 win over Alberta at the Canada Cup in Saskatoon on Wednesday night. (GREG PENDER/STAR PHOENIX)

The Moose Jaw quarterback was named the offensive player of the game for his team after throwing for three touchdowns, en route to a 40-32 semifinal win over Alberta at the Canada Cup under-18 football tournament in Saskatoon on Wednesday.

“There was some nerves, but it was cool for me because I’ve never done this before, so I didn't know what to expect,” said Buettner. “I just went there and played my game. I thought our team really executed well and put up a lot of points.”

Saskatchewan Green built up a big lead, but had to hold off Alberta late in the game after an attempted comeback.

Buettner completed all but one of his 14 passes in the first half for 177 yards.

“He gives us everything he has on every play and works his tail off,” Kyle Stroeder, head coach told the StarPhoenix. “We’re really happy to have him on our squad.”

Saskatchewan continued their offensive push in the third quarter by scoring 17 points.

However, Alberta fought back, narrowing the gap with a touchdown on the last play of the third quarter.

Alberta also scored a field goal and another touchdown to come within eight points.

With 29 seconds left in the game, Alberta went three-and-out, which gave Saskatchewan the win.

“We were up 40-14 at one point, but then they scored a few touchdowns,” said Buettner. “It was 40-32 with a couple minutes left and we were getting a bit nervous on the bench, but our defence came up strong and stopped them for the win.”

Now, Saskatchewan will face Ontario in the final on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.

“Ontario has a very talented team. I think they are big and athletic team, but it should be a really fun game,” he said. “We may not have the numbers that other provinces have, but we have really good players that can perform.”

The experience of playing at this type of an event has been enjoyable for Buettner. But, as a playmaker, there are challenges of quickly trying to figure out everyone’s strengths.

“It has been a bit tough because you don't know everyone real well, but I think our team is gelling really well and everyone is getting along,” he said. “It has been fun and probably the best football experiences I’ve ever had.”

Saskatchewan will try and claim the province’s first gold medal since 2010 and Buettner will be the starting quarterback once again.

“I just want to perform. This is a great opportunity and once in a lifetime chance. Hopefully we can execute our game plan well,” he said. “My goal is to win and the other stuff (scouts) will just take care of itself.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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