Disappointing finish to Muskie football season
Following a strong showing in a 18-9 loss to the Steinbach Sabres here back on Oct. 12, the Muskie football team felt good about its chances to pull off an upset in the Andy Currie ‘A’ Division quarter-finals Friday afternoon in Winnipeg.
But the Sabres showed why they were the top team during the regular season as they ran blanked the black-and-gold 30-0 at Canad Inns Stadium, bringing an end to the season for Fort High.
“We played them tough in the first half as it was scoreless until the end of the second quarter when they recovered the ball on a field goal that we blocked and ran it in for a touchdown,” he recalled.
“They kicked the ball back to us and we had a two-and-out before they scored again, and we were down 13-0 at halftime and it just kind of fell apart from there,” Canfield added.
In addition to Derek Plett’s recovery of the blocked field goal for a score, Mac Ginter-Boyce and Troy Wollman both found the end zone on rushing touchdowns while Shelby Koreker had a nine-yard touchdown grab.
Jon Stoesz rounded out the scoring with a 20-yard field goal while the Muskies were unable to get anything going offensively.
“We had a couple of nice drives early on, but we never threatened to score and it was similar to our first meeting with Steinbach,” Canfield noted.
“Our defence was out there for about 75 percent of the game,” he added. “And while they played their hearts out, when you have somebody out on the field that long, you start to see the other team take advantage.
“When you are up against a good team like them that can throw the ball around like they can, they are going to put up some points and they did that in the second half,” Canfield said.
With Friday’s loss leaving the Muskies with a 3-5 record overall this season, Canfield felt disappointed in how the season ended for his squad, especially after the squad made it as far as the division semi-finals last year.
“If you had told me at the start of the year that we weren’t going to make it as far as we did last year, I would have put a bet on the line with you,” he remarked.
“We had [quarterback] Tobijah [Gerber] back with us, and while I still feel he is the best quarterback in the conference, we had some places on our team that we were weaker in than others.
“And when you are weak in one place in football, the entire team is weak,” Canfield reasoned.
“While I’m definitely disappointed with the way that the season went, the guys played hard and they have a lot of heart, and you have to give the credit for that,” he lauded.
Although the Muskies will be losing a few players to graduation next season, Canfield is excited about a number of players from the Fort Frances Jr. Wolverines’ junior football program who are set to enter the high school ranks.
“There are a lot of good football players that are coming up,” he enthused.
“We have a lot of holes that we need to fill due to graduation, but the guys that are coming up will get a chance to play right away.
“I imagine a lot of those guys that will be in Grade 9 next year will be coming out, as they all did pretty well this year and are all excited to play the game,” Canfield added.
The Muskies officially will round out the season with their annual awards banquet, although an exact date and time are still to be determined.