The Muskie football team hasn't forgotten its last loss to the Maples Marauders and are out to exact revenge this week.
The third-ranked Muskies scored early and often as they rolled to a 47-9 rout of the last-place Neelin Spartans in WHSFL Currie Division ('A') quarterfinal playoff action last Thursday afternoon at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
Fort High now advances to the CanadInns Bowl semifinals, where it will tangle with the second-ranked Marauders tomorrow at 5 p.m. at East Side Eagles Field.
The Muskies weren't too pleased with the way in which the Mauraders celebrated their 29-6 home win against them back on Oct. 23 and are looking to stick it to Maples tomorrow in the rematch.
“After the way that game was played, if that doesn't light a fire under our butts to beat them after the way they celebrated and were rubbing it in . . . I don't know how much more that can motivate someone to go back and do the same to them,” mused Muskie co-coach Vic Davis.
"I think when Maples beat us that day, we had like probably the worst three days of practice all season [heading into it], so me and the other coaches kind of knew what was in store for us.
“So we weren't that surprised at the outcome," he admitted. "So we'll make sure we're better prepared this time.”
Davis knows the Marauders are a strong team but feels the Muskies stack up well against them and should be able to pull out the win tomorrow if they play to their capabilities.
“They beat us up, they pushed us around a little bit,” he conceded.
"But we know that we're better than that. So, we kinda know what to expect. We know that we can hit back just as hard, so I'm thinking we're going to be okay.
“I don't wanna be too confident," Davis stressed. "But I think if the kids really have the will and wanna win, we're gonna win. We're gonna leave it up to them in this week's practice.”
As for the Muskies' win over the Spartans on Halloween, the black-and-gold had a spooky good time as the offence erupted to score seven touchdowns on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' home field.
The Muskies led 34-7 at halftime before outscoring Neelin 13-2 the rest of the way to nab a berth in tomorrow's semifinal.
“They had a scary good performance,” Davis joked of his team.
"Yeah, they played really good and I think it was pretty thrilling for some of them to play on the 'big boy' field there, it was pretty cool and, yeah, they did well.
“They were there to play and they showed up and that's what we expect this coming week,” he added.
Muskie quarterback Brady Meeks racked up 103 yards through the air on 2 of 5 passing to go with two touchdowns.
He also rushed in a pair of scores and picked up another 111 yards on nine carries.
Running back Sean Huziak also had a pair of rushing touchdowns while racking up an impressive 193 yards on 24 carries.
The versatile athlete also went 3 of 5 on extra-point attempts as the Muskies' kicker.
Gabe Hyatt also punched in a major and wound up with 13 yards on three carries.
Carson Noga was on the receiving end of both touchdowns from Meeks, finishing with 103 yards on two catches.
“Brady had a really nice broken-play touchdown that was [from] pretty slick running,” Davis recalled.
"He was slipping through people and he ran a long way for a touchdown, must have been over 60, 70 yards maybe, and he had a nice little pass to Noga later on, on a play-action play.
“Yeah, there was a lot of really good plays,” he lauded.
“It was kind of neat because they showed the instant replays up on the big screen, so you could watch the runs which was really handy for the coaches and the players.”
Davis also noted that Colten Allen nearly had a highlight-reel interception that was ran back for a lengthy touchdown for the Muskies, but it was unfortunately wiped out due to an illegal blocking call.
“We got kind of another quick touchdown after halftime and then Colten Allen had a beautiful interception returned for a touchdown but it was called back for an illegal block,” he remarked.
"He intercepted the ball down near their 10-yard line and then he ran it all the way down and one of our players just happened to . . . he did the right thing, he got in front of the guy and he blocked him face-on, but apparently you're not able to do that kind of block with your back to the opposing team's end zone.
“So that was kinda sad,” he conceded.
“Otherwise the score would have been like 50-something to 7, so.”
The Muskie coaching staff was also able to get some of the younger players on the team more reps in the second half, which will only help in their development moving forward.
“A lot of our younger guys got to touch the field and all that, so that was good for them. I think they liked that,” Davis enthused.
“So overall it was a really good experience and they played really well and we're glad to get that game behind us because we got bigger dragons to fry now, we got the only two teams to beat us this year now, so that's what we're thinking about.”
On defence, Allen and Wyatt Richards led the way with eight tackles each while Huziak and William Richards both had five.
Noga had two tackles and recorded a sack while Allen also had a sack.
The undefeated Springfield Collegiate Sabres will face the fourth-ranked Churchill Bulldogs in the other Currie Division semifinal tomorrow, with the winners to advance to play for the CanadInns Bowl title next Thursday (Nov. 14) at Investors Group Field.