Warriors earn silver in Provincial Final.
The Warriors season ended with a 56-34 defeat at the hands of the defending 2A 6man provincial champions on Saturday, Nov. 10th. Clavet had a very strong team, and even though the Warriors had a successful first half and held a 34-32 lead, the Cougars were too strong and shut down the Warriors in the 2nd half. The players for both teams battled hard, and it was a physical game. The Warriors would like to congratulate the Cougars on their second provincial title, and at the same time they are very proud of their accomplishments this season.
For a more detailed game summary, see below.
The Warriors are also thankful for the support they received all season. Parent volunteers ran the concession and 50/50 draws, as well as drove players to practices and games over a very long season. They volunteered to make programs, help with the field setup and takedown, cleared snow, brought food, heaters, shelters, etc. In the final game, the Wakaw Lions ran the concession and gates, and the Wakaw Oldtimers took care of the 50/50 draw. The Warriors would also like to thank the various businesses that donated funds to help the team through the season. Wakaw EMS was a season sponsor, and Gessner Cabinets sponsored the night game's Live on Location for 107.5 Bolt FM. Through the playoffs, Lake Country Coop (Wakaw), Country Crossroads, and Wakaw Hometown Foods donated groceries for the concession. For the final game, Wakaw EMS, Wakaw Pharmacy, LeBlanc Acres and Boutin Garage each sponsored a quarter. The Town of Wakaw came through in a big way in the last week when the snow flew. They cleared the field 3 times in the last week so that the team could practice and the game could be played. For the provincial final, the field was packed with vehicles and fans braving the cold to cheer on the Warriors. The players and coaches would like to thank all the individuals and businesses that made the 2018 season an incredible success.
The Warriors perfect 6-0, into provincials.
The Warriors first game was in Ahtahkakoop. This is their 3rd year in the league, but the more experienced Warriors dominated the game on their way to a 57-7 victory.
The second game was also on the road in Shellbrook. The Warriors defense played their best game in recent memory, pinning the Aardark offense deep on the first 2 possessions, allowing the offense to score at will. As the game progressed, the Shellbrook team could not cover the deep pass, and the Warriors scored 5 touchdowns on passes over 40 yards, on their way to a 58-16 victory.
The home opener proved to be the Warriors toughest game of the season yet, hosting Hague. The Hague Panthers have traditionally had a strong team, and this year is no different. In the first half the defense played well, but still allowed Hague to score 3 touchdowns, while the Warrior offense got into the end zone once. The Warriors dug deep in the second half, tying the game at 22 with about 3 minutes left in the game. Hague scored next on an interception, taking the lead back, but the Warriors didn't give up, scoring a touchdown and convert with under 2 min remaining to go up 30-28. The defense held again, not letting the Panthers score, and the Warriors ran out the clock for the victory.
The Warriors hosted Big RIver Thursday, Oct. 12th in their annual night game. The Warriors got off to a strong start, scoring on their first 2 possessions. Big River started to move the ball on the Warrior defense, but couldn't break through all the way to score a touchdown. The Warrior offence also had a bit of alull with the score remaining 22-0 for quite a while. The Warriors defense caused a few fumbles in the 2nd quarter, and capitalized with touchdowns. Big RIver also capped off a drive with a touchdown, bringing the score to 44-6 at halftime. The second half was played in straight time, and both teams rolled younger players into the lineup. It was still an exciting game to watch with some hard hits, a few turnovers, and a few more touchdowns by the Warrior offence. Final score, Warriors 56, Big River 6.
The Warriors travelled to Rosthern for a night game on Oct. 11th. It was a great night for football, with cool temperatures and no wind. Rosthern started the game strong with a few touchdowns before the Warriors woke up and got on the board. the two teams traded scores into the 2nd quarter, with the Warriors settling in defensively and controlling the Rosthern offense. The Warriors took the lead 35-32 just before halftime, and never looked back. The offense continued to roll with big touchdown plays, and the defense didn't give up a point in the second half on the way to a 69-32 victory.
The final game of the regular season was against Birch Hills on Oct. 18th. Both teams played hard but the Warriors offense was too much too handle, and scored at will. Birch Hills offense had successes here and there, and both teams rolled younger players into the game in the late stages. Final score 79-45 for the Warriors, and a 6-0 regular season.
The Warriors hosted Sandy Bay in the provincial quarter final on Sat. Oct. 27th. On their first offensive play, a huge block by #15 Jack Bellefontaine sprung #14 for a huge run down the sideline and a touchdown. That hard play set the tone for the game, and the Warriors never looked back. The Warriors stopped the T-Wolves on their first drive with great tackling and pass coverage, giving the offense the ball at midfield. Big runs by #11 Ian Broatch and Kotelko, plus a few penalties by the T-Wolves gave the Warriors the ball on the 1 yard line, where #20 Brandon Hilkewich ran it in for the second score of the game. The T-Wolves responded with a good drive of their own, getting a big first down at midfield, then throwing over the top to #88 Cory Spencer. That was as close as the T-Wolves got to the Warriors, as the offense started clicking and the defense buckled down. Broatch added 2 touchdowns and Kotelko added another as the score at halftime was 41-6. From the point, the younger players got a chance to show their stuff. #17 Bradley Hilkewich came in as QB, running well and connecting on several passes to #95 Jordan Nahorniak. Hilkewich scored a TD of his own, and Nahorniak scored two for the Warriors, on the way to a convincing 53-12 victory.
The Warriors traveled to Macklin on Sat. Nov. 3rd for the provincial semifinal. The Warriors started off the game hot, scoring 3 quick touchdowns by #26 Cole Smith, #11 Ian Broatch and #15 Jack Bellefontaine, and taking a 23-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. Macklin ran the ball well on the next series, scoring a TD, but missing the convert. The score after the first quarter was 23-6. Macklin started off the 2nd quarter with the ball, and continued to find success on the run with another touchdown to make the score 23-12. They short kicked the ball right to Jack Bellefontaine who picked up the ball and ran it in untouched for a touchdown. Another touchdown by Cole Smith and the convert made the score 39-12. An amazing run by #14 Yari Kotelko made the score 45-18, and Smith added the convert and a kickoff single to make the score 48-12. The Warriors were firmly in control, stopping Macklin deep in Warrior territory with a forced fumble recovered by #92 Kolby Leuschen. Macklin defense responded with an interception returned for a touchdown on the next drive to make the score at halftime 48-24 for the Warriors.
Macklin came out strong in the second half, with their quarterback running the ball well when the Warriors had good coverage on their receivers. Macklin scored a quick TD, but the Warriors responded with their own as #20 Brandon Hilkewich connected with Jack Bellefontaine for a TD to make the score 56-30. Macklin continued to run the ball well and their defense got another interception that they turned into points to make the score 42-56 at the end of the 3rd. The Warrior's offense had trouble sustaining drives in the 4th quarter, and Macklin kept picking apart the defense. The Warrior defense was holding strong, but back to back offside penalties gave Macklin the ball on the 1 yard line, and they punched it in to make the score 50-56 with 4:34 left in the game. The Warriors made a few first downs with solid running efforts from Kotelko and Broatch, but couldn't get into the endzone. A punt to try to pin Macklin deep ended up with a penalty in the end zone, and Macklin started their final drive on the 25 yard line. The Warrior defense tried to hold, but Macklin pulled off a touchdown with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 56. Macklin tried for a 1 point convert to take the lead, but the Wakaw defense stuffed the run to keep the score tied. Macklin short kicked to #6 Tyler Skoworodko, who returned it to Macklin's 35 yard line and stepped out of bounds with 3 seconds left. On the final play of the game, the Warriors lined up Cole Smith in the backfield, who successfully punted the ball through the endzone for a single point and a 57-56 Warrior victory.
The Warriors undefeated streak ended in the last game of the year on Saturday, Nov. 10th. Playing the defending champion Clavet Cougars, the Warriors started off the game very well with 2 quick touchdown runs by #26 Cole Smith. Neither of the converts were made, making the score 12-0 early on. Clavet responded with a touchdown from #12 Ayden Cummins, and with a successful convert, the score was 12-8. #10 Connor Hathaway scored next for Clavet, making the score 16-12 in favor of the Cougars at the end of the first quarter. Smith added a 3rd touchdown early in the 2nd quarter, and made the convert, making the score 20-16 Wakaw. Clavet reponded with a converted touchdown to bring the score to 24-20 for the Cougars. #15 Jack Bellefontaine got the Warriors back on top with a long TD catch and run, and with the convert the Warriors were on top again by a score of 28-24. #18 Koal Erixon scored next for the Cougars to put them back on top 32-28. The Warriors closed out the first half with a TD run by #14 Yari Kotleko to make the halftime score 34-32 Warriors.
The second half was all Clavet, with their physical play and deteriorating field conditions. Clavet scored 2 majors in the 3rd quarter, and with the converts, pushed their lead to 48-34. The Warriors offense struggled to sustain a drive, and Clavet chewed time off the clock in the 4th quarter. They added one more touchdown and a convert after the Warriors were pinned deep in their own end and punted, only to have the ball returned inside the Warrior 20. That made the score 56-34 for the Cougars, and they held on for the victory and back to back championships.