Pioneers blank Sabres

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Peace River Pioneers put in a strong performance in their first nine-man high school football game at home.
Peace River blanked the Wetaskiwin Sabres 28-0 on Sept. 17.
Co-head coaches Mark Owens and Hayden Gust gave top marks to their team.
“We were extremely happy with the strong first win,” Owens says.
“It was raining and soggy, but the field at Glenmary was still in great condition as we have not had many games on it yet.”
The Pioneers got on the board early with a solid running game as Joel Brennan ran for a 50-yard touchdown.
“With the wet conditions, it made it hard to pass, so we relied a lot on our running game,” Owens says.
“Our young offensive line has been working hard to improve the running games in the past weeks.”
The Pioneers increased their lead when Darren Croker ran in for a touchdown as Peace River went on top 14-0 at halftime.
Peace River added two touchdowns in the final quarter by Liam Schlack and Croker.
Pioneers’ kicker Kadin Crann booted all four extra points after the touchdowns.
“Our offence has greatly improved from the first game with new quarterback Simon Doerksen,” Owens says.
“He is settling down and we have increased our playbook to help become more well-rounded in passing and running.”
Coaches were also impressed with the defence.
“Our defence played extremely well all game,” Owens says.
“We have great leadership all around in the backfield.”
He noted the play of Grade 12 linebackers Georden Still, Joel Brennan and Crann.
Coaches also mentioned halfback Jacey Boucher and corner Kaley Boucher, who played on the U-18 Team Alberta female football team that won the 2022 national championship.
Grade 10 defensive linemen Kaleb Garnett and Peter Klassen are becoming a force in the middle while Croker and Schlack are strong Grade 12 players. Schlack has recorded two interceptions in the Pioneers’ first two games to aid the defence.
After visiting the Ponoka Broncs on Sept. 23, the Pioneers close out the season Oct. 8 when they host the Camrose Trojans at noon.

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