Pioneers to host 9-man football semi-final

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Peace River Pioneers defeated the visiting Camrose Trojans 26-12 on Oct. 8 to close out the regular season in high school nine-man football.
As a result, the Pioneers host the Wetaskiwin Sabres in the provincial league semifinal Oct. 22 at 11 a.m.
Peace River finished second in the league with two wins and two losses in the team’s first season in nine-man football.
“The team is very excited to finish second and secure a playoff berth at home where the team is 2-0,” says Mark Owens, co-head coach with Hayden Gust.
Both losses for the Pioneers came on the road.
“This being their second game versus Wetaskiwin for the Pioneers at home, the team is hoping to replicate its success earlier in the season (a 28-0 win on Sept. 17) with another win at home, with an opportunity to play Rocky Mountain House in the inaugural nine-aside provincial championship game,” Owens says.
The game against Camrose was very defensive, the coach says.
“Both teams played well and the game was close, especially in the first half with the score 13-12 for the Pioneers at halftime,” Owens says.
Darren Croker scored the first touchdown for Peace River.
The Pioneers’ offence took a few cracks at scoring the second touchdown before Kadin Crann crossed the goal line.
Joel Brennan scored a game-breaking touchdown in the second half on a punt return return in the second half.
Crann later added another touchdown.
Offensively in the second half, the Pioneers were able to maintain their run game but also began to adjust to the Camrose defence and opening their passing game.
Liam Schlack caught four passes from quarterback Simon Doerksen.
The Pioneers’ defence also went on the attack, blitzing heavily in the second half, which stopped all the offensive momentum Camrose had in the first half, Owens says.
Peace River’s blitz-heavy defence was able to keep Camrose off the scoreboard in the second half.
In the first half, the Pioneers’ offence continued to use its speed and experience to run the ball effectively and keep pace with Camrose’s offence.
Peace River’s defence continued to keep the team in good field position and minimize the Camrose offence in order for the Pioneers to capitalize when the opportunity arose.

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