The senior Redmen travelled to Lumsden Oct. 6 to meet the Devils, but faced firm opposition. Lumsden emerged with a 67-0 victory.
After the loss, assistant coach Brent Mason said everything that could go wrong did. Without downplaying the skill of the Lumsden team, Mason said the Redmen suffered from turnovers, a shortage of starting players and a mismatch in size.
With the score 61-0 at half-time, Lumsden’s coaches opted not to play their starters in the second half and, for the most part, put their rookies in the game instead.
Maple Creek committed seven turnovers. There were four interceptions, two turnovers from a lack of downs and one fumble.
On the other hand, penalties weren’t a problem for the Redmen; the team only received four of them for a total of 15 yards.
During Maple Creek’s last game, the Redmen were issued a questionable penalty.
After the match, assistant coach Tyson Krause sought clarification about the rules and has since received an answer.
The penalty in question came Sept. 22 during a game against the Indian Head Broncs. Following a touchdown in the third quarter that saw the Broncs go ahead 27-20, Indian Head kicked off. The ball landed in bounds, but close to the sideline, Krause explained. Maple Creek was penalized because the player who picked up the ball had a foot on the sideline. This lead to a surprising call by the referee – Maple Creek lost possession, an unheard of consequence in such a situation.
The Broncs were given the ball on the Redmen’s 10-yard line and scored two plays later to go ahead by 14 points. The score was then 34-20.
According to Krause, this sequence of events caused a significant momentum shift from which the team never recovered. Maple Creek didn’t score again. The final score was 54-20.
Krause didn’t file an official complaint, but spoke with a referee who wasn’t associated with the game in Indian Head to see what that official would’ve done in a similar situation. The referee conferred with three of his colleagues. None of the four refs would have given possession to the other team.
For Krause, one positive element of the momentum shift was that it gave the team a learning opportunity on how to face adversity and how to win in spite of challenges.
The Redmen have one game remaining. It will be played against the Fort Qu’Appelle Bisons, but the outcome won’t have any bearing on the post-season. Neither team will qualify for playoffs this year.
Mason said the Redmen anticipate a more evenly-matched opponent in the Bisons compared to the Lumsden Devils. To prepare for the contest against Fort Qu’Appelle, the Redmen held practices Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 with another scheduled for Oct. 12.
Krause said both teams will be hungry for a win and he added it would be nice to end the 2017 season with a victory.
Note: The game against the Bisons was held in Maple Creek Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. To read about it, please see the Oct. 19 edition of the newspaper.