In their season opener, Yorkton took on the Regina Gaitors at Yorkton’s Century Field on Sunday, August 18. Gaitors went first on the scoreboard as the Gridder offense mishandled the ball allowing the Gaitor defense to run the ball for a touchdown. Gridders answered back shortly with Josh Haczkewicz taking the ball for a 55 yard touchdown run on a double reverse. Josh Herman on the convert gave the Gridders a 7-6 lead.
Gridder defense dug in to give Yorkton great field position for another Haczkewicz touchdown and Garrett Ellis convert extending the Gridder’s lead to 14-7. QB Conner Watrych took another one in along with Johntee Ostapowich for the convert before the first half ended. 21-6 Gridders.
Second half opened with a Carter Pawliw touchdown to make the score 27-6. Gridder defense was applying pressure to Regina all day long, but on a second-and-long play, the Gaitors were able to slip through for a touchdown, but Ewre stopped on the convert. Defense came up big when Spencer Welke forced a fumble and Tyler Harasymuk scooped and ran the ball to the Gaitor 20 yard line. This set the Gridder offense up for a touchdown by Brady Bjornerud who used his elusive speed up the sideline to make the final score 33-12. Defensive coach Ryan Effa was very proud of his players and their “dominating presence”.
Regina Gaitors are coached by former Rider O-lineman, Gene Makowsky.
The Yorkton Gridders travelled to Regina for the second game of the season against the Regina Eskimos at Liebel Field on Saturday, August 24. The entire game was a defensive battle amid blistering temperatures on the artificial turf. The first quarter, neither defense gave up much ground, but toward the end, the Gridder offense started rolling and hit paydirt with Carter Pawliw’s 20-yard run for a touchdown. Brady Bjornerud went off the right side and rumbled his way in for a convert for a 7-0 score which lasted all the way to the second half.
At the beginning of the second half the offense opened up with some razzle dazzle to send Haczkewicz down the side lines on a 75-yard double reverse run. Josh Herman followed up with the convert. 14-0 Yorkton Gridders.
The Regina Eskimos answered back quickly with their quarterback who evaded the Gridder passrush scrambling all the way down to Yorkton’s four-yard line. They were then able to punch into the end zone with a run up the middle. The Gridders stopped the convert holding the score at 14-6.
Dasek Sobkow had an outstanding day for the Gridder defense with three quarterback sacks and several tackles for major Regina losses. The play of the day came from Gridder middle linebacker Brad Heskin as the Eskimos faced third and one at midfield. Heskin busted through the Eskimos’ O-line destroying their runningback for a loss of a yard on the play. This play secured the win for the Yorkton Atom Gridders.
Spencer Welke and Tyler Harasymuk also contributed to the tough defense as they caused havoc for the Regina offense. Final score, 14-6.
Head coach Jason Boyda is “very proud of these young Gridders and of how they played a complete game both mentally and physically. The players gave their all from the opening play right to the last seconds of the game.”
Next week, the Yorkton Atom Gridders are at home at Century Field as they host the Regina Alouettes at 10 am.
Yorkton PeeWee Gridders play the Regina Argos at 11:45 and the Yorkton Junior Raiders play in the afternoon.
This is the third season for the Yorkton Atom Gridders whose players are aged 9 to 11 by October 31 of the season year.