The YRHS Raider Gridders’ perfect record stayed alive in their fifth game of the season against the Estevan Elecs.
The senior football team’s high-powered offense led to them smashing the Elecs 58-6 in Estevan on Oct. 10.
“The team played very well,” said Raider Gridders head coach Roby Sharpe. “We went into the game with the expectations to get the win and the guys executed. It was a happy bus ride home.”
The Raider Gridders took control of the contest very early on. They walked off the field after the first quarter with a 28-0 lead.
“The guys were ready to play,” said Sharpe. “They came out firing and Estevan just couldn’t stop them. As a coach, you love to see your guys hungry for points. It was awesome to see how badly they wanted to march down the field.”
Thanks to two touchdowns apiece from wide receiver Alex Popoff and running back Zak Kais, the Raider Gridders finished the first half with a 55-0 lead.
“You can’t ask for much more than a 55-0 lead,” said Sharpe. “If you can’t hold onto a lead like that, there’s something wrong with you.”
With the big lead, Yorkton pulled their stars in the second half, putting in a handful of their depth players to finish the game.
“We’ve done that a lot this year,” said Sharpe on not playing his star players in the second half. “It’s nice to give them a rest and we don’t want to run up the score too much. But at the same time we have to keep them in there long enough to ensure the win.”
Following Estevan scoring a touchdown and Yorkton grabbing two points on an end zone sack in the third quarter, no points were scored in the final frame to end the game.
Kais stole the show for the Raider Gridders on the offensive side of the ball. He ran for 189 yards on just five rushes, averaging 37.8 yards a rush.
“He had an incredible game,” said Sharpe. “At one time there was a huge scrum and he somehow weaved his way out of the pile and ran for a 68-yard touchdown. It’s like he was oiled up because he slipped out of players hands and he bounced off guys like Pinball Clemons.”
David Balysky had another strong game behind centre, running for 59 yards and connecting 13 of 20 passes for 236 yards.
The Raider Gridders defence held the Elecs to 114 yards on the ground and 160 yards in the air. They also forced five turnovers, including three interceptions.
“The defence did a great job,” said Sharpe. “They made some key turnovers and didn’t let Estevan get in rhythm. I was really proud of their efforts.”
The Raider Gridders battled the 3A 12-man league’s other undefeated team, Moose Jaw Peacock, on the road on Oct. 15. The stats weren’t available for press time. Besides determining which team would finish on top of the Moose Jaw High School Football League standings, it also dictated whether the Raider Gridders would get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. A loss would mean they play at home on Century Field on Oct. 19 against the league’s sixth place team. A win means they won’t play their first post-season game until Oct. 26. in the semi-finals.