The Yorkton Regional High School Raider Gridders has made history this year.
This weekend, the Raiders captured the first Provincial title since 1994, with a 30-23 win against the Saskatoon Bishop James Mahoney Saints. With this, Yorkton took the 5A 12-Man High School Provincial title.
“The guys really came through,” said Assistant Coach Jason Boyda.
After the first half, the two teams were closely matched, with the Raiders having a slight 8-7 lead. The second half is where the game got hot. The Saints found the end zone first, with a touch down and a field goal in the third quarter and another touchdown in the fourth, putting the Raiders in a difficult spot.
“We were down by 15 points in the fourth quarter with four minutes left, but I gotta tell you, there was a calming presence with the boys. They made the plays when the plays were needed,” said Boyda.
In those final four minutes, the Raiders managed to tie the game with two touchdowns. It took overtime to decide the game.
Garret Ellis from Yorkton was the rushing champion in the second half, with 128 yards, and 168 total for the game. He also scored three touchdowns for Yorkton, including the one that tied the game at the end of the fourth quarter and the one that won the game in overtime. Quarterback Connor Watrych was the other Raider to find the end zone, getting the first of the touchdowns that started the late-game drive that put the Raiders on top. Much like the league final last week, Val Declines was also a rushing force, with a total of 145 yards gained. Rushing was the name of the game for Yorkton, with a total 392 yards. The Bishop James Mahoney team, by contrast, had a total of 169 yards rushing.
Watrych passed for a total of 83 yards over the game, and had a pass completion rate of 75 per cent. Jaxon Boyda caught the majority of those catches, receiving a total of six catches for 69 yards. The opposition was more reliant on passing yards, with the Saints gaining 145 yards in passing.