In their quest to repeat as provincial champions the Clavet Cougars had their best performance of the year so far, defeating the Hague Panthers 74-42 in a 2A-six man provincial semi-final game in Clavet on Saturday, November 3.
The Cougars knew they would have to be at the top of their game in facing a very well-coached and skilled Panthers team.
Hague started strong, marching the ball downfield on their opening possession with a series of runs, culminating in a 40-yard touchdown scamper by Teagan Zacharias.
Clavet tied the game when quarterback Koal Erixon hit receiver Ayden Cimmins with a 20 -yard touchdown pass.
Clavet’s defence then forced a turnover on downs at their own 45 yard line. Erixon broke free for a long run into Hague territory. This set up another touchdown pass to Cummins.
Panthers quarterback Connor Thiessen hit receiver Marc Samson on a long pass, giving Hague possession on Clavet’s 12 yard line. Clavet’s defence came up big by forcing a turnover on downs at the five yard line.
The Cougars’ offence was able to move the ball downfield to the Hague one yard line. As they attempted to power the ball across the goal line the Panthers forced a fumble, which was scooped up by Jarrett Penner, who sprinted 99 yards for a touchdown. Clavet blocked the convert attempt to preserve a narrow 16-14 lead.
The Cougars added to their lead using some creativity by lining up in a center eligible formation, allowing Colby Joyes to catch a screen pass, shake off a Hague tackler, and run 45 yards to paydirt.
Clavet would continue to build on the lead as Erixon ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw two more touchdown passes to Cummins. The defence also forced Hague to take a safety. Kicker Jordan Hangs was perfect on all convert attempts resulting in a 58-14 half-time lead for the host team.
Erixon hit Connor Hathaway on a 38-yard catch and run play early in the third quarter.
Hague responded with a touchdown by Teagan Zacharias.
Erixon hit Hathaway for another long pass and run touchdown.
Teagan Norrish gave the Cougars great field position after an interception return but Hague’s defence came up big, forcing a turnover on downs at their 14 yard line.
The Panthers continued to play hard, scoring three fourth quarter touchdowns. E.J. Friesen hauled in a touchdown pass. Jared Unger scored on a 20 yard run and Chris Dyck scored on a one yard run to make the final score 74-42.
Clavet Head coach Shaun Priel was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“That was a good battle,” said Priel. The kids played well, they were sharp. Everything was on and it looked good”
With the win the Cougars earned a trip up Highway 41 to take on the Wakaw Warriors on Saturday, November 10, with a 1 p.m. start. The Warriors advanced with an exciting 57-56 win over Macklin in the other semi-final game.