If the Estevan Lions Club Steelers can take anything out of Saturday's season-opening defeat to the Regina Mounties, it's that their defence showed a lot of promise.
The bantam football club lost 30-6 in their first game of the Regina Minor Football regular season.
The Steelers' lone touchdown came on a blocked punt in the first half that was returned to the end zone. The punt came in a third-and-long situation after a sack.
Steelers head coach Phil Zajac said his team was burned on three long scoring plays, but other than that felt that the teams were, at worst, on even footing.
"We had one broken coverage on a pass where they scored a long touchdown, plus two long running plays.
"Other than that, we simply shut them down. They didn't run the ball against us. They didn't outplay us. Other than those three plays, the defence basically dominated that game."
The Steelers' defence accounted for two interceptions and several sacks.
"Their quarterback was literally running for his life most of the game, and that's what I wanted. The quarterback is young, and when they're under that much pressure, they're either sacked or they throw the ball away."
The team's offence had its opportunities, too.
The Steelers fumbled and lost the ball on the Mounties' two-yard line just before halftime, and in the second half they were picked off on the seven-yard line shortly after an interception of their own.
"It would've been a whole different game," Zajac said.
Regina led 16-6 at the half. Their last touchdown came with 11 seconds left in the game.
Zajac said running back Levi Pick had a strong outing in particular.
"We marched the ball up and down the field in the first half, but we ran out of gas in the second.
"At halftime, their coach was trying to get them revved up because we were kicking their butt. I don't think the score reflects the performance."
The Steelers' home opener is on Sunday as the final game in a tripleheader for Penta Completions Estevan Minor Football. Kick-off time is 3 p.m.