A mostly disappointing season for the Estevan Lions Club Steelers ended on the right note Sunday as the team won its bowl game to finish the year.
The bantam Steelers were involved in a unique setup where they played one half each against the Weyburn Falcons and the Regina Lakers. By winning both, they finished in first place in the round-robin format and were crowned the Regina Rams Coaches Mini Bowl champions.
The Steelers began the proceedings by picking up their second lopsided win over Weyburn this year, by a score of 40-0.
"We just dominated both sides of the ball. Mitchel (Clark) had a huge interception to shut down one of their drives. The defence played fantastic, offence played fantastic. We scored every time we had the ball except once," said Steelers head coach Phil Zajac.
Next, the Steelers got a late touchdown to vault over the Regina Lakers 30-22.
Zajac described the half as "phenomenal to watch."
The Steelers led 14-8 after the first quarter.
Estevan scored early in the second quarter to take a 22-8 lead, but the Lakers responded with two straight majors to tie the game with about two and a half minutes left.
With just under two minutes left, the Steelers were at the Regina 40-yard line on third-and-10. They called a timeout and the players wanted to run a passing play rather than punt the ball away.
The result was not only a third down conversion, but a touchdown pass to Wyatt Haux to put the Steelers on top.
Riley Meshke sealed the win with an interception on third down for the Lakers with about 50 seconds left.
Running back Levi Pick was, as usual, a standout for the Steelers, with Zajac estimating that he ran for more than 600 yards on the day, and that was with him sitting out the second quarter against Weyburn.
Defensive and special teams player Evan Stabenow had two touchdowns on the day and, Zajac argued, should have had a third.
The first was on an interception returned to the end zone and the second came on a punt return.
Another time, on a play the Steelers had worked on in practice, Stabenow timed the jump perfectly and stole a handoff right out of the quarterback's hands, running it back to the end zone.
Zajac said Stabenow was called offside on the play, as the officials didn't believe he could have gotten to the backfield that quickly.
The Steelers will lose 15 players to graduation.
Meanwhile, the Estevan Century 21 Chargers played in a similar format for the MegaBouncers.ca Mini Bowl.
The peewee squad split their two halves against the Grenfell Argos and the Regina Huskies, posting a 1-1 record in the round-robin format.