The Estevan Century 21 under-12 Chargers football team has continued to roll now that the playoffs have started.
The Chargers trounced the Assiniboia Rockets 71-6 Saturday afternoon in a Moose Jaw Minor Football League quarter-final game. It was the most points scored by any team in the 12-year history of Penta Completions Estevan Minor Football.
Including the regular season, the Chargers are on a four-game winning streak. The last three victories have been against the Rockets, and all four of the wins have been largely played using straight time due to the lead the Chargers have built.
Estevan led 32-0 after the first quarter and 51-0 at half-time Saturday.
Coach Matt Schell noted several highlights. The defence forced six turnovers. Payton Klyne contacted the quarterback 14 times and forced four fumbles, two of which were recovered by the Chargers.
“They were smothering,” said Schell. “They didn’t let Assiniboia get anything going. They got one touchdown off of a fluke play. The kids took one play off, and of course, they got it taken to them a little bit.”
Assiniboia’s lone score came late in the fourth quarter.
“That defence was just awesome. They played smart and they played tough and they didn’t stop. They set our offence up five or six times with a short field, and with the weapons that we have on offence, you give us 25 yards to score – we can score from anywhere on the field – so when you give us 25 yards, it’s usually one or two plays and it’s in the end zone.”
Halen Lesy had his first touchdown of the season on what Schell called a nice reception.
“He’s been working hard to get one all season, and we were able to get him into the end zone,” said Schell.
The offensive catalysts of Cooper Pukas, Peyton Tendler and Truman Ciepliski also had strong games, Schell said.
The Chargers had three touchdown passes, which Schell believes was impressive considering the blustery conditions in Estevan that day, and the absence of two of their better offensive linemen due to the Thanksgiving long weekend.
“We were able to get kids some more playing time, and they showed they want to be out there and play,” Schell said.
Estevan will play the top team in the regular season, the Moose Jaw Spartans, next Saturday in the semifinal round. Schell noted that strong defence and a running game travel well, and the Chargers have both.
He’s not concerned that the Chargers might have developed some bad habits after four lopsided victories.
“I try to make sure my guys are very aware of not being complacent and to not let up. These kids have been getting their butts kicked for most of their careers up until this year. This is nice, and I want the kids to enjoy the wins when they can.”