From the outhouse to the penthouse in just three years, the Steinbach Sabres won the Canad Inns Bowl on Thursday night as the Winnipeg High School Football League’s Currie A division champions.
Running back Nathan Hildebrand scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown to lead Steinbach to a 31-6 victory over the Neelin Spartans of Brandon at Canad Inns Stadium.
It is just the third season in the WHSFL for the Sabres which moved down a division this season after posting a 0-13 record in their first two years in the Vidruk AA division.
In the earlier game, the Oak Park Raiders put up a 30-15 victory over the Vincent Massey (Winnipeg) Trojans to win the Home Run Sports Bowl for the WHSFL's junior varsity division championship at Canad Inns Stadium.
When the two teams met during the regular season, the Raiders had a 17-0 halftime lead but the Trojans stormed back and won the game 27-20.
"We let that game go before against them and we knew that shouldn’t have happened. We knew we’d come back and fight for this," said Oak Park quarterback Ethan Diakow. "It means a lot to win this. We said something at the start of the year and it was to get to Week 12 and we accomplished that."
The WHSFL will have the distinction of playing the last football games ever at Canad Inns Stadium as there will be two more WHSFL championship games on Friday night.
At 5 p.m. in the Free Press Bowl (Vidruk AA division), the defending champion Grant Park Pirates will take on the Kelvin Clippers followed at 7:30 p.m. by the ANAVETS Bowl (Potter AAA division) featuring the defending champion St. Paul’s Crusaders and the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes. The Buckeyes lost in last year’s Free Press Bowl to Grant Park but moved up to the AAA division this season.