They wanted a shot at revenge and the Kelvin Clippers have earned the chance to go after some.
The Clippers won a berth in the Winnipeg High School Football League's Vidruk AA division championship final, the Free Press Bowl, by crushing the River East Kodiaks 42-3 on Thursday night at East Side Field.
Kelvin will now face the defending champion Grant Park Pirates in the Free Press Bowl on Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium.
The Pirates defeated the Vincent Massey Vikings (Brandon) 37-7 in the other Vidruk semifinal.
You can hardly blame the Clippers, who finished the regular season 6-2, with their only losses to the Pirates and Vincent Massey-Brandon. Kelvin lost 14-11 to Vincent Massey in Week 1 and lost 14-0 to Grant Park in Week 7. Both were late-game losses.
"Our coach told us, 'revenge is sweet' and we can't wait to go after those guys," said Clippers Grade 12 quarterback Kristian D'Ignazio. "It doesn't really matter to us who we face, we're in the final. This is what we've all worked so hard for and played for all season. For us seniors, it's awesome to be playing in the final in our last season."
Wednesday night in the Currie A division semifinals, the Steinbach Sabres defeated the Sisler A Spartans 29-6 and the Neelin Spartans edged the Beaver Brae Broncos 8-3. Steinbach and Neelin (Brandon) will meet in the Canad Inns Bowl game Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Canad Inns Stadium.
The Potter AAA division finalists will be decided tonight, also at East Side Field, as the Murdoch MacKay Clansmen will face the defending champion St. Paul's Crusaders at 5 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes taking on the Dakota Lancers.
Thursday, Kelvin took a 21-0 half-time lead on touchdowns by D'Ignazio (one-yard run) and wide receiver Anthony Dyck (86-yard and four-yard TD catches). The Clippers got two third-quarter rushing majors from running backs Liam Haime and Brady Urbanovich for a 35-0 lead. In the fourth quarter Urbanovich scored his second major (two-yard run) for a 42-0 advantage.
River East's Tanner Pescitelli booted a 46-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to save his team from being shut out.
"We were expecting a closer game but it's great for us to be going to the final," said Urbanovich.
Pirates 37 Vikings 7
Grant Park running back Michael Ritchott, the division's regular-season scoring leader, scored three touchdowns, including an 80-yard kickoff return, to give the Pirates a 17-7 halftime lead.
Asked about Kelvin's plans for revenge, Ritchott said the Pirates are not surprised.
"I would expect nothing less. They were the toughest team we played this season" said Ritchott, whose Pirates are undefeated, now at 10-0. "We're going to put in the work all week and see what happens."
Damien Surprenant and Marshall Naylor had the Pirates' other majors.