Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mustangs spread the wealth

St. Vital backfield plays big in title game

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There's nothing like spreading the work around, especially when you've got a backfield full of talent and receivers eager to get their hands on the football.

Under the guidance of quarterback Lucas Johnston, running backs Drake Lesperance, Brandon Sitch and Matthew Gunhouse, slotback Kai Madsen and receiver Kurt Hanel, the St. Vital Mustangs Minor Bantams proved that point Sunday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

Throw in a defence that stopped North Winnipeg star running back Brady Oliveira on third-and-goal to end the second half, leaving the Mustangs with a 20-17 lead, and you've got the makings of a champion.

When the final gun sounded, the Mustangs handed the Nomads a 54-25 beating to cap off their division's provincial title, which was part of Football Manitoba's Championship Weekend.

"What I like about our team," said Mustangs head coach Brett Lesperance, "is there are about five players on our offence who on any given day can score for us. Kai Madsen got two touchdowns today (84 and 15 yards) on passes from Lesperance, Gunhouse had a couple (12 and 60 yards), and Drake had some good runs (touchdowns of one and three yards). We have a lot of different weapons and I think that helps us. In this game you saw those, but you could have seen others in any other game."

Kurt Hanel also scored a major on a 15-yard pass from Johnston.

Oliveira had two touchdowns for the Nomads, one on a 31-yard run, the other from close in, and quarterback Kelson Borisenko scored the other from three yards out.

"I knew we could win," said the younger Lesperance. "We came out and worked harder than them, and it showed on the field."

SDLqWe just kind of knew it wasn't going to be an easy game," added Gunhouse. "We had the lead at the half, and we just kept going and going from there. We just didn't stop."

Brett Lesperance said the goal-line stand at the end of the first half was pivotal. "For sure. Any kind of goal-line stand, especially when you can go into half-time. If they score it is a big motivation for their team. If they don't it's a big motivator for us."

On Saturday, the Parkwest Outlaws beat the Neepawa Tigers 28-20 in the Rural 9-Man Challenge final, North Winnipeg won the Midget title stopping the Mustangs 33-25 and the Transcona Nationals scored a 23-10 Major Football League championship victory over North Winnipeg.

In other Sunday action the East Side Eagles edged the Transcona Nationals 56-50 in the Atom (Manitoba Division) championship final, the Charleswood Broncos won the Atom (Canada Division) title with a 42-12 win over Eastman Raiders and St. Vital took the Peewee final 28-24, over the Crescentwood Grizzlies.

In the final game Sunday, St. Vital Mustangs the East Side Eagles 35-9 to claim the Bantam crown.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2010 C2

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