IN their first game at Canad Inns Stadium the Steinbach Sabres made themselves right at home.
The Sabres shut out the Fort Frances Muskies of Ontario 30-0 in their Winnipeg High School Football League quarter-final game in the Currie A division on Friday night. It is the first playoff win for the Steinbach team.
"The Sabres have never played here before. I've played here before for provincial team, but most of the guys haven't," said Sabres' running back Mac Ginter-Boyce. "A couple guys looked up and went 'oh, wow, this is a big stadium.' But we all realized pretty quick that the field is the same size, everything's the same, it's just a big, empty stadium, that's all. We just kept that in our heads. It's a nice field, to play on, beautiful, but we just made sure we focused on winning this game."
Steinbach head coach Jamie Peters said it is his team's first trip to the playoffs in three WHSFL seasons. The Sabres spent the first two seasons in the Vidruk AA division but moved down to the A division this year.
"It's so great for our program. We've had a really competitive season, we clinched first place in the division and now we've got our first playoff win," said Peters, whose team's only loss in its 7-1 regular season was to Sisler A.
In Potter AAA action, the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes defeated last year's ANAVETS Bowl finalist Oak Park Raiders 22-13 at the University of Manitoba turf field in what many feel is the biggest upset of the playoffs. Miles Mac was one of three of the bottom four teams in the Potter Division to win their playoff games, as Dakota and Murdoch also won.
"It's just surreal right now, Oak Park was the No. 2 team in Manitoba and for us to win this, it means a lot," said Buckeyes offensive/defensive lineman Josh Castillo-Toledo.
The Buckeyes were trailing 13-6 in the third quarter when quarterback Jayden McKoy connected on a 55-yard touchdown strike to Devon Jordan-Patenaude followed by a two-point conversion to take the lead. In the fourth quarter Houston Rennie's two-yard receiving touchdown and another two-point convert clinched the win.
"Our offence played very well but it's what we did defensively, our defence played unbelievably to shut down Oak Park's running game," said Mile Mac head coach Dan Washnuk. "I'm absolutely floored right now. I'm so proud of the what our players have done..."