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Powerful Raiders wary of Buckeyes

Miles Mac's McKoy key factor in playoff quarter-final

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The Buckeyes have the real McKoy.

That would be Jayden McKoy, starting quarterback and starting safety for Miles Macdonell, who led the league in scoring with 90 points on 15 touchdowns and now leads his team into the Winnipeg High School Football League quarter-finals.

 

The Grade 12 player, who has a 94 per cent academic average in Miles Mac's French immersion program, will lead the Buckeyes (3-4) into their playoff battle Friday against the powerhouse Oak Park Raiders (5-2).

"He's all over the field, he's our starting quarterback, starting safety, one of our starting returners, he's been absolutely instrumental to many of our successes and has developed into great leader for our team," said third-year Buckeyes head coach Dan Washnuk.

McKoy was in the WHSFL's top five in rushing (611 yards) and passing (543 yards).

"He is a threat every time he touches the ball. He may be the best player in the entire league," said 10th-year Oak Park head coach Stu Nixon. "I feel (the Buckeyes) are really good, they darn near beat us the last time. They have some really big weapons and if you let your guard down for an instant, they'll sting you."

McKoy, in his second season with the Buckeyes after playing in the St. Vital Mustangs community system, praised his teammates for consistent play.

"All year our team has played really solid offensively, we have really good receivers and running backs, and defensively we've been able to force a lot of pressure on other quarterbacks," McKoy said.

The Buckeyes, who have just 33 players on the team compared to 42 last year, got a breakout performance in last Friday's regular-season game from Houston Rennie, a running back/defensive back/kick returner.

Rennie had four solo tackles, one interception return for a touchdown, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, a safety and set a WHSFL record with six sacks in the game.

"We lost to Oak Park by only eight points and we know we need to stop their run," said Washnuk, whose team has also been led by third-year, two-way starter Josh Castillo Toledo who plays on the offensive and defensive lines as well as most special teams. "Unless Churchill pulls off a massive upset (of St. Paul's), we know our road to the championship leads through Oak Park and then St. Paul's."

Oak Park's offensive backfield includes the league's top two running backs in Brady Oliviera, a dominant player despite being just Grade 10 who recorded 634 yards rushing, and Xavier Prime, who moved into the Charleswood area this year and recorded 799 yards rushing after playing last season for the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

The Buckeyes advanced to the league's toughest division, the Potter AAA Division, this year after playing the past few years in the Vidruk AA Division. Miles Mac lost in the 2011 AA final to the Grant Park Pirates. The Sisler Spartans are the defending Currie A Division champions.

This season, Grant Park and the St. Paul's AAA Crusaders were the only WHSFL teams to go undefeated. The Crusaders rolled undefeated last year right to the ANAVETS Bowl championship beating Oak Park. Oak Park and St. Paul's have dominated the ANAVETS Bowl AAA championship for over a decade. Between them, the two schools have won 11 of the last 13 titles in the top division.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPAshleyPrest

Schedule

 

Winnipeg High School Football League

quarter-finals

 

TODAY

East Side Field

Beaver Brae vs. Elmwood, 5 p.m.

Kildonan East vs. Vincent Massey-Brandon, 7:15 p.m.

 

St. Paul's Field

Churchill vs. Paul's AAA, 5 p.m.

 

Canad Inns Stadium

St. Paul's vs. River East, 3 p.m.

DMCI vs. Neelin, 5:15 p.m.

Maples vs. Grant Park, 7:30 p.m.

 

FRIDAY

East Side Field

West Kildonan vs. Kelvin, 5 p.m.

Dakota vs. Vincent Massey-Winnipeg, 7:15 p.m.

 

Eric Coy

Miles Macdonell vs. Oak Park, 5 p.m.

 

Canad Inns Stadium

Fort Frances vs. Steinbach, 3 p.m.

Dryden vs. Sisler A, 5:15 p.m.

Murdoch MacKay vs. Sisler AAA, 7:30 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 25, 2012 C6

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