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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Crusaders beat Gophers 32-0 in AA football championship

Posted: 11/8/2013 7:06 PM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 11/8/2013 8:58 PM | Updates

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  • Heath Chalmers of the St.Paul's Crusaders runs through several Garden City Gophers during the second half of the Free Press Bowl Championship.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Heath Chalmers of the St.Paul's Crusaders runs through several Garden City Gophers during the second half of the Free Press Bowl Championship.

  • Garden City Gophers quarterback Justin Casper is chased by St.Paul's Crusaders Bradley Buckle during the second half.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Garden City Gophers quarterback Justin Casper is chased by St.Paul's Crusaders Bradley Buckle during the second half.

  • A member of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team crushes Garden City Gophers quarterback Justin Kasper causing him to fumble.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    A member of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team crushes Garden City Gophers quarterback Justin Kasper causing him to fumble.

  • A member of the Garden City Gophers AA football team looks on from the bench during a 32-0 defeat at the hands of the St.Pauls Crusaders.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    A member of the Garden City Gophers AA football team looks on from the bench during a 32-0 defeat at the hands of the St.Pauls Crusaders.

  • The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

  • Heath Chalmers of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates after the team defeated the Garden City Gophers.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Heath Chalmers of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates after the team defeated the Garden City Gophers.

  • Adam Leckie of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Adam Leckie of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory.

  • Garden City Gophers Nathan Collings and Keenan Koswin stand dejected after losing to the St.Paul's Crusaders.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Garden City Gophers Nathan Collings and Keenan Koswin stand dejected after losing to the St.Paul's Crusaders.

  • The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

  • The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

  • Calvin Diaz (left), head coach Peter Pura (centre) and Trevor Wright of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrate their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    Calvin Diaz (left), head coach Peter Pura (centre) and Trevor Wright of the St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrate their Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers.

  • The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team pose for a team photo after winning the Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers by a score of 32-0 at Investors Group Field.

    Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press

    The St.Paul's Crusaders AA football team pose for a team photo after winning the Free Press Bowl Championship victory over the Garden City Fighting Gophers by a score of 32-0 at Investors Group Field.

Heath Chalmers of the St. Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates after his team defeated the Garden City Gophers in the Free Press Bowl Championship game at Investors Group Field Friday.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Heath Chalmers of the St. Paul's Crusaders AA football team celebrates after his team defeated the Garden City Gophers in the Free Press Bowl Championship game at Investors Group Field Friday. Photo Store

Even swirling snow couldn’t chill the St. Paul’s Crusaders AA team on Friday night, as they rolled over the Garden City Fighting Gophers 32-0 en route to winning the Winnipeg High School Football League’s Free Press Bowl.

It marked the first time the Crusaders’ second squad has won the Kas Vidruk division championship since 2009. The Gophers and the Crusaders didn’t meet during the regular season — both teams were 6-2 heading into the playoffs — but when they finally did on Friday the Gophers weren’t able to put up much of a fight. The Crusaders took control of the game early, and took advantage of a slick ball and a smart game plan to keep the Gophers holed up.

When kickoff came on Friday night, the St. Paul’s team took control early, and never looked back: They opened the scoring in the first quarter, when pivot Tommy Semchyshyn found Cole Zadro for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

They got their second score off an unusual play in the second frame, when kicker Matias Bueno (named offensive player of the game) recovered his own missed field goal in the Gophers’ end zone for the score. After the half, the Crusaders continued to pull away, as running back Trevor Wright, who won the game’s most outstanding player honour, busted out a huge 73-yard touchdown scamper.

In the final frame, the Crusaders would add one last major, with a five-yard hustle from running back Heath Chalmers.

The WHSFL championship week wraps up on Friday night, when the St. Paul’s AAA squad will look to defend their championship against the Murdoch McKay Clansmen in the John Potter division final, which was slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at IGF.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Friday, November 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM CST: added photo

8:58 PM: Adds slide show.

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