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Tigers take home RMFL title

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Many of the Swan Valley Regional Secondary School (SVRSS) Tigers Football fans were disappointed when the championship game was cancelled due to the weather, but last week’s game more than made up for it.
“I felt the team was ready for this match,” said SVRSS Tigers Football Coach Justin Petelski. “With the championships being cancelled due to road conditions, it gave us another week to prepare and to heal a few of the nagging injuries. I definitely felt like we were ready.
“Our players love playing on our field, so we definitely had the advantage. We haven’t lost at home since 2017. There were a lot of fans considering how cold it was and that was great to see. There was quite a bit of back and forth in the first quarter. Ball control was an issue and we had a couple of fumbles and slips that led to a Dauphin field goal, which were the only points in the first quarter which was 3-0.”
The Tigers knew they had to ramp it up on the field and came back into motion during the second quarter of the game.
“I reminded the kids about ball control, using both hands to secure it going into traffic,” said Petelski. “They were a little hesitant running on the frozen field at first, but started getting their wheels back in motion in the second quarter. Our defense continued to play great, keeping us in the game until the offense got going.
“We had a timely 90 yard drive in the second quarter resulting in our first touchdown which was scored from a run from Trae Bateman. At that point it was 7-3 for us. We felt like we played better than the score indicated, but a couple of ill timed turnovers stalled a couple of drives. Our defence played great, as they have for us all year.”
Going into the third quarter, the Tigers were ready to claim their territory on the field.
“We knew what they were going to do and we were ready for them, on both sides of the ball,” said Petelski. “We came out in the third quarter and scored pretty early. We added another score before they answered back with their own. We took a few penalties on that drive, which helped them out. We were leading with a score of 19-9 after the third quarter.”
The Tigers knew they were going to have to hold their ground during the last quarter of the game. So far this had been their most challenging game as a team, and they knew they were going to have to keep fighting until the bitter end.
“We were able to add another touchdown in the fourth,” said Petelski. “Then Dauphin answered back with a quick touchdown of their own, making the game 25-17. There were some stressing final moments with Dauphin having possession late, but ultimately the Tigers’ defense came up with the game deciding interception on third down. We walked away as champions with a final score 25-17 and it was bittersweet.”
“We made plays when we needed to and it wasn't our prettiest game, but cold playoff games aren't usually technical. A lot of our Grade 12’s gamed up big in their last game. All season we saw big games from Ethan, Annalisa, Kylan, Chris, Moe and Maryk, just to name a few. I’m very proud of our team, the coaches and everyone involved. It was a long year but we finished it off the way we envisioned.”

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Jeremy Bergen
REPORTER
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