The Swift Current Comp. Colts hopes of a home playoff game remain alive after defeating the visiting Estevan Elecs 24-0 on Thursday.
The Colts adapted to the cold, snow, and wind and got a pair of touchdowns from Cole Bablitz as they moved to 3-2 in the Moose Jaw High School Football League with one game remaining in the regular season.
Bablitz rushed 12 times for 110 yards, an average on 9.1 yards per carry.
Tanner Duncan added another touchdown as he rumbled for 158 yards on 28 carries.
The Colts also got two-point scores from Duncan and Dale Buckingham and a pair of singles from kicker Conrad Flatrude.
Overall the Colts used 288 yards of rushing to gain 11 first downs. Estevan managed only 60 yards of total offense and three first downs and also lost three fumbles to the Colts who fumbled two balls back their way. Both teams were penalized on five occassions for 35 yards each.
“We played a pretty solid game on a day when the conditions were horrible. Our guys handled the weather and all that goes with it better than Estevan did,” said head coach Derek Murdoch. “We gained some experience playing in the cold and snow last year in the playoffs and our guys fed off of that. When the weather is bad like that, it's important to try and limit the number of mistakes and turnovers and we were able to do that. Our running game has been pretty solid up to this point and we knew that it would be important to keep pounding the ball on the ground in the bad weather. We were able to chew up some pretty big rushing yards and our defense did a fantastic job of shutting down Estevan’s running game.”
The Colts will round out their regular season when they visit the league-leading Moose Jaw AE Peacock Tornadoes (5-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m. In their only previous meeting the Colts fell 15-1 in week one to the visiting Tornadoes.
“I'd say the biggest thing we learned from our opening game of the season against Peacock is that we can play with them,” said Murdoch. “We have a ton of respect for them, as they do things the right way. They rarely make mistakes and when an opponent makes mistakes, they capitalize. We had a horrible start against them, but once we settled down, we gave them a tough battle. This week we'll need to focus on having a strong start and keeping the emotions of the game in check. They have a very good quarterback who can throw the ball and can beat you by scrambling with it, so our defense will have to play a disciplined game. Offensively, we've come a long way from week one, so we're excited about getting another shot at them. It's obviously a very big game for us, as we can still finish in second place. We need to beat Peacock and get a little help from Central in their game against Vanier in order to host a playoff game, so we're going to be very focused this week.”
The Colts can still host a playoff game if they defeat AE Peacock and Central defeats Vanier in the final game of the regular season.
Murdoch said the goals of his team have evolved as the season has progressed.
“At the beginning of the season, you just never know how your team will compete against the other teams. For us, after playing in Medicine Hat last year, we really had no idea how we'd stack up. We knew going in that we had a great group of Grade 12 veterans who would do a good job of leading our team. After our first game against Peacock, where we gave them such a good game, we started to realize that we have a pretty good football team. We played well against Estevan and got that big win against Central and the guys started to see themselves as contenders in this league. I think we learned a lot from our loss against Vanier. It motivated our guys to step things up and we're really excited about the season coming down to the final week with us having a chance to finish in second place. The guys are not afraid of anyone and that's been the biggest difference for us this year. The goal for us now is to reach the league final and we'll take our chances against anyone in our league.”