Spartans win filled with turnovers

Receiver Kohl Eide manages to gain a few yards before a desperate Royals player makes a lunge to grab his foot and take him down during a game at Lions Park, Sept. 30.

By Ben Ingram

With a 4-1 record in their pocket after a win at home against Martensville, the biggest threat the Meadow Lake Spartans might be facing is their own self-confidence.

Last Friday’s game saw the team achieve a 31-14 victory over the Royals, in spite of several turnovers.

One in particular drew the ire of the coaching staff. The team was in place five yards to the endzone on a first down when the fumbled the ball, turning it over to the Royals who then converted a touchdown and field goal.

“All the kids need to freaking hear this. It’s ball security, I preach about ball security and winning the battles in terms of that,” coach Craig Paylor said after the game. “You can’t take points off the board.”

While Paylor was pleased with the result of the game, he said he felt the team dodged a bit of a bullet with the victory.

Last week’s practice reminded him of the lead up to the game against Delisle where the Spartans were completely crushed by a clockwork offence.

“We got too complacent and to me their execution was really off,” he said, adding that the second-half was better for the offence.

The Spartans are still reeling from the loss of 17-year-old running back Scott McKay, who went down with a shoulder injury in the game against Delisle. With McKay gone, the team has been leaning hard on Ronnie Goretzki to get them through.

McKay was dressed for Friday’s game against Martensville but is still not 100 per cent. The coach said he intends to have him play by the last game of the season, two weeks from now, at home.

“He could probably play right now but I’m going to wait,” Paylor said. “We’re going to need him in the playoff run.”

Offensive coordinator Jeremy Sundeen said the greater emphasis on the shotgun has helped the team free up space for the runners. Despite the frequent fumbles in last week’s game, he said he was pleased with the team’s pass completion.

“We ran shotgun most of that game, quarterbacks get a lot more time, allowed the offensive line to form a better pocket,” he explained.

The team plays away in North Battleford next week and hosts Unity the week after that.


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