Wounded Spartans lose to North Battleford

By Mac Christie

An injury-riddled Carpenter High School football team dropped a 24-14 decision to the previously winless John Paul II Crusaders in North Battleford Oct. 6.

The Spartans were without the services of starting quarterback Morgan Esau, out with a broken hand, starting cornerback Brandon Dancy, with broken fingers and linebacker Craig Slater and running back Scott McKay, both nursing separated shoulders.

But defensive line coach Derek Eftoda said while the injuries are a factor, they’re not an excuse for the loss.

“I’d like to blame it on the refs, I’d like to blame it on this or that,” Eftoda said, “but really they outplayed us in the second half, that’s what it was.”

The Spartans were leading 14-0 at halftime following touchdowns by Ronnie Goretzki and Blaik Esau, before the Crusaders stormed back in the second-half with 24 unanswered points.

“They came out very strong and I think caught us off-guard,” noted Eftoda. “We obviously weren’t expecting a loss to the last-place team in our division.

“I guess we didn’t take them serious enough.”

Going into the game, Meadow Lake was ranked second in their division and eighth in the province with a 4-1 record. Meanwhile the Crusaders, a new team this season, had never won a game in their existence.

When the teams last met on Sept. 27, the Spartans handed them a 56-7 defeat.

While Eftoda said it was a tough loss, it was nice to see how much the North Battleford team was thrilled with its first victory.

“It’s unfortunate they got it against us, but it was nice to see them enjoying it as much as they did,” he said.

The Spartans have clinched a playoff berth, and the team expects their injured players to be back in two weeks, enough time to field a full squad for playoffs.

The next Spartans game is on Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. at Lions Park against Unity.

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