Spartans run wild over Unity

Spartans running back Ronnie Goretzki gets taken down by a Unity player during the team's 65-13 win Oct. 14 at Lions Park. Goretzki scored three times for the Spartans, who will host Kindersley Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.

Team will face Kindersley in first round of playoffs

By Mac Christie

Coming off an unexpected loss to North Battleford, the Spartans football team were looking to bounce back against the Unity Warriors Oct. 14 at Lions Park, winning 65-13.

The team wasted no time setting the tone for the game, going up 14-0 in the first quarter on rushing touchdowns by running back Scott McKay.

McKay was playing his first game after missing the past three weeks with a separated shoulder, scored four majors in the game.

Coach Craig Paylor said it was important to get McKay back.

“With him back, defences can’t key on our one dimension,” he said, referring to running back Ronnie Goretzki. “With (McKay) we have two threats on offence. That’s what makes our offence work.”

The tandem was certainly working on Friday.

Although Unity struck back with just over a minute left in the quarter to make it 14-6, Goretzki scored on a run to make it 28-6, before linebacker Luke Heaver returned an interception for a touchdown with under a minute left in the half.

McKay returned the opening kickoff in the second half for a touchdown, but an illegal block called the play back. However, the penalty didn’t come back to haunt the Spartans, as Goretzki punched it in for his second score of the game to make it 28-6.

Touchdowns by McKay on the ground and Goretzki on a reception from backup quarterback Chase Paylor, starting in place of Morgan Esau, still out with a broken hand, put the Spartans firmly in the lead 41-6.

Carpenter running back Scott McKay tries to elude a Warriors defender during first half action Oct. 15. McKay returned after missing three weeks due to a separated shoulder to pace the Spartans offence with four touchdowns.

Carpenter would add a kick and another touchdown, while Unity scored once more to make it 51-13, but that’s all the Warriors would manage. The Spartans tacked on two more touchdowns to make the final score 65-13.

Goretzki said the team came out strongly after a poor performance against North Battleford.

“We played how we should play every game,” he said.

Paylor added the team had a good week of practice, noting having players back from injury was important.

“It was good to have all of our injuries back so we could have a starting rotation and get crisp on offence,” he said.

Although Paylor admitted the team relied on the run more heavily than usual due to the absence of starting quarterback Esau, he added the team is usually a run-first offence.

The 5-2 Spartans expect to have Esau back this week when will face the Kindersley Kobras in their first playoff game.

Even though they won 46-22 the last time the teams met, McKay said Carpenter can’t take the Kobras for granted.

“We beat them, but that was at the beginning of the season,” he said. “I’m pretty sure they’regoing to be a lot better team now.”

The game is Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lions Park.

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