Spartans through to provincial quarter-final

Quarterback Chase Paylor (12) rears back to throw a pass Oct. 22 against the Kindersley Kobras. Paylor, starting in place of the injured Morgan Esau, connected for two passing touchdowns in a 39-8 Spartans win.

Team uses balanced attack to defeat Kindersley

By Mac Christie

The Carpenter School Spartans football team punched their ticket to the provincial quarter-final with a 39-8 win over the Kindersley Kobras Oct. 22 at Lions Park.

The Spartans offence was once again led by the tandem of Ronnie Goretzki and Scott McKay, with Goretzki scoring twice and McKay recording three majors.

Coach Craig Paylor said the team as a whole came prepared to play.

“When you’re playing a playoff game the nerves will sometimes get to you because it’s win or go home,” he noted. “They settled in during the first quarter and both offensively and defensively we played strong.”

The defence started the game with a two-and-out stop on the Kobras’ opening drive, which was followed by McKay scoring on pass from quarterback Chase Paylor to make the score 6-0.

Carpenter missed the extra point due to strong winds, and the Spartans pinned Kindersley deep in their own territory on the ensuing kickoff.

The wind also affected Kindersley, with the team electing to concede a safety, rather than trying to punt the ball away, making the score 8-0.

Coach Paylor said the wind was a factor in the game, and dictated whether the Spartans went for it on third-and-short plays.

“They punted a lot and didn’t gain very much yardage,” he said. “Our offence was able to take the ball and convert a lot of our third down gambles.”

Following the safety, Kindersley recovered an onside kick, and got the ball to the Meadow Lake three-yard line. But that was all they would manage on the drive, after the Carpenter defence held strong at the goal-line on three straight plays, causing a turnover on downs.

The Spartans offence then took to the field and McKay rumbled 70 yards from his own end zone to the Kindersley 30. He then punched the ball in from five yards out to put Carpenter up 15-0.

Paylor said the defensive stop was the turning point of the game for the Spartans.

“At that point it was 6-0,” he noted. “To take that off the board, and then for the offence to respond with a 70 yard run the next play, that’s just a big momentum boost.

“Instead of being down or tied, we’re marching for a 15 point lead.”

Spartans linebacker Luke Heaver tries to bring down a Kindersley player during first-half action Oct. 22 at Lions Park. The Spartans defence was stingy all game en route to a 39-8 Carpenter win.

The Spartans struck again on a pass from Paylor to Goretzki to go up 22-0 with 25 seconds left in the half, but the Kobras answered back with a touchdown and two-point conversion to bring the score to 22-8.

However that was all the scoring Kindersley would manage, with Goretzki and McKay scoring in the second half, which was highlighted by interceptions from the Spartans’ Jordan Sauer and Craig Slater.

The scoring was capped by a field goal to put CHS ahead 39-8 with seven minutes left in the game.

Offensive lineman Brett Daigneault said the team prepared all week for the game and played well when it counted.

“Our defence played a solid game today,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep it going for provincials.”
Goretzki noted the team, usually reliant on the run, used a more balanced attack against Kindersley.

“We’re trying to balance out the offence recently,” he said. “We’re throwing quite a lot now, and we’re running too.”

In last year’s playoffs, the Spartans lost to Kindersley at home, something linebacker Luke Heaver said the team remembered.

“This was sort of a rematch from last year,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was revenge, but it was in the back of our minds for sure.”

The Spartans will now have a week to prepare for their next opponent. They’ll play the Lumsden Devils Saturday in Lumsden.

Coach Paylor said the team doesn’t know what to expect from Lumsden, but will have to be well-prepared for the game.

“Lumsden has always had a very good program so we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them,” he said. “We’re going to have to get to work this week and correct some of the mistakes we made out there today.”

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