Lloydminster Mustangs running back Joseph Eddleston finds an open lane through the St. Paul Bengals defensive line. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
The Lloydminster bantam Mustangs will need to find a way to stop the St. Paul Bengals’ ferocious attack if the team hopes to repeat as Wheatland Bantam Football League champions this season.
The Bengals scored three touchdowns on their first three possessions during a 34-0 shut out against the Mustangs at St. Mary’s Elementary School on Saturday.
Three straight Bengals interceptions followed with the Mustangs threatening to cut into the score during the second quarter.
Malcolm Steeves, a Bengals running back, linebacker and corner, said the focus heading into the game was to get a touchdown on the first play.
He said the boys were pretty mellow on the bus heading in, so once they got that score the adrenaline pumped up and they were able to control the play offensively, and shut the Mustangs down on their drives throughout the remainder of the first half.
“We saw what they were doing,” said Steeves. “They were sweeping to the one side, the weak side, so we kept (going there) and they would pass ever so often. So, we knew what they were doing the whole time.”
The Mustangs started fighting back in the third quarter, with Donavan Wooldridge leading the charge by breaking though the Bengals offensive line for a quarterback sack.
Mustangs quarterback Chase Rogers and Wooldridge then combined for a series of solid runs through the stifling Bengals defence over the final two quarters, only to be repelled before they could enter the red zone.
“We maybe underestimated their team a little bit and our blocking wasn’t as great as we thought it would be,” said Rogers. “I thought (with) blocking we couldn’t do anything.”
Rogers said the coaching staff spoke up during halftime with the team facing a 28-0 deficit, to tell the boys to hunker down and play the game.
He said that led to the club playing more aggressively in the second half making for a better finish, but they’ll need a full-game effort if they hope to beat the Bonnyville Bandits on the road this Saturday.
“A W would be good, but Bonnyville has always been a tough team,” he said. “So, if we can beat them that will definitely bring us up.”