The Gridders earned their way to the big game – this year a match-up of the top two teams in the regular season – finishing with a 5-1 record, including a 29-7 win this past Saturday over Moose Jaw Vanier in the southern city.
Yorkton head coach Roby Sharpe said they knew going into the final regular season game that Vanier “was not that strong,” a situation which allowed them to play some younger players including some from the Junior Raider program.
“It was good they got some experience at the senior level,” he said.
The league final will put Yorkton up against the team that handed them their only loss of the season, a 10-9 decision in week one of the campaign.
Sharpe said the Raider Gridders go into the game with a different team, based in large part of game experience gained since the loss.
And, of course a lesson learned in that opener when they could have gone for a couple of field goals early, but went for the first down and were stymied.
Still they were up 9-3 with a couple of minutes to play when Weyburn tossed a long one and a receiver made a big catch. The extra point on the touchdown gave Weyburn the win.
“We should have put the points on the board,” said Sharpe, adding in retrospect as coach he was “being greedy.”
This time Sharpe said they’ll take the points when they have the chance.
“You either win, or you learn, and we learned,” promised Sharpe.
So will the game Saturday be another low-scoring struggle?
Sharpe isn’t sure, but added the weather on the eve of Halloween might well determine the course of the game.
The winner of the game advances to provincial play taking on Saskatoon’s winner, while the Regina league champ sits on a bye waiting to play and host the provincial final.