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Mohawks advance to provincial nine-man quarter final

The Humboldt Collegiate Institute (HCI) Mohawks nine-man football team claimed victory in their first playoff game this season, played in Humboldt against the Wynyard Bears on October 23.

The Humboldt Collegiate Institute (HCI) Mohawks nine-man football team claimed victory in their first playoff game this season, played in Humboldt against the Wynyard Bears on October 23.
While the home side came out of Glenn Hall Park with a 44-13 victory it was a bit of an anti-climax.
"We were content," replied Mohawks head coach, Shaun Gardiner, when asked about the game against the Bears, "and that's not a good thing. We were content to be tackled or blocked or not to come out of our stance."
The Mohawks kicked off towards the north end zone but penalties on the first three plays from scrimmage gave the first few minutes of the game a staccato flow.
In a deep hole facing second and 23, HCI quarterback Jordan Gerwing went to the dependable Ryan Stumborg for a 17-yard gain.
On the very next play, HCI's Josh Giddings broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown run and the Mohawks were up 7-0 at the 8:48 mark.
The Mohawks' second possession began with a mishandled punt and then a holding penalty. Better news occurred on the ensuing play as Gerwing gave Giddings a touch, resulting in a 38-yard gain. Then Stumborg broke loose outside for 33 yards to cross the goal line at 3:32.
With a missed convert, the score was 13-0.

Mike Suchan, HCI kicking coach, recalled, "We wanted to amp up our intensity a bit so we decided to short kick. The execution was faulty but we caught a break and they bobbled the ball. (Jordan) Hilgers made a heads up play (and pounced on it)."
With possession on the Wynyard 38 yard line, Gerwing dropped back to pass and put the ball in a good place for a well-covered Giddings, who made an athletic catch.
After that 30-yard gain Gerwing mucked the ball in with 2:39 left in the quarter.
The convert stretched the lead to 20-0.
Just three minutes later, the Mohawks struck again as Wynyard's safety jumped a Go-route, leaving Ryan Stumborg open for a 43-yard touchdown pass at 11:08 of the second quarter.
With the score 27-0, Giddings kicked off, putting the ball just under the uprights and out the back of the end zone.

On the Bears' next possession, Eric Hunter served up an interception to HCI's Darren Henry, who stepped in front of Bear Devin Bowey and Mohawk defensive back Justin Lakness, but the offence didn't capitalize.
In the waning moments of the half, defensive tackle Jordan Gursky sacked Hunter for an eight-yard loss and Wynyard gave up a safety to make the halftime score 29-0.
It was the Bears who struck in the second half, both in the physical play and on the scoreboard.
Hunter plunged into the end zone from two yards out and it was 29-7 with the convert.
The HCI offence tried to answer, but missed a 35-yard field goal for a single.
Towards the end of a lackluster third, HCI's Leroy Japtha wove through the Bear secondary for a nine-yard touchdown run. With the score 38- 7, Giddings lined up to kick off, but was wide right of the uprights this time, prompting HCI coach Blair Wourms to comment, "That kid kicks like a mule and runs like he's part cheetah."

This time, the ball was touched within the field of play, resulting in a single.
Wynyard scored at the end of the quarter on an 18-yard touchdown pass and HCI's lead shrunk to 37-13. The quality of play degenerated further in the fourth quarter until Ryan Stumborg closed out the scoring on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Gerwing.
Final score: 44-13 for HCI.
A frowning Brian Hinz, HCI defensive co-ordinator, searched for positives.
"We are pleased that we stopped them enough and the offence scored enough to give us a chance to get better. We showed flashes of what we need to achieve our goals. I liked (Merit) Meyer's intensity when he ripped that ball loose (in the third quarter)."
Added defensive backs coach Gavin Paulsen, "Yeah, I was pleased to see Jonny Fly (Fleischhacker) get that pick and (Grade 9) Brodie Brown stuck his nose in there at shut down corner and made a nice third down stick for a turnover on downs, but we have work to do."
The next Mohawks action will be Saturday at 1 p.m. versus the Kindersley Kobras in provincial quarter-final action.

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