The Humboldt Collegiate Institute (HCI) Mohawks knocked the Kindersley Kobras out of provincial nine-man football playoffs with a 50-14 win in their quarter-final match on October 30.
There were four bodies lying on the thawing turf of Glen Hall Park after the Mohawks delivered the opening kickoff.
With that precedent, both teams kept trading punches all game.
"Our athletes really got after them," smiled HCI head coach Shaun Gardiner. "We challenged our team to be more physical and they answered the bell."
Asked if he was happy about Saturday's result, Gardiner replied, "Well, we are in a much better mood, but we better not be complacent. We have a tough opponent down the road."
Indeed, the Mohawks will now travel to Lumsden to face the undefeated Devils in a provincial semi-final playoff next Saturday.
In the meantime, the Mohawks can celebrate their quarter-final victory over the Kobras.
The game began with a field position duel, but Humboldt's superior special teams slowly shortened the field.
A gritty drive ended with HCI's Darren Henry breaking loose from 12 yards out at 6:48. Mohawk Josh Giddings also scored in the first quarter.
In the second, the Mohawk defence had all the answers as they pressured and sacked the Kindersley quarterback.
"We really saw our kids execute the scheme this week," said HCI defensive backs coach Gavin Paulsen. "The plan was to get in (Kindersley quarterback Greg) Gassner's face and force him to make quick decisions from behind the line of scrimmage instead of carving up our secondary on the bootlegs."
The defence tackled for loss, dislodged footballs, broke up passes and ultimately delivered a 55-yard "pick six" courtesy of HCI's Jonathan Fleischhacker with 1:42 left in the half.
With only 13 seconds left, Mohawk Leroy Japtha hammered home another nail in the coffin as he accelerated 20 yards to paydirt in the north end zone.
The scoreboard showed 49-0 for the home side after two quarters.
"We were much more pleased with Leroy's pad level and feet on contact today," said HCI coach Clayton Parobec.
The Mohawks got other first half touchdowns on runs by Jordan Gerwing and Ryan Stumborg. Stumborg also caught a touchdown pass and combined with Gerwing and Giddings for a unique pass and run play. Gerwing was looking for Stumborg deep over the middle. As he was interfered with, the ball bounced up off Stumborg's helmet and Giddings caught the carom in stride for a 49-yard touchdown.
Kindersley got their points on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Gassner to Matt Dauvin in the third quarter with a two-point conversion. Then Gassner scrambled in from 11 yards out with 4:40 left on the clock in the fourth.
Nevertheless, reserve players kept the pressure on. HCI's Tyler Lakness caused a fumble that teammate Carson Wourms recovered and Cody Hobbs settled for an intentional grounding penalty after his corner blitz.
Giddings kicked a punt single to round out the Humboldt scoring.
The Mohawks anticipate a large contingent will come down to Lumsden to cheer them on next Saturday.