The Lafrentz Trucking Estevan Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 29-16 win over the Weyburn Raiders on Saturday. The Steelers entered the game at Woodlawn Regional Park knowing they were in control of their own destiny, and they came out with the win.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers got on the board first in the opening minutes of the second. Ian Ferguson picked up the ball in the backfield and took off down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
The Raiders responded just five minutes later with a long drive, resulting in a touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
The deadlock didn't last long though, as the Steelers quickly moved the ball downfield through the air, allowing Evan Tarnes to finish off the drive with an eight yard run to restore Estevan's seven point lead at halftime.
The Raiders came out flying in the third quarter. After blocking a Steelers' punt, they had excellent field position and took advantage, scoring another TD to tie the game once again. They then forced the Steelers to concede a safety, consequently giving Weyburn their first lead of the football game, 16-14.
Trailing for the first time must have awoken the Steelers because they came storming back in the fourth quarter with 15 unanswered points. They reclaimed the lead with just over eight minutes to play when quarterback Kolby Fleury hooked up with Ferguson for a long touchdown pass. A successful two point conversion, gave Estevan a 22-16 lead.
After getting the ball back, Fleury decided to call his own number on two consecutive plays, the second of which led to another Steelers touchdown and gave them a 29-16 lead. And with not much time remaining on the clock, they managed to hang on for the victory.
After the game, Estevan defensive secondary coach Mark Tribiger talked about the role that momentum played in the game, and how his team used it to their advantage.
"The kids really look forward to this game every year so the momentum is a huge part of it," he said. "I don't think we've had a game that's ever been a blowout against Weyburn, and we knew we had to have the momentum to win this game or else it was going to be way closer than it was."
"It was a very important game. With this win, and hopefully a big win next week, we can actually make a playoff spot, not just a bowl game," he said. "It would be the first playoff game the Estevan bantam team has ever played in."
The Steelers play their final game of the regular season on the road this week. They'll be in Regina to face the Dinos on Sunday at 11:45 a.m.