On Sunday, Nov. 4 at Fuhr Sports Park in Spruce Grove the Wetaskiwin Warriors Bantam team took the field against the Millwoods Grizzlies and came home with the Tier 3 Championship Trophy.
The game only saw a total of three scores, none of which came easy said head coach Daniel Branco.
Both the Warriors and Grizzlies relied heavily on a ground-and-pound offense, with a few passing attempts mostly all incomplete. The Warriors Offense drew first blood, followed not long after by the Grizzlies. The last and final score of the game came from the Warriors Offense in the second quarter. The remainder of the game was a chess match by both players and coaches. Neither Group wanting to slip up in such a tight game.
In playoff football there is a well known saying, â€œOffense Wins Games, Defense Wins Championships.â€ Sunday was no exception to that. Rain, snow, and wind were all contributing factors that led this game to be a defensive shoot out. After both teamâ€™s offenses slowed to a crawl and neither team willing to give an inch the defenses took over. It was a game chalk full of fumbles, big hits and even a red zone interception by the Warriors Defense.
On third down with less than 90 seconds to play the Grizzles had the Warriors backed up on their own red zone and tried to put the game a way with big pass.
â€œAs they have done all season our defense stood tall and came up big with a spectacular pass break up from one of our Defensive Backs,â€ said Branco. â€œWith just over a minute on the clock our offense took over.â€
Charged with securing the ball and running out the clock, they executed in perfect form. Breaking a big run and then running the remaining time off the clock. Warriors Win 12-7.
â€œAs players, coaches, parents and fans you always hope and dream to finish the season hoisting the trophy above your head. For our team that was a dream come true,â€ said Branco.
Championship games rarely ever go the way you think, he noted. In the locker room before the game coaching staff told the players they were proud of them, not for their winning record, or the success theyâ€™ve been able to have but how they did it. Every success, every failure, every high and every low, they did it all together. So that no matter the out come of the game they should hold their heads high. Winning football games is a great reward. However, watching players come together as a team, come to a teammates defense when they canâ€™t defend them self, taping a teammates name to there helmet because that player canâ€™t be with them on the field and so much more. The little things that most people donâ€™t get to see, thatâ€™s what makes this truly special.