It’s now in Sturgeon Creek’s hands.
After a 14-14 tie against the Tec Voc Hornets yesterday in Winnipeg (a game Fort High was leading 14-0 at halftime), the Muskies, now 1-4-1 on the season, must wait to see what happens between the Sturgeon Creek Schooners (1-4) and Churchill Bulldogs (2-3) today.
It’s simple really. If the Schooners lose, the Muskies are in the playoffs. If the Schooners win, they’re out.
“I’ve already phoned coach [Brett] Watt and wished him bad luck,” said Muskie head coach Bob Swing, who was a teammate of Watt when both were standouts for the black-and-gold back in the mid- to late ’80s.
“We had a good talk about it last night,” added Swing. “We’re pretty much in Sturgeon Creek’s hands—we hope they lose.”
But Swing had much more to add about a game that saw the Hornets tie the score on the last play of the game after punching it into the end zone from the one-yard line.
They got to the one-yard line after the Muskies were flagged for pass interference on the previous play—their 15th penalty of the game.
“You need to talk to some people that were there other than the coaches or the players, it was a varying disparity in what happened,” said Swing.
“[Lineman] coach Geense is a pastor—God bless his soul—and at one point, the officiating almost drove Pastor Geense to drink, smoke, and swear all at the same time.
“And if that’s what it did to Pastor Geense, you can imagine what it did to the rest of us,” noted Swing.
Terry Carmody, after promising last week he would have his best game of the season against Tec Voc, did just that with 205 yards rushing. He also scored both Muskie touchdowns on runs of 35 and four yards.
The offence moved the ball effectively, said Swing, while the “defence did its regular spectacular job of holding.” But turnovers and penalties proved to be too costly in the end.
Leading 14-0 in the third quarter, a poor exchange between Muskie quarterback Blake Wepruk and centre Peter Klyne gave the Hornets the ball, who advantage of the turnover by scoring a touchdown.
And though the Muskies blocked a punt in the fourth quarter, and though Steve Boileau came down with an interception, and though the defence forced a couple of fumbles, the Hornets still came back with an effective drive that ultimately resulted in the game-tying touchdown as time expired.
“It doesn’t matter what level you play at, turnovers and penalties are the two things that determine football games,” Swing said.
The Muskies will close out the regular season next Friday in Winnipeg against the Oak Park Raiders, who went into play today with a 4-1 record in the Kas Vidruk Division (formerly the ‘AA’ conference).
Since the Muskies now are in the Andy Currie Division (formerly the ‘A’ conference), next week’s game only will count in the standings if the Muskies win.
If they lose, it does not, which is probably a good thing since the Raiders rolled to a 46-7 victory when these two teams played last season.
But the main concern for Swing is what yesterday’s heart-breaking loss might do to the team.
“They worked so hard and had something stolen from them, and that’s heart-breaking after the amount of work and effort they’ve put in it,” he remarked.
“Over the years, I’ve won some big games and lost some games, but this game, out of any game, really, really sticks with me,” Swing added. “I’ve never coached a game where something you knew didn’t turn out right.
“I had the uneasy feeling because I saw what was happening, and in the end there was nothing we could do to control it,” he said.
It’s now in Sturgeon Creek’s hands.