More bad than good lately for Muskies

Like a row of dominos that has been knocked over, the Muskie varsity ‘A’ football team just keeps on falling.
They arrived in Winnipeg last Friday expecting good things to happen in their game against the Sisler Spartans, but left with their bodies hurt and their confidence aching.
“They just beat us up,” offensive co-ordinator Shane Beckett said of the team’s 44-0 defeat. “I mean, we were prepared to get beat up. That’s probably the most difficult team we’ve faced and they just beat us up.
“We say all the time, ‘Oh, we’re better than what the scoreboard said,’ but it’s about time we start showing that.
“And then you think that you’re starting to get better and you go into a Sisler, a 2-2 team, and you think you’ve got a shot, because you had a good week of practice, [but] we just stunk up the joint.
“And that’s really disappointing because it felt like we went backwards,” Beckett added.
The Muskies knew the Spartans would rush the ball, and the defence had focused on stopping the run during practice last week. But once game time rolled around, the black-and-gold couldn’t apply what they had learned.
“It’s difficult because we had a good week in practice,” said Beckett. “All the coaches saw that we had a good week in practice, so we were expecting good things.
“And then we step onto the field and its 14-0 in the first couple of minutes,” he noted.
“They did pretty much what we had planned for,” Beckett added. “We knew that they were going to have a great big fullback, and we’d have to take him low, and we knew they were a running team, and we knew that was going to happen, but we just couldn’t stop it.”
Now sporting a 1-4 record, the Muskies sit tied with the Grant Park Pirates for most points allowed in the WHSFL’s ‘AA’ conference with 145 (29 pts/game) and are last for points scored with just 38 (7.6 pts/game).
But some positives still could be found from Friday’s game, said Beckett, who noted Larry Pham had a solid game for the Muskies against the Spartans after an off-day the previous week in a 29-3 loss to the St. Paul’s Crusaders.
“I think one positive thing is that there were a couple of senior players, in particular Larry Pham, who really showed their leadership with their performance in that game,” said Beckett.
“When everyone else was falling apart and not stepping up, a guy like Larry Pham, who had a bad week the week before, laid it on the line and said, ‘Coach, throw me the ball again because I’ll catch it,’ so we did and he did,” Beckett added.
The Muskies must now focus on their annual Homecoming game, which is slated for this Friday (Oct. 15) at 3:30 p.m. against the undefeated Oak Park Raiders.
The Raiders, who have scored 124 points in five games (24.8 pts/game), will pose an offensive threat while their defence isn’t bad, either, limiting the opposition to just 13.4 points per game.
“Hopefully we can stay focused. There’s a lot going on at the school, but not a lot that involves them [the players],” noted Beckett. “The pep rally is three hours before the game, and hopefully they get themselves up, but hopefully not too much and drop before the game.
“[Oak Park] definitely has a strong running game and has a pretty strong passing play,” Beckett added. “They play a similar offence to what we do, so we know what it takes to stop that, and hopefully we’re due for a good game this week.”
The Muskies then will close out their regular season next Friday (Oct. 22) at 3:30 p.m. against the visiting River East Kodiaks.