Muskies cap 75th year with championship

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

It was a few degrees warmer than their semi-final game a week before as the Fort Frances High School Muskies took to the gridiron at IG Field, home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, last Friday in Winnipeg. But the snow was flying as the Muskies hoisted the championship trophy a few hours later with a 30-14 win over the Beaver Brae Broncos of Kenora.

The Broncos had gone undefeated in the regular season and had handed the Muskies their only loss of the year, but the Muskies were up for the challenge. It was an all around team win with the defense often giving the offense great field position.

The Muskies scored first late in the first quarter as the defense set up prime field position. With Beaver Brae pinned deep in their own end, Jaxon Strachan blocked a punt to give the Muskies a first down on the Beaver Brae 10-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Parker Booth and running back Kel Cameron connected for a five-yard score and kicker Hayden Beckett punched the convert through for a 7-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter the defense set the offense up well again from the Broncos’ 35-Yard line. Cameron carried the ball into the endzone five plays later and after a missed conversion the Muskies led 13-0.

The rest of the second quarter was not ideal for the Muskies, as the Broncos capitalized on some mistakes to go to the locker rooms up 14-13.

The second half scoring was all Muskies.

They reclaimed the lead early in the third quarter on a 24-yard field goal to go up 16-14 and the Muskies never looked back.

The next drive started deep in Muskies territory on their own 12 yard line. They got some breathing room after a 21-yard run from Seamus Barkley. Four runs by Cameron totaling 35 yards as well as a Broncos penalty put the Muskies in great position. Booth connected with Beckett for a 27-yard touchdown reception and Beckett converted his TD to make the score 23-14.

The Muskies put the cherry on top in the fourth quarter with a 53-yard drive starting with a 12-yard run from Blake Kreger and capped off with an eight-yard passing play to Griffin Webb for the touchdown. Beckett made the final convert to put the Muskies up 30-14.

The Muskies defense put the kibosh on any chance of a Broncos comeback as the pass rush pressured Broncos QB into throwing an interception picked off by Webb and another by Cameron with the clock running down and the Muskies were able to kneel out the game.

For his performance on both sides of the ball, Kel Cameron received a game ball as player of the game.

After the game, quarterback and senior Booth said he liked how the Muskies came out after giving up two scores late in the first half.

“It was a rough end of the first half but we came back,” He said. “I love how the team bounced back from being down.”

Booth added that the team believed they were capable of winning all year.

“We’ve been waiting all season for this,” Booth said. “We’ve been saying from the start of the season ‘this is a team that is great and we’re going to do great things.”

This was the Muskies third championship in the last four seasons played. They won a WHSFL title in 2019 and after a COVID-cancelled 2020 season, the Muskies captured a NorWOSSA trophy in 2021.

The players and coaches wish to pass along their thanks to the large group of family and alumni who came out to support the team at IG field in Winnipeg.