The Muskie football team went almost two full years between wins.
They’ve now won two in the span of three weeks.
The black-and-gold improved to 2-2 in the Andy Currie Division (‘A’) following a 39-32 triumph over the visiting Tec Voc Hornets on Thursday in the squad’s annual Homecoming game.
Sekina Scheibler once again was the offensive star for the Muskies, rushing for five touchdowns, while Graham Anderson had the other one.
But offensive lineman Aaron Scheibler also came up big–recovering two fumbles on punt returns in the first half that his brother quickly turned into touchdowns.
The first came early in the first quarter when the Hornets’ returner coughed up the ball on his own two-yard line.
Following a false start penalty, Sekina Scheibler ran into the end zone to give the Muskies a 7-0 lead.
After Tec Voc scored on an eight-yard rushing touchdown in the opening minute of the second half (the convert was missed), Scheibler again was johnny-on-the-spot just over a minute later when the Hornets fumbled another punt return near midfield.
On the very next play, Sekina Scheibler rumbled 57 yards to paydirt for a 13-6 lead (the convert was blocked).
The Muskie defence, meanwhile, produced a key stop in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
After the Hornets scored with just over five minutes to go to draw within 33-32, the visitors tried to take the lead with a two-point convert attempt but were denied.
The Muskies later added an unconverted touchdown to round out the scoring.
“I thought our team battled, they never gave up, and found a way to win,” Muskie head coach Mike Cuzzolino said in an e-mailed response yesterday morning.
“They were truly willing to do what it took to win that game,” he noted.
Cuzzolino called it a real team win.
“The offence scored when we needed them to, and defence shut the door when they had to, and we were much much better on special teams,” he remarked.
“It was a great team victory.”
Thursday’s game was delayed for almost an hour due to an injury to a Tec Voc player with 7:49 left in the second quarter.
The player, who reportedly was knocked unconscious briefly, eventually was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precautionary measure.
He suffered a concussion but fortunately avoided a more serious injury.
Due to the delay, the teams decided to take halftime at that point before resuming second-quarter action and then the second half right after.
“We knew that potentially that long delay could take the wind out of our sails,” Cuzzolino noted.
“But we have great leaders on this team that made sure to keep the intensity up.”
After a stretch of three-straight home games, in which the team went 1-2, the Muskies now face three road games to conclude the regular season.
They visit East Kildonan Collegiate this Friday before squaring off against St. Norbert (Oct. 13) and St. John’s (Oct. 20).
Cuzzolino conceded three-straight road games will be tough.
“But this group has so much heart, they can tackle any adversity,” he lauded.
“These next three games are crucial for us,” Cuzzolino stressed.
“We need to make sure we stay focused and dedicated to improving every day in practice.”
The Muskies remain in the thick of the playoff hunt–sitting tied for fifth place with East Kildonan at four points heading into this week’s action.
The Kenora Broncos and Daniel McIntrye Maroons lead the pack with perfect 4-0 records (eight points).
St. John’s and West Kildonan are next at 3-1 (six points).
St. Norbert and Tec Voc (1-3) each have two points while Maples and Churchill round out the 10-team division at 0-4.
Cuzzolino called his players’ heart, leadership, and never-give-up attitude as the team’s pluses so far this season.
He also cited the offensive line of Colten Allen, Aaron Scheibler, Jaykob Ryll, Keegan Oliver, Wyatt Richards, and Jayden Logue.
“Our biggest concern is our health as we are a smaller team, number-wise,” Cuzzolino noted.
“So guys play a lot and the season wears you down, so health is always a concern.”