Muskies looking to bounce back Lose 29-3 to St. Paul’s

Football can be described as orchestrated chaos.
With every down, each player is given an assignment, with a starting point and a destination. And when they work together, a football team can be as precise as an orchestra performing a Mozart classic.
But when they aren’t, they can be as chaotic as a mosh pit at a Pantera concert.
After a stunning come-from-behind victory over the Kelvin Clippers here Sept. 24 for their first WHSFL win in more than two seasons, the Muskie varsity football squad understandably were riding high heading into last Friday’s game in Winnipeg against the defending champion St. Paul’s Crusaders.
“Our team was confident because we knew that we could beat them, because we knew that we were just as good as them,” said Muskie co-captain Larry Pham.
“We just had to play, and play as rough as they are, and keep up to their calibre,” he added.
But the Crusaders gave the Muskies a lesson they won’t soon forget.
“I think we lost focus, like we weren’t playing as hard,” Pham said after the team’s 29-3 loss. “We tried playing hard, but I was having a rough time and I don’t why?”
Offensive co-ordinator Shane Beckett also was disappointed with the team’s lagging effort and hopes for an improvement when the black-and-gold head back to Winnipeg this Friday to meet the Sisler Spartans.
“We didn’t execute. We only had two good days of practice [last] week and it showed,” he remarked before Monday’s practice.
“We can’t expect to beat championship teams when we have five or six Grade 12 students who have to leave at five o’clock from practice on a Tuesday and a Wednesday.
“We can’t expect to beat that calibre of team in those situations. So these guys have got to start to decide what’s more important and start prioritizing things,” he added.
The Muskies fell to 1-3 with the loss, having scored only 38 points over those four games while allowing 101.
But positives still can be drawn from the loss to St. Paul’s, said defensive backs coach Greg Allan.
“Actually, there were a lot of positives out there. Defensively, we were strong out there, and I thought it was one of our better defensive games,” he noted.
“From a positive standpoint, you look at 29-3 and it sounds like a lopsided score, but if you look at it in hockey terms, it’s 4-1,” added Allan, who said the defence’s focus this week will be on forcing turnovers, which they have been doing but just haven’t capitalized on yet.
Beckett also believes the tools are in place for a turnaround in the team’s play—and feels the Muskies are better than past results have indicated.
“St. Paul’s is not 26 points better than we are,” he stressed. “Last year when we played them, yeah, they kicked our tails, but in the game on Friday, the first half just really didn’t turn out the way we were hoping it would.”
No game sheets were available for Friday’s game though Muskie running back Thomas Edwards had a third-straight 100-yard rushing game while the defence allowed only one touchdown in the second half.
But special teams has been the team’s Achilles heel, which was to be a definite focus in practice this week.
“Our special teams weren’t so special,” admitted Allan.
This Friday’s game against the 2-2 Spartans will be another tough test for the Muskies against a team whose strength lies in their running game.
“We have to be hitting on all cylinders,” said Beckett. “To beat anyone in our division, you have to be hitting at an eight or nine [out of ten] or you’re not going to do it, and we’ve seen that time and time again.”

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