Muskies open with lopsided loss

To say it didn’t go according to plan would be an understatement.
After four years in the “AA” division (now known as the Kas Vidruk Division), the Muskies were welcomed into the Andy Curry Division (formerly the ‘A’ division) with a 50-7 loss to the Miles Mac Buckeyes on Friday afternoon in Winnipeg that was both humiliating and eye-opening.
“Last year, all we were saying is that if we were in the other league that we would win. And we go into this league expecting to win and we get knocked around,” noted Muskie running back Terry Carmody.
“We’ve told them that just because it’s a so-called ‘lower league’ doesn’t mean the play is going to be different,” warned Muskie assistant coach Greg Allan.
But it seemed many of the players’ train of thought went along with Carmody’s as the Muskies didn’t have the urgency nor intensity the team is known for until the start of the second half trailing 27-1.
That’s when the black-and-gold was able to convert on a third-and-one with a three-yard quarterback sneak from Steve Boileau on the opening drive of the half, followed by Carmody’s spectacular 50-yard touchdown run.
The two-point convert attempt failed, making the score 27-7.
The host Buckeyes then rounded out the scoring with 23 unanswered points by implementing a simple, yet dangerously effective running attack.
Going into the game, the Muskies had heard whispers of Buckeyes’ running back Erin Sesak, who last year set Winnipeg High School Football League ‘A’ records in rushing touchdowns (12), total yards (1,334 yards), and carries (193).
He lived up to his billing by collecting 228 yards on Friday.
“I don’t think you expect anyone to run 228 yards against you,” said Muskie offensive co-ordinator, Shane Beckett.
Carmody finished with 91 yards on 15 carries.
But the black-and-gold’s passing attack was anemic Friday, gaining only 16 yards while surrendering two interceptions thrown by Blake Wepruk, who had replaced Boileau at quarterback in the fourth quarter.
Buckeyes’ coach Corey Kapilik said the win wasn’t entirely surprising, given three-quarters of his 33-man squad are third-year players while the Muskies have only a scant few with WHSFL experience.
What was unexpected, however, was witnessing his club “from start to finish” play the “most complete game we’ve ever played.”
“I was talking to their coach and he was saying that was best his team has ever played,” noted Allan. “I get so tired of hearing that because every team that plays us says that.”
The Muskies went into the season-opener without having played an exhibition game (the Sturgeon Creek Schooners cancelled at the last minute because they were not able to field a full team) and it was expected that would have an impact on Friday’s game.
But a loss of such lopsided proportions was not envisioned.
“You hope it can’t get any worse,” said Beckett. “The only mistake you can make is to not learn from it. If we don’t get better because of this, then we have a problem.”
The only comment Muskie head coach Bob Swing would say after the game—with the team taking a knee huddled around him, many in tears—was this: “We stunk badly. [But] we will get better. Judge us at the end of the year and not at the beginning.”
Their next test comes this Friday (Sept. 16) here against Sturgeon Creek, who are coached by former Muskie standout quarterback Brett Watt. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.