Playoff hopes dashed

Joey Payeur

With a playoff spot on the line, Brayden Coulis was “Mr. Everything” for the West Kildonan Wolverines here Friday as the Winnipeg squad romped to a 46-14 win over the Muskies.
Coulis set a new WHSFL record for points in a game by one player—scoring 40 of West Kildonan’s 46 in four different ways to put the Wolverines (4-3) into the post-season.
It also ensured Fort High (2-5) won’t repeat its playoff appearance of a year ago.
The running back had touchdown jaunts of 63 and nine yards, and caught a dump pass from West Kildonan quarterback Taylor Ward and turned it into a 45-yard major.
He also returned a kick-off 100 yards to paydirt and raced 48 yards on a punt return for his fifth touchdown of the day.
And as the team’s placekicker and punter, Coulis converted all six West Kildonan touchdowns, made a 13-yard field goal, and even had a kickoff single.
“We knew what we had to do,” Muskie head coach Mike Cuzzolino said about trying to stop Coulis.
“We watched film and [assistant coach Pete Ledrew] did an excellent job game planning to stop their weapons,” he noted.
“But the players have to execute it and we didn’t have great execution on Friday.”
The Muskie scores both came in the second quarter on an 82-yard catch-and-run by Dougie deBernardeaux and a 93-yard kick-off return by Jacob Bolzan.
Cam Lidkea converted Bolzan’s score while Matt Cheetham caught a pass from Cole Kowalski for a two-point conversion of deBernardeaux’s touchdown.
Fort High trailed 36-15 at halftime, but played the entire second half without their leading receiver in Kowalski, who suffered a head injury after accidentally colliding with a Wolverines’ player in the second quarter.
When deBernardeaux (hand), offensive lineman Connor Pocock (lower body), and linebacker Joey Onichuk (lower body) also were forced out of the game in the second half, that made a comeback attempt all the more difficult.
“Injuries, unfortunately, come with the territory in football,” reasoned Cuzzolino, who took over as head coach this season from Chad Canfield.
“Our lack of depth really hurts us as when guys go down,” he noted.
“We don’t have a lot of replacement options.”