The Estevan Sherritt Coal Atom Miners season came to an end in a game that was similar to many of their other contests this season.
Estevan lost 13-6 to the host Regina Lions on September 28 in the Estevan Boston Pizza Bowl. It’s the fourth time in seven contests this season that the Miners were defeated in a tight, low-scoring game.
Estevan scored the opening touchdown of the game on a three-yard run by Kyler Dutka. The Miners were stopped twice near the goal line by Regina's defence, before Dutka ran the ball into the end zone.
“One thing I really loved seeing … was our kids on the offence – especially on the opening drive – and how we maintained the blocks,” said coach Wanda Harron.
The Miners didn’t convert the touchdown, and led 6-0.
Regina scored on a long passing play to tie the game before the end of the first half, and then added the convert to lead 7-6 at half-time.
The Lions scored the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to take a six-point lead. Estevan stopped the extra point attempt.
On the Miners' final drive, Shanelle Rioux had two long running plays, and Kade Bachorcik had a big gain on the final play of the game, but he was knocked out of bounds at the 30-yard line.
“I honestly thought he was going to break it (for a touchdown),” said Harron.
The entire defence played very well against the Lions, she said.
Estevan finished the season with a 1-6 record, but Harron was still impressed with the effort and the improvements shown by the players in what was a fun season.
“When you hear the kids saying how much fun they had this year, that’s the satisfying part,” said Harron.
About 30 of the 40 players are eligible to return next season.
“From what I heard, talking to the kids, I would say the majority of them are going to come back next year,” said Harron.
The Estevan Lions Club Bantam Steelers dropped a 54-11 decision on the road to the Yorkton Raiders on September 28.
Coach Phil Zajac said they played well, and the score wasn’t reflective of the Steelers’ effort. The Raiders turned the game into a rout by scoring three times in seven minutes in the second quarter, and they had a 40-3 lead at half-time.
“Yorkton’s football program is probably the strongest of all the small-city programs in the province,” said coach Phil Zajac. “They have over 200 kids playing football there, so they have numbers, and a seasoned football program.”
Levi Pick scored the Steelers only touchdown. Marshall Delorme played well on both offence and defence, Zajac said.
Estevan’s record is 1-6. They’ll finish the regular season on the road in Regina against the Bantam Junior Griffins on October 5, and then they’ll play in Regina Minor Football’s bowl game, likely against Weyburn and the Regina Sundevils.