Tornados win first game of season 33 to 20 over Hudson Bay Riders
|FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, September 23, 2004|
|They tell me that two seasons have gone by without a win and this is
the fourth game this year after three loses. It was warm this afternoon and the fans
and players were in a good mood.
You have to realise that Tisdale fans are used to seeing their team play and lose so in the first quarter with Hudson Bay Riders able to break out long running plays it seemed like this was just going to be another one of those games.
But, today's 33 to 20 victory was a consequence of several factors. Though the Riders were running excellent plays and able to get some very nice passes
|down the field, Tisdale's defense had arrived just in time. They sacked
the Rider quarterback time after time and forced them to give up the ball enough
of the time in the first quarter to offer the fans real encouragement. Defense depends
on being able to anticipate the oppositions play but also in being able to nail those
tackles and from beginning to end the Tisdale defense held on tight.
The atmosphere on the field was outstanding, hot dogs freshly cooked, the snap of people's hands administering lethal blows to mosquitoes and loud appreciation for each and every play. The wind had taken the day off and the sun was on duty for the first three quarters.
Larry Bidel was calling the play by play from the booth at the fifty yard line and
when the first quarter ended the Hudson Bay Riders were only leading by six points
as they had scored a single unconverted touchdown having attempted a two pointer.
But the second quarter was where Tisdale won the game. They began to put the stop on the Rider's runs and took the initiative with a series of well called plays that took the play up the middle to Hudson Bay.
High school football is pretty much a running game and this afternoon the fans were delighted to see both teams show considerable coordination with reversals and a few clean passes that kept the linemen and back honest. This game was clearly not a route and when Tisdale took the ball over the goal line the place kicker made the score seven to six.
There was lots of excitement in the second quarter as the fans seemed unable to believe what they were seeing. Good football not just from the almost always competent Hudson Bay Riders but a very polished game from the guys in gray shirts and socks.
|Went the gun sounded the end of the first half Tisdale was leading the
Riders by three points.
Both teams took their share of holding and unnecessary roughness penalties but the Tornados were able to show a much more refined edge in the third quarter. Rene Lalonde (below) conducted several powerful freight train moves that steadily moved the ball into the Rider's end of the field. Both teams were suffer from a turn over or two before the end of the game but we were witnessing a good football game with hard tackles and equally ferocious blocks.
One of the main stars of the game was the perfect playing field.
It was kicking that made the difference. Tisdale's punts were better than most CFL attempts and the place kicking not only topped off most of the touch downs but also put points on the board with field goals. Hudson Bay does not have the toes for the job with mini punts and they didn't even attempt a place kick.
I noticed that during the third quarter the Tisdale fans began to seem much more subdued assuming that this was some sort of strange trick. But it was not a trick the Tornados were swirling around, both as defense and offense keeping their green shirted opponents pretty much on their heels.
What kept Hudson Bay in the game was some outstanding break away running.
Being able to produce a dazzling play looks good but it rarely wins a game. Games are won by consistent controlled play and the Tornados did that job in spades.
Craig Poggemiller is not a big guy but his turn at running the ball was predictable and moved the sticks steadily down the field.
By the end of the third quarter I had used up my memory in my camera and you will have to take my word for it. Things went well.
Tisdale intercepted several important passes and donated the ball to Hudson Bay twice with fumbles from hard hitting tackles.
With a minute to go in the game it was clear that Tisdale's unblemished losing streak was over.
Great toe work, solid defense and confident ball handling made the 33 to 20 victory something the players, coaches and fans will savour for some time.
Next Friday (October 1) the Tornadoes will play in Nipawin then on Friday October 15 Humboldt will be on the field in Tisdale. The league semifinals are on Saturday October 23 with the league final on Saturday October 30.
You can expect a good crowd on October 15, this was a good game today.