TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Myles Koshowski of the St. Paul’s Crusaders takes out the legs from Crocus Plainsmen Calvin Van Santen Friday.
Victor St. Pierre was playing with a heavy heart on Friday, but he sure didn’t look like it.
St. Pierre’s mind was wandering a bit to thinking about his mother, who was recently admitted to hospital after getting sick and losing some blood, but he had an outstanding game for the Crocus Plainsmen as they beat the visiting St. Paul’s Crusaders 23-16 in Winnipeg High School Football League Kas Vidruk (AA) Division action at Crocus.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound tailback ran for 360 yards and scored three touchdowns in the game, and added a game-saving interception and tackle in the final minute for Crocus (2-0). He dedicated the game to his mother, and credited his success wouldn’t have been possible without his offensive line.
"I have my line to thank for (the runs)," said St. Pierre, who has amassed 661 rushing yards through the Plainsmen’s first two games. "They made the holes, I made the reads and we did our thing."
Friday’s game was close from start to finish with neither side managing to lead by more than eight points. St Paul’s never trailed until St. Pierre broke an 80-yard run with 2:15 left in the game to give Crocus a 23-16 lead. Crocus had tied the game 3 1/2 minutes earlier when St. Pierre scored on a 10-yard gallop and Matthew Mott connected with Shea Godfrey for a two-point convert.
St. Pierre solidified the Plainsmen defence, which played well all game, in the final minute by moving to safety and made an interception with 48 seconds left that should have sealed the game. However, a time count penalty forced Crocus to punt the ball back to the Crusaders. St. Pierre saved the day again by making a tackle at the Crocus 15-yard line with six seconds left in the contest.
Plainsmen head coach Kevin Boyd admitted it wasn’t hard to put someone with St. Pierre’s talent and speed back on defence, and Boyd loves what St. Pierre does for the team.
"The kid’s an absolute stud," he said. "He lays it all on the line. You got to love having a kid like that on the team … When you have one of the best athletes in the province, you have to use him. It paid off putting him back at safety there."
Mott added a convert and St. Paul’s conceded a safety touch.
Mott finished 6-for-12 passing for 17 yards. Steven Siebrecht led the Crocus defence with 11 tackles, while Levi Black had six tackles and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Martin Walker. Tyler Ingraham added four tackles and a sack, while Brayden Vogel had five tackles.
The victory was huge for Crocus as it was the first time the team has beaten St. Paul’s since the Plainsmen’s 1987 championship season, when Boyd was a player. It also gave Crocus more wins this year than they had all of last season, and they hope to add another next week when they host the Grant Park Pirates (1-1).
"As long as we keep doing what we’re doing and working like we’re working, we’ve got this," St. Pierre said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 14, 2013