Saturday’s Manitoba Major Football League’s regular season finale in Winnipeg will make or break the Westman Wolverines.
With a win or a tie, the Wolverines (4-2) will finish second and host their first-ever home playoff game. However, a loss by seven or more points to the 3-3 Fort Garry Lions would cause them to miss the playoffs entirely, while a loss by six or fewer points would give them a fourth-place finish and semifinal battle the undefeated East Side Eagles (7-0).
Although there’s a lot on the line for the Wolverines, the team is confident and focused on winning in order to play one more game at home this season.
“The guys are really motivated about this,” said Westman head coach Dave Stantial, whose team hasn’t had a home game since Aug. 24. “They’re really pumped for it. They really want this to happen as much as we do for the program. They’re very excited about the opportunity to host a playoff game here.”
The Wolverines have good reason to be confident about Saturday’s road game. The team has won its last two contests, including a 27-20 victory over the Lions on their turf in Winnipeg on Sept. 14.
Westman had a two-minute span in that game in which it gave up two touchdowns, but the Wolverines dominated the second half to come out on top. They like their game plan and are glad they control their own destiny, but the Wolverines aren’t taking anything for granted just yet.
“They’re a team that have a couple of slippery running backs, so we have to make sure we don’t over-pursue on the back end and control our gaps on the defensive line and then play a good contain game,” Stantial said. “And taking advantage of special teams, like we did last week.”
The league semifinals will be played on Oct. 19, with the final set for Oct. 26 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 11, 2013