The Westman Wolverines are hoping for a different outcome when they visit the St. James Rods in the franchise’s first-ever Manitoba Major Football League playoff game this afternoon in Winnipeg.
In their regular season meeting in Brandon, the Wolverines struggled to move the ball and fell 28-1. However, they feel a lot more confident heading into the quarter-final as Westman is riding a four-game winning streak and St. James has dropped its last three.
“I think we’re playing better than we had earlier in the season for sure,” Wolverines head coach Dave Stantial said. “The Rods are coming in on a three-game losing streak that may affect them too, but they’re also coming in knowing that they beat us. I’m not sure what their mind set is. I’m hoping they’re still in a bit of a slump and hopefully we can take advantage of that.”
Westman will also have a different look than it did in the regular season game. The team was without starting quarterback Seth Hume, some key members of the offensive and defensive lines as well as third-year safety Brendon Brydges. All of them will play in Winnipeg.
Stantial has also been watching a lot of game tape and believes he has developed a pretty solid game plan.
“I’m sure they’re going to come out with the same mind set of throwing the ball,” he said. “We’re looking at our defence a bit and we think we have something figured out to help us with that.
“Offensively ... we have some revamped plays since we played them and I think we can do well.”
This is the first playoff game in the team’s history, and Stantial believes the 10 players who have been on the team since its inception in 2010 will have the rest of the players focused and ready to play.
“They’re definitely excited to be playing in our first playoff game,” Stantial said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 12, 2012