Football games are often said to be won and lost in the trenches, which is the way that Vincent Massey Vikings left tackle and defensive nose tackle Carter Moore likes it.
"It’s kind of worked out that way that I’m playing on both sides of the ball," Moore said. "I’m obviously a bigger guy but I’m an offensive-line guy for life.
"It’s a great spot to be in especially as you build that chemistry with the other guys. Plus, I love to hit people. That’s the best part of football."
Moore and his offensive line played a big role in the Vikings performance on Friday afternoon as they cruised to a 36-6 triumph over the host Crocus Plainsmen.
"You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play with," Moore said. "Our quarterback Justin Sharp is just amazing. Our wideouts were catching the ball and we all started the game strong on offence.
"Crocus has a very good defensive line, but I feel like we got the best offensive line out there."
Despite not playing any games since 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moore and the rest of the Vikings offensive line have hit the ground running as they’ve helped the team get off to a 3-0 start in the Winnipeg High School Football League.
"It’s been a bit of a surprise just how much better we’ve become as the year has gone on," Moore said. "We’ve got some new players in our lineup and I’m so proud of them and how they’ve stepped up to the plate.
"Our right tackle Scott Sherb has improved a lot. He’s in Grade 10 and supposed to be with the junior varsity team but he’s already been a key guy for us, along with our centre Brayden Deedman, who’s also been playing well since the season started."
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings defence put a lot of pressure on Plainsmen quarterback Josh Nevin during the course of Friday afternoon.
"We spent a lot of time watching film before this game and we practised everything, including their trick plays," Moore said. "We just crushed it out there today on defence.
"Our offence and defence play against each other all the time and I feel like that helps both sides of the ball out. We have a lot of good players on our team."
The lone bright spot of the afternoon for the 0-3 Plainsmen came in the fourth quarter on a strange play.
An ever-observant Ayden Bone picked up a bouncing ball off a punt and scurried 40 yards down the field for a touchdown.
"I had seen it (the ball) tipped up in the air by their returner (Connor Van Santen) and I thought ‘He’s not going to catch it, so I’m going to jump up and try and get the ball,’" Bone said.
"I was pretty confident that the play was going to count as I was running down the field, then I saw the shadow of one of their guys besides me, so I turned to the right to make sure that I scored."
Bone, a Grade 10 student, is also a two-way player for his school as he suits up at wideout and defensive back.
"I’m also trying to get a few reps at linebacker, but as long as I’m out on the field, I’m happy," Bone said.
"I love being on both sides of the ball as that’s the way I want to play. I love making tackles and I love catching the ball and getting touchdowns."
Although the Plainsmen are still in search of the first win of the 2021 campaign, Bone is pleased with how the team is progressing.
"Honestly, if we could have started better in the first half, I think it would have been a much closer game as we showed a lot of polish in the second half," Bone said.
"That’s kind of been the story for us so far this year. We need to start way better if we want to win. We just need to be ready both physically and mentally."
Sharp led the way for the Vikings on Friday as he snuck across the goal line from three and four yards out.
He also completed 14 of 22 passes for 305 yards, which included 22 and 20-yard touchdown catches by Matthew Escoto and a 57-yard strike to Lucas Cels.
Kevin Garcia converted four point-after attempts and got single points for his team on a kickoff and a missed field goal attempt.
Nevin was 9-for-11 through the air for 118 yards for the Plainsmen, including 54 to Bone.
Bradly Beaudoin had eight tackles and two sacks to lead the way on defence.
Both schools are on the road next Friday as the Vikings visit the Portage Trojans and the Plainsmen take on the Steinbach Sabres.
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