After enduring a pair of tough losses to open the Sask Rural 5A 12-Aside Football League season, the Peacock Tornadoes are finally in the win column.
The Tornadoes took a 22-0 lead out of the first half and would go on to a 29-0 victory over the Estevan Elecs in league action Saturday afternoon at Gutheridge Field.
The victory came on the heels of a 47-8 loss to Yorkton in week one and a 38-7 defeat at the hands of Central the following week and couldn’t have come at a better time for the building program.
“Credit to the guys, they’ve had their nose in the books and most of the stuff was error free today,” said Tornadoes head coach Bert Redstone. “There were some miscommunications since Estevan changed their front and threw our guys a little bit, but adjustments were made and the players did a great job,”
A major key was being ready from the start for whatever Estevan threw at them, with a pre-game warning not to just rely on film helping in that direction.
“We just said to the guys before the game, and it happens every year, don’t trust records and film is not the players,” Redstone said. “So we get out here and what happens? Estevan is big and strong, and you don’t know about the players just from film alone. So they brought it and then our guys matched the intensity, which is what we needed to do, and it all worked out.”
Tornadoes running back Josh Johnson enjoyed his best game of the season with 16 carries for 107 yards and four touchdowns. His first major came on a 48-yard pass-and-run with 3:56 to play in the first quarter, followed by nine-yard and one-yard runs in the second quarter. Johnson then capped his offensive output with a one-yard plunge early in the third quarter.
Quarterback Owen Varjassy also had a good game on the ground, carrying 13 times for 155 yards while also going 3-for-11 passing for 77 yards.
Peacock was also strong on defence, as Malcolm Hunter and Rayan Yuhas-Gebhart both had interceptions while the Tornadoes as a whole held the Elecs to 112 yards total offence.
The overall success for Peacock was a product of their ongoing progress as players get used to new roles and gain experience.
“Guys like (Yuhas-Gebhart), a Grade 9 kid who showed up and played really well today and had a pick at the end of the game, then Dax Gibney is playing really hard and has taken on a leadership role in Grade 10, exactly what you want to see,” Redstone said. “And someone like Ethan Bzdel is playing his heart out and leading as a Grade 12… that’s what you want.
“Like any season, you’re going to make changes and it takes time to get guys used to new positions. We have guys who have typically played defence and now we’re asking to play o-line, so it just takes time for that stuff to click together.”
The Tornadoes will need everything to click and then some in their next outing as they take on the two-time defending league champion and unbeaten Weyburn Eagles, who took a 22-0 win over Central on Friday night.
“That’ll be a super tough opponent against a team with some great players, so we’ll get ourselves ready mentally and then just show up and play and see what happens,” Redstone said.
Other upcoming league action sees Swift Current at Estevan on Friday, Sept. 29 along with Central traveling to Yorkton to take on the 3-0 Raiders on Saturday, Sept. 30.a