#CFCHSFB PREVIEW (MB) Can Gophers defeat CFC#4 Crusaders?

This week’s Winnipeg High School Football League (WHSFL) matchup is the CFC#4 St.Paul’s Crusaders hosting the Garden City Gophers on Thursday night.

Two talented teams will go head-to-head in the last game of the regular season to determine playoff positions. The Crusaders could remain undefeated, while the Gophers have the chance to do what no other WHSFL team has done this year and beat them.

Although the Crusaders has managed to remain undefeated, they have had their share of adversity throughout the year. Quarterback Riley Naujoks has been a big part to their success this season.

“Given the injuries we have sustained and the shuffling of players that we have been forced to do, Riley’s performance has been a very important part of our success to date,” said Crusaders Head Coach Stacey Dainard.

Naujoks and the offence have been able to put up a league high 240 points. One reason for that is wide receiver Remis Tshiovo.

Tshiovo was humble when asked about his team’s season.

“In order to continue the success we’ve had as a school we must continue to get better every day”.

Another advantage is their stingy defence. In six games this season, the Crusaders have given up only 40 points.

There may be no key player or group in the Crusaders tough defence it all comes down to the players love for the game and the camaraderie.

“I don’t think it can be over stated but the guys on defense really enjoy the game of football. The guys enjoy the competition and the camaraderie that comes along with a team sport like football”.

If the Gophers are going to win, they’re going to have a mistake free game.

“St Paul’s doesn’t make mistakes so we will need to eliminate our mistakes and take advantage of every opportunity” added Christian Phillips of the Gophers.

Phillips is part of an exciting Gophers offence which has many threats.#CFC100 Marcel Arruda-Welch of the Gophers has scored 60 points this season. Christian Phillips is the top receiver in the WHSFL with 23 catches good for 400 yards and five touchdowns.

“We’ve had success running and passing the ball. We have so many players who can play multiple positions and use different formations to create mismatches and confusion,” said Phillips.

The Gophers have had a good season only losing two games. However, Head Coach Beau Wilks would like to see his team get off to a quicker start this week after falling behind early last week.

“Slow starts are extremely difficult to overcome in this division. We had a few key early mistakes which led to us having to fight our way back,” added Wilks.

The Gophers has one of the best players in the city in Kieran Cummings. Cummings is a grade ten student that plays defense and offensive line.

Wilks expressed the value of a player like Kieran.

“Kieran is a huge part of what we do both offensively and defensively,” said Wilks.  “He is a selfless player who does whatever is needed to put us in position to execute our game plan for the upcoming opponent.”

Both of these teams are ready to battle in what should be an entertaining game Thursday night.

“Garden City and Coach Wilks have had a great season & I am sure they will be very ready to play us on Thursday so we need to be at our best” added Dainard.







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