High school game PREVIEW (SK): Riffel has eyes on revenge in rematch versus Campbell

Riffel Royals vs. Campbell Tartans

Thursday, September 28th @ 7:30pm, New Mosaic Stadium in Regina

For the second straight week, the game of the week in Saskatchewan showcases the Campbell Tartans. The Tartans will square off against the Riffel Royals, under the lights at New Mosaic Stadium. Riffel and Campbell met in week two of the RIFL season, in a game that failed to disappoint. Riffel got off to a quick start, jumping out to a 14-0 lead.  The Royals then managed to take a 14 point lead into the locker rooms and led 21-7 at the half. They kept the Tartans offense in check through three-quarters, limiting Campbell to two points in the third and entered the fourth with a 21-9 lead. They were so close they could nearly taste it. After trailing the entire contest, the Tartans tied it up in the fourth. It was a 27-27 ball game with just 24 seconds left to play when heartbreak struck the Royals. Campbell LB Jaxon Ford punted the ball through the end zone for a rogue to give his team a 28-27 victory.

Campbell carried that momentum over from their comeback win, into week three. They nearly pulled off the shocker of the season in Saskatchewan, tying #CFC50 Leboldus in potentially the game of the year. Now sitting at 2-0-1, the Tartans will look to finish the regular season strong and position themselves atop the Schwaan heading into the postseason.

“The tie really boosted our teams moral because we ended their long winning streak. We didn’t beat them but to be able to be the team that stopped the streak helped us increase the team’s confidence,” says Campbell linebacker Josh White.

Campbell has been carried defensively by their star linebacker, who’s arguably the best at his position in the province. White is a potential candidate for the third edition of the #CFC100 when it drops in a few weeks time. He burst onto the recruiting scene after an impressive performance at the Canada Cup in Nova Scotia this summer. He’s been able to ride that wave into his high school season. His play has been stellar, the sure tackler is leading the Schwann in defensive points through three games with 52. He’s the playmaker of this defense, and many would say the team. He’s capable of single handily carrying this Tartan team to the provincial championship.

“Our coaches have put me in places to make plays and let me perform so well. I continue to study teams before every week through film and our scout teams during our practice, this allows me to put myself in good positions to make plays,” adds White.

White leading out Team Saskatchewan at the 2017 Canada Cup. Photo Credit: Richard Dheilly


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Stusek in action in week three against Leboldus. Photo Credit: Richard Dheilly Photography.

On the offensive side of the ball for Campbell, Bennett Stusek continues to prove why he’s a top-three receiver in Saskatchewan. Stusek is currently sitting at 18 catches for 263 yards and three touchdowns through three games this season. A good chunk of that production came in week two against Riffel. He had his way all night against a young Royals secondary, going for 139 yards receiving on 8 catches, to go along with two touchdowns. Stusek continues to be the go-to guy for quarterback Matt Rivers, and expect that pattern to continue as the season goes on.

Meanwhile, the Royals have started slow, but have the talent to turn things around in a hurry. Riffel sits at 1-2, with losses against Miller and Campbell. They still have winnable games on the schedule remaining, they battle O’Neill in week five and then Winston Knoll in week seven. The 2016 Schwann Conference finalist will need to get the ball rolling sooner than later if they want to return to the big game in 2017.

It’s been a two-man attack on offense for Riffel to start this season, led by running back Zach Arsenault and receiver Ethan Ball. Arsenault has been the focal point of the Royals attack in 2017 and has been by far the Schwann’s top rusher this season. Zach has racked up 325 yards on 37 carries through three weeks, an average of 8.7 yards per carry. Quarterback Ethan Wagner has done a good job finding his star grade ten receiver, Ethan Ball early and often. Ball is currently first in the Schwann conference with 25 receptions. He’s tallied 353 yards and three touchdowns so far and will look to add to that stat line tonight, against a Tartans team that he thrived against in week two.

Campbell will look to get off to a stronger start tonight, as they will aim to avoid another early deficit.

“The game plan tonight is to simply clean up our mistakes. They out-schemed us in the first half of last game and that allowed them to score on us,” says Josh White.

Ignore Riffel’s 1-2 record. This one could go either way. It’s the game of the week in Saskatchewan for a reason. These are two of the finest in Regina, and frankly in Saskatchewan. Expect another well-played football game between these two programs, in a battle between two teams hungry for a win.

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