ST. PAUL – The St. Paul Bengals defeated Wainwright on Oct. 29 with a 46-point lead and will now face the Bonnyville Bandits in the 2022 Wheatland Bantam Football League Championship game.
The Bengals’ head coach hopes the community will come out to support the bantam team Saturday afternoon.
Similar to the Bengals’ previous match against Wainwright on Oct. 15, the away team scored the first touchdown 12 seconds into the game, leading the score 6-0. Then, the Bengals responded with two of their own touchdowns.
Two minutes into the second quarter, the Bengals led 16-6. Wainwright then managed to stop the Bengals’ advances as the quarter was heading to a close.
But with one minute to go, running back Joseph Pilipchuk (#22) rushed to the end zone to widen the gap, followed by another rushing touchdown. The score was 30-6 by the end of the first half.
In the third quarter, the Bengals pulled further by 16 more points, ending the quarter with a 40-point lead.
Wainwright closed the gap 46-14 two minutes into the last quarter, to which the Bengals responded with two more touchdowns. The match ultimately ended with the Bengals taking the win 60-14.
Pilipchuk was among the leading scorers for the Bengals, who punched in multiple rushing touchdowns throughout the game’s four quarters.
When asked about his performance, Pilipchuk said it was a good game, and he now looks forward to playing the Bandits. “I also just want to thank everyone for playing hard,” said Pilipchuk.
Despite the overwhelming lead, head coach Todd Tanasichuk said there is more room for improvement as many mistakes were made during the first half. Tanasichuk said many of the Bengals were also less than mentally prepared for the game, and it showed in the first half.
However, “as a coach, it’s hard to be too negative about it – you always want to play to your potential,” said Tanasichuk. “But I was really happy with the way we played in the second half,” he added, commending the team.
The Bengals will be hosting the Bonnyville Bandits on Nov. 5, and Tanasichuk said “the kids are excited.” According to Tanasichuk, it will be a tough game against the Bandits.
“It’s gonna be a battle,” said the coach, but the Bengals will be ready.
The Bandits defeated Cold Lake on Saturday with a final score of 34-16, with head coach Robbie Cole describing the game as intense. “It was a dogfight until the end… then the last play of the game, we scored a touchdown.”
Cole said the Bandits will also be ready to play the Bengals, and as a coach, “I’m always up for a challenge. According to Cole, between the Bandits and the Bengals, knowing who will win is “never easy.”
“This is going to be a good game,” he said. “We got a good rivalry and it’s going to be right down to the wire – I know it.”
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