St. Paul Lions challenge Titans in exhibition match at home – Lakeland TODAY

  • September 10, 2022

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ST. PAUL – The St. Paul Lions played the Drumheller Titans in an exhibition match on Sept. 3, just prior to the 2022 Wheatland Football League season kicking off. 
The Lions started strong in the first half of the game, but the Titans firmed up a solid lead in the second half, with the score sitting at 17-7 with two minutes left in the third quarter.  
During the last quarter, the Lions found their way to the end field, closing the gap by four points and bringing the score to to 17-13. But, with two minutes before the end of the game, the Titans responded with their own touchdown, and won the exhibition match 24-13. 
“We came out strong, both [teams] scored early,” said head coach Mark Tichkowsky, adding, the Lions "were able to climb back” into the game near the end. 
“For the most part, we hung in there offensively and defensively, but I'd say, just first game jitters and a couple of mistakes, which we need to work on next week and hopefully we get ready in a couple of weeks when we play Bonnyville.” 
Tichkowsky said some work needs to be done on the team’s offense, stating, “It's tough with offense, there's a lot of things that we have to do and get rolling. And if someone makes a mistake, it could be detrimental to that play.”  
The team will now take time to watch the game footage and spot mistakes they made, said Tichkowsky. 
St. Paul Lions’ veteran Ryan Fodchuk shared his thoughts about the exhibition game with Lakeland Today. He said the Lions lost their energy much faster than the Titans, leading the Drumheller team to outplay the Lions. 
Compared to the Titans, Fodchuk says the Lions were not as conditioned and, “things just went (the Titans’) way, and they just kind of started to dominate. Everybody just lost their juice.”  
Conditioning will be crucial moving forward, in addition to a few other things that need to be worked on like penalties and special teams. Overall, however, Fodchuk said it was a decent game. 
According to Tichkowsky, the exhibition game is meant to spot areas that need improvement before the regular season starts. He is hopeful the St. Paul and Drumheller teams will meet up later in the season at Tier IV provincials.
The St. Paul Lions' next game is set for Sept. 16 in Bonnyville at Walsh Field against the Voyageurs. On Sept. 23, the team will make its way to Lloydminster to play Lloydminster Comprehensive High School. 
The Lions will return home on Sept. 29 for a game against Holy Rosary at the St. Paul Regional High School field. 
On Oct. 6, the Lions will welcome Cold Lake to St. Paul for another home game before taking to the road again for an Oct. 14 game against Wainwright.  
Playoffs for the Wheatland Football League are scheduled for Oct. 21 and Oct. 28. League finals will take place on Nov. 4. 
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