Marauders, Crusaders ready for high school football playoffs.

Herald File Photo. Carlton Crusaders defensive back Gage Prodaehl lines up against a St. Joseph receiver earlier this season

The regular season is fresh in the rear mirror for both the Carlton Crusaders and the St. Mary Marauders, but both teams have their focus firmly set on the upcoming high school football playoffs coming up on Thursday night.


The St. Mary Marauders enter the playoffs on a hot streak having captured back-to-back victories after starting the season 0-3.

A 52-36 win over the Bethlehem Stars and a 22-21 win over the Tommy Douglas Tigers punched their ticket to the postseason.

The Marauders will match up with the Centennial Collegiate Chargers in their opening playoff game. The Chargers defeated St. Mary 24-0 earlier this season in Saskatoon.

Marauder head coach Curt Hundeby says St. Mary didn’t play their best football against Centennial earlier this season.

“We’ve played them once in the regular season, but we didn’t play really well. We got some decent yardage but couldn’t find the end zone. We made a lot of mistakes in that game. We’re looking forward to getting another crack at them. I think it’s a matchup we matchup decently well against.”

Facing Centennial for the second time this season, both teams may pull out some new looks and formations to gain the advantage. 

Hundeby says the key for the Marauders this week will be staying on the same page.

“The big thing is going to be to communicate well. Especially defensively and on special teams. Just to make sure who has got who and what responsibilities are when we see different looks and different formations. One thing we are going to stress this week is good communication.”

All high school playoff football games are taking place in Saskatoon. The Marauders are no strangers to the bus as they have traveled  three consecutive weeks to play, going 2-1 in that span. 

Hundeby says the Marauders will know what to expect.

“This is going to be our fourth week in a row, we’re pretty used to getting on the bus and rolling. We’re going to be used to the procedures and the atmosphere.”

Thursday night has the potential to be the final high school football game for seniors on both sidelines. But for Marauders senior linemen Corban Taylor, he says he is only focused on the game ahead

“Right now, I’m only focused on redemption, it was a tough game. Lots of mistakes and lots of good things as well. But we’re ready to fix those mistakes and battle.”

The Marauders and Chargers kick off on Thursday night at 7:30pm from SMF.


There were plenty of highlights during the regular season for the Carlton Crusaders football program as they finished the regular season 4-1, with the only blemish coming at home against the top seeded St. Joseph’s Guardians.

The Crusaders will take on the Walter Murray Marauders in their first playoff game. THe Crusaders bested Walter Murray 28-0 earlier this season at Max Clunie Field.

Crusader head coach Lindsay Strachan says that Carlton feels confident going into the matchup.

“We feel like if we are playing our best football, we can walk on the field with anybody. We are certainly getting prepared to play a good physical football game. They’re well coached and they’ll be tough, but everyone is tough this time of year.”

There’s been plenty of home cooking for the Crusaders football team this year, as Carlton played all five regular season games on home turf at Max Clunie Field. Thursday’s game will mark the first time Carlton will make the trip south to Saskatoon, with the exception of an exhibition game.

Strachan says the Crusaders are ready to play in a hostile road atmosphere.

“As much as we haven’t been down  there much this year, we have a big returning group and we have played a lot of football games down there. I’m not worried about that at all. SMF is a home away from home.”

Crusaders lineman Ethan Bruce is in his grade 12 season with Carlton. He says playing on the road can be a totally different experience then on home turf.

“It’s definitely a different experience going on the bus going down to Saskatoon. It;s nice to have that crowd at home and you kind of miss that in Saskatoon. But they’ve got a good stadium. Overall you try to play the same way you do at home.”

Bruce adds that the Crusaders are going into the postseason with no shortage in confidence

“We’re feeling pretty good in the postseason and that we feel we will make a pretty good run in the playoffs.”

The Carlton Crusaders and Walter Murray Marauders kick off at 5:15 pm from SMF in Saskatoon on Thursday night.