Marauders set for playoff football on Wednesday

Ethan Gee sprints for the opening touchdown during St. Mary’s 35-12 win over North Battleford on Thursday, Oct. 14.

For the first time since COVID-19 cancelled their season in 2020, the St. Mary Marauders will be playing playoff football.

On Wednesday, the team will travel to Saskatoon to take on Evan Hardy in the tier 2 semi final. The Marauders are fresh off a 42-12 win over Tommy Douglas last Thursday, ending their regular season with a 5-1 record, tying them for top spot in the 6A division.

Meanwhile, Evan Hardy will look to rebound after a 28-0 loss in Prince Albert against the Crusaders on Friday. Marauders coach Curtis Hundeby said Evan Hardy is still a team they need to take seriously, despite the 28-0 defeat on Friday.

“We’re going to have to play them tough,” Hundeby said. “We can’t really take anything for granted. I know Carlton had a good game against them, but this is the playoffs now. They’re going to pull out every stop that they have to try and get a win from us and keep their season rolling.”

Hundeby also explained his team’s gameplan heading in to Wednesday’s game.

“From an offensive perspective we’ve got plans in place. A basic concept of our offence is we’re going to try to overwhelm you with numbers or attack the open spaces. “

Although this is the first playoff game for the Marauders in over two years, Hundeby still wants his team to be loose, and to enjoy every second of it.

“Especially in a year like this with COVID, you never know when it’s your last (game),” he said. So it’s not so much focusing on the end result, it’s about enjoying the journey and enjoy every step of this, especially for the grade 12’s. This is it for them. If we win then we have the right to enjoy one more week. The other thing is, we have some guys out this week, so there’s a call for the young guys to step up.”

With the team being fairly new to the high school football game, minus a few grade 12 players, the usual expectation for a young locker room for an important game such as this might be one of anxiousness or nervousness, but Hundeby feels a real sense of camaraderie among his group.

“There’s definitely a sense of urgency in practice, but it’s really loose,” he said. “We’re having a lot of fun. We’re flying around, and making sure we get things done, but when it comes down to business, they’re focused and they’re getting prepared.

“They understand that this isn’t a game to take lightly, but we need to make sure that we’ve got all of our t’s crossed and our i’s dotted so they’re ready to go.”

It’s the 5-1 Marauders against 1-5 Evan Hardy. St. Mary will look to move on to the next round of the playoffs, while Evan Hardy will look to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season, and they’ll look to do so with the benefit of home field advantage on Wednesday night.

Kickoff against the Souls in Saskatoon is at 5:15 pm. @kyle_kosowan •