Trojans fall to Clippers in WHSFL opener
A Clippers running back breaks past a pair of PCI defenders and into the endzone during the fourth quarter of Kelvin's 38-2 victory of the Trojans Thursday evening at PCI Field in Portage la Prairie. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
It was a disastrous start to the year for the Trojans.
With two veteran players out of the lineup for violating team conduct policy, an outmatched Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Trojans varsity football team was steamrolled 38-2 by the visiting Kelvin Clippers Thursday evening at PCI Field in week one of the Winnipeg High School Football League (WHSFL).
“We just have to go back to the drawing board and see how we can fix the things that need to be fixed,” said head coach Don Burell. “We have to figure out how to get the ball down the field, that's what we didn't do well today.”
Trailing 16-0 after the half, the Trojans found themselves with good field position early in the third quarter but were unable to capitalize. Fortunately, a defensive stop forced the Clippers to punt deep in their own territory where the snap sailed over the kicker's head resulting in a safety and the first score of the year for the Trojans.
Kelvin responded with a touchdown late in the quarter to increase the score to 23-2 and profited off of a few miscues by PCI quarterback Tyler Morris that resulted in turnovers.
“We didn't do a good job up front blocking. (Morris) had time in the pocket to deliver the ball but we weren't hitting the holes the way we should be hitting the holes,” adds Burell. “We have a lot to fix.”
The Clippers utilized the ground game for much of the final quarter and were rewarded with a pair of majors to push the score to 38-2 before time expired.
The Trojans received a rude awakening during their first test since a promotion to the WHSFL's Kas Vidruk AA division, but were their own worst enemy at times, as the team's disorganized and undisciplined play forced the coaching staff to burn time outs and the team to give away unnecessary field position and first downs.
“(We were) kind of undisciplined a little bit. But having said that, this was our first time with live contact. Now we've got a taste of it and we have to figure out how to get better at it,” says Burell. “We didn't quit, we kept playing and we kept playing hard but this was not the 48 minutes of football that I think I can get them to play and I will get them to play.”
The Trojans – complete with their entire roster – head to Brandon week two for a road tilt against the Plainsmen. Kickoff set for 5 p.m. Sept. 14.