Pitbulls headed to championship final
Pitbulls running back Kaiden Banfield found the holes early and tacked on some big yards versus the Rods in the semifinal. Portage won 49-20 and will face Northman Nomads Friday night. (Supplied Photo/The Graphic)
Revenge is even sweeter in the playoffs.
The Portage Pitbulls bantam football team is off to the Manitoba Minor Football Association (MMFA) Bantam A championship final thanks to a 49-20 win over the St. James Rods Saturday in Winnipeg. The Rods beat the Pitbulls 15-14 during the regular season to steal second place in the standings.
“We did a really good job with our run game,” says Miles Irwin, Pitbulls' head coach. “The Rods had the best defence in the league with the least amount of points given up all year and they couldn't stop us. The (players) just believe they can beat anyone, they're excited.”
Irwin says their offensive line played gigantic, keeping the attacking defenders at bay while opening lanes for their running backs to gain big yards to put the Rods on their heels early. The Pitbulls were in front 32-6 at the half and never looked back.
“Half of our team is brand new (to football) and I'm not sure they realize how big this is,” laughs Irwin. “They seem to be thinking it's an everyday thing to get here and it's exciting. I wouldn't say we started the year as a very tough team but I think we're the toughest overall now. They've grown a lot this year.”
The Pitbulls are up against the Northman Nomads Friday night in Winnipeg in the league championship. Irwin expects it to be a very tough and physical game as both teams like to utilize the run game. He feels the Nomads have the size advantage but the speed factor goes to Portage. The Nomads finished at 6-2 for a first place finish during regular season play, while the Pitbulls managed to claw back to .500 at 4-4 after an 0-4 start.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Charlie Krupp Stadium in Winnipeg.