Humboldt Mohawks football team wins provincial silver

The Humboldt Mohawks are the provincial silver medalists for 3A nine-man high school football.

They were defeated by the Lumsden Devils 55-16 at a game in Humboldt's Glenn Hall Park.

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“There’s lots and lots of things we can celebrate together as a team,” said Cory Popoff, the Mohawks’ head coach. “We’ve had a great season: a season of football and a season of healing. Together we’ve had a very enjoyable season and I’m just so proud of the boys and the way they played this year.”

This was the only game all season the Mohawks lost.

“To go through a season and not lose a game until the very last one is remarkable,” Popoff said. “That doesn’t happen very often.”

This was the first provincial championship game the Mohawks played in since 2014.

Popoff said the team was expecting a tough game against Lumsden.

“I was expecting a very, very strong run game, which is what they showed us. They’ve got some talented backs and very strong offensive linemen that are able to move the ball quite well.”

In the first half of the game, Lumsden scored 35 points, while Dakota Hoffman-Ward scored a touchdown for the Mohawks, followed by a convert by Teijan Abel-Douglas.

“We usually makes some key adjustments to our offence and our defence to counteract what they’re coming at us in,” Popoff said. “Some of those key adjustments helped, in a way, but in the end, Lumsden’s a good team and they deserved a win today.”

In the last half, the Mohawks’ Cody Bergermann scored a touchdown, followed by another convert by Teijan Abel-Douglas, plus a two-point safety, bringing them to 16, while Lumsden scored another 20 points to bring them to 55.

“Our boys have that spirit and ability to never give up,” Popoff said. “I appreciate that out of them and they played hard right to the very end.”

Offensively, the Mohawks had problems completing drives, but did improve in the second half.

“We had lots of passes over the top,” Popoff said. “We catch those and it’s a different game but we didn’t in this case and that why we aren’t leaving with the provincial championship today.”

Defensively, the conditions on the snowy field played havoc on the team.

“I know that defensively we put players in the right spot, but I tell you, the slippery conditions certainly didn’t help our game at all.”

The team will see 12 graduating players this year.

“We still have a very strong, hard-working Grade 10 and 11 bunch, so we’re going to be okay for the next year coming,” Popoff said.

The principal acknowledged the support of the community and parents over the season.

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