Crusaders ousted by Royals in playoff game

During the regular season, the John Paul II Crusaders had the upper hand over the Martensville Royals in two head-to-head meetings.

Come Saturday afternoon, things went in the opposite direction.

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A slow start coupled by an impressive offensive outburst by the Royals proved too much for the Crusaders to overcome as they suffered a 55-14 loss on their home field in a SHSSA nine-man playoff game.

“It’s really disappointing for sure,” Crusaders head coach Bruce Yockey said. “One team showed up ready to play and we didn’t.

“I’ll give Martensville credit as they made adjustments this week, but we came out flat and made huge mistakes all over the field. From missed tackles to fumbles when we were moving the ball, it was one of the games that you wanted to have over and done with.”

The Crusaders still had a chance to keep the game close as they were down 19-0 late in the first half, but the Royals scored a pair of passing touchdowns to put the game out of reach.

“We needed something big at the point to keep the momentum rolling our way,” Yockey said. 

“It was kind of heading that way, but Martensville made the plays when they had to and they laid a licking on us.”

Despite the tough ending, Yockey is excited for the future for a young squad that posted a 2-4 record and had a chance to play host to a playoff game.

“We only have one Grade 12 player moving on in Dexter Cameron, who did a great job of battling through some injuries,” Yockey said.

“Everyone else is eligible to return, which doesn’t happen that often, so we should be a little wiser and a littler stronger and I think you’ll see a lot of growth from everyone that’s coming back.”

Cameron and Declan Wychopen had the touchdowns for the Crusaders in Saturday’s loss.

With the win, the Royals have advance to the quarter-finals and will go up against the Lumsden Devils Saturday.

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