Wolverines advance to semifinal


By: Lanny Stewart


The Westman Wolverines are moving on to the next round of the playoffs.

The Brandon-based Manitoba Major Football League squad defeated the St. James Rods 34-30 in a quarter-final game in Winnipeg on Saturday.

It was a monumental win for the Wolverines  -- a team which consists of players from all around southwestern Manitoba -- as it was the club's first playoff game since the team's inception in 2010.

"It always feels great when you are the underdog and get to extend your season by another game," said Wolverines' head coach Dave Stantial. "This playoff win -- in just our third season -- I feel gives legitimacy not just to the team in the league but to the program itself."

The team was led offensively by quarterback Seth Hume who threw for 239 yards passing and a touchdown, while Shayne Sebree ran for a whopping 212 yards and a score.

"Seth (Hume) and Shayne (Sebree) had a great day and worked very hard for every yard that they gained in the air and on the ground," said Stantial.

"Not to take anything away from their efforts, but I think the offensive line was the real story of the game. Brady Dane, Jordan Hicks, Jesse Larocque and Tanner Boak dominated the line of scrimmage for most of the game," he continued.

"This was their best game of the year."

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Spencer Riche had a sack, while Jamie Wall  registered a team-high seven tackles.

"There is only one word to describe the front seven in Saturday's game and that is relentless," said Stantial. "Our defensive backs covered well against a challenging offence that kept changing things up."

After dropping their first four games of the year, the Wolverines have completely turned around their season with five straight victories and are now one win away from reaching the league final.

The club will now battle the undefeated Eastside Eagles in a semifinal matchup this Saturday in Winnipeg. The Eagles are the highest scoring team in the league (373 points for in eight games). The Wolverines lost 42-30 to the Eagles in Week 1 of the season (Aug. 11).

"A lot has changed for both teams so I don't think that we can go by how things went in that game," said Stantial. "It's definitely going to be a challenge."

The other semifinal game in the league has the St. Vital Mustangs hosting the North Winnipeg Nomads. That game also takes place on Saturday.

Neepawa's Bradley Kyle, Bryce Unger and Rossburn's Ethan Jowett are some of the players from the southwestern Manitoba area on the team.

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