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Kodiaks take league title on home field with 56-12 win, advance to play Shellbrook in conferences

Creighton's high school football team has repeated as northern Saskatchewan champions.
S43 Kodiaks Football 1
Creighton Kodiaks captains Noah Olivier (clockwise from top left), Myles Patterson, Brenden Haley and Davin Eastman hoist the northern league's championship trophy and banner.

Creighton's high school football team has repeated as northern Saskatchewan champions.

The Creighton Kodiaks pulled out a 56-12 win against the Charlebois Community School Islanders from Cumberland House in Creighton Oct. 23, earning their fourth Ralph Pilz Trophy and repeating as league champs.

The Kodiaks, as they have done all season, got out to an early lead, courtesy of early touchdowns from Noah Olivier on the ground and a pass and run from Carson Straile. The Kodiaks also had a punt return touchdown by Olivier, but the play was called back due to a backfield holding penalty. After one quarter, Creighton led 16-0.

That trend continued in the second, as Creighton stopped the Cumberland House offence and Olivier once again got in for the score, growing the Kodiaks' lead to 24. Another run, this time by Jaxon Smith, rumbled the ball into the endzone once more, with the first half ending 31-0 Creighton. 

Another return touchdown, this time scored by Straile, started the second half, but much like the first, a penalty by the Kodiaks took that score off the board. The Kodiaks then fumbled the ball, giving the Islanders great field position, but Cumberland House then fumbled the ball right back. On the very next play, Creighton quarterback Marcus Kennedy darted out of the pocket, threw from his own endzone and found Olivier wide open for a long touchdown.

A second Cumberland House fumble sealed the game early in the third, as a ball was dropped by an Islander player in the Creighton redzone. That ball was then picked up by linebacker Brenden Haley, who ran it all the way back for another long touchdown.

Cumberland House broke their own goose-egg not long after, getting a kick return touchdown from Maddox Laliberte to get on the scoreboard. On the Cumberland House kickoff, Straile answered back with a kick return TD of his own, this time with no flags on the field, to make it a 50-6 lead.

With a 44-point lead to start the fourth quarter, the Kodiaks subbed in their rookies. A series of turnovers on downs ensued for both teams, with Cumberland House getting their second touchdown of the day from Jett Sanderson, before Creighton's own rookies banged in another score late, making it 56-12 Creighton.

The Kodiaks' win gives the team their fourth league championship and their second consecutive title. Creighton won their first title in 2014, then won again in 2015 and 2019 - no season was held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The victory also confirms Creighton will face the top 2A football club in the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) Conference 8 - the Shellbrook Aardvarks, who narrowly beat out Rosthern to win their conference. The Islanders, as the league's top 1A school, will also hold a conference game next weekend, playing against the Hafford Vikings.

Through their six scheduled games, the Kodiaks went 4-1 through the regular season and added a fifth win in the title game, scoring 341 points along the way and giving up only 53 points on the season. That includes the Kodiaks' only loss of the season, a 7-0 forfeit to Senator Myles Venne when the team's initial home opener was cancelled last month. The Aardvarks finished their season at 5-1, having scored 204 points but having given up 196 points.

The Kodiaks and Aardvarks will face off Oct. 30 at Creighton's Oval of Dreams field to determine who moves ahead to a provincial semi-final game. No northern Saskatchewan-based team has ever advanced to a provincial semi-final game before. If the Kodiaks beat Shellbrook, they will face the winner of a similar game between Conference 6 and Conference 7, which would also be hosted in Creighton in early November.