© Scott Anderson
LCBI Bisons defender Liam Thomas holds on to tackle Gull Lake running back Jake Anderson during six-man football action on Oct. 19. Anderson paced the Lions with a five touchdown performance during Gull Lake's 85-33 win over Outlook.
The Gull Lake Lions used a balanced attack to earn a dominating 85-33 six-man football win over the visiting Outlook LCBI Bisons at Gerry Elmslie Field on Oct. 19
The Lions scored five rushing touchdowns and another five passing majors during their best offensive performance of the season. The win pushes the Lions into the SHSAA 1A six-man provincial quarter-final in Kerrobert on Saturday.
Gull Lake's offence again revolved around running back Jake Anderson, who scored four rushing majors and had 255 yards on 15 carries. Anderson also hauled in a receiving major during a dominating five touchdown afternoon.
Despite the gusty game conditions, Lions quarterback Ian Fiddler tossed touchdown passes to four different receivers, connecting for eight of 12 passes for 112 yards and five touchdowns.
Outlook's offence, which hinges on the performance of standout running back Kayden Johnson, was unable to hit full stride after Johnson took a helmet to his knee during the Bisons first offensive series and his performance was limited.
"Things went really well for us today. This is usually a really tough squad and actually their star player #32 (Kayden) Johnson kind of got banged up right at the very beginning of the game, and he wasn't a factor. And with him gone, their whole balloon just seemed to deflate a little bit. You don't want to win that way, but it was what it was," admitted Lions Head Coach Neal Boutin.
Boutin also highlighted the performance of the Lions defensive unit, who limited the Bisons offence to their second lowest point total of the season. Gull Lake's defence was quickly on the ball, with defensive lineman Mason Mackay turning in a strong performance.
"He played a great game today. He put on a lot of pressure every time. This is the third time we've played them so we totally know what they bring, and we can kind of tee off on some of their formations a little bit and get in there and get in their kitchen and make some things happen."
The Lions defence was credited with two interceptions and they pounced on two fumbles while helping turn game momentum with four turnovers and stopping a series of third down gambles.
"It's basically a pretty young defence, we've only got one Grade 12 on our defence, two Grade 10s and a couple of Grade 11s. We're really excited for the future of that defence. They played very well today," Boutin said.
In the Conference 3 showdown between the second ranked Lions and third seeded Bisons, Gull Lake jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on a pair of Anderson touchdowns, with the talented running back scoring a rushing major and hauling in his lone pass of the game for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:31 left in the opening quarter.
Johnson showed his explosive scoring ability by breaking through for a 60 yard rushing major to make it a 14-6 game with 28 seconds left in the quarter.
The key series in the game occurred in the second quarter, when Johnson had an over 60 yard scoring run called back by a holding penalty. On the very next play Outlook fumbled, and the Lions quickly pounced on the opportunity when Anderson took the very next offensive play into the end zone for a 22-6 advantage.
The Lions then added another three more unanswered scores. Anderson then added his fourth major of the half with 6:35 left on the clock with a 25 yard scamper. Gull Lake went to the air for a pair of scores in the final two minutes. Mathew Vaughan hauled in a scoring pass with 1:43 left in the half, and a last play receiving major by Shane Smart allowed the Lions to post a commanding 46-6 halftime advantage.
"We don't usually do that," Boutin said of their arial attack. "They weren't expecting it, that's why we could do it because they were keying hard on Jake (Anderson), and when they did that our quarterback Ian Fiddler was able to just toss balls into the air."
Outlook's Johnson added his second major of the game for LCBI during the opening drive of the third quarter to make it a 46-14 game, but then left the contest with a knee injury he gamely played with since the opening series of the game. Outlook, who dressed 13 players for the playoff game, were down to 10 players when the final gun sounded because of injuries.
The teams traded scores for the remainder of the contest, with the Lions utilizing a number of roster players on both sides of the ball to close out the game.
Anderson found the end zone with one of the game's highlight plays, breaking a tackle at his own five yard line and then scampering the length of the field for his fifth major of the contest. The Lions also had a second half rushing major and receiving touchdown from Jared Down, Ryan Evans scored on a 48 yard punt return, and Vaughan added his second receiving major of the game.
Boutin was pleased they were able to showcase a few different offensive targets.
"Today was actually the first real time in about three games where we got to play all the guys they wanted to."
After the game the coaching staff was anxious to learn more about the injury status of Jess Barsness who left the game with an ankle injury after collecting 68 yards on 15 carries. With that injury, and the potential hockey commitments of other players, they will now turn their attention to preparing the line-up of players who will be suiting up for what will be a tough contest in Kerrobert.
"Depth is always a little bit of an issue. But we've got around 29-30 guys on our roster, so somebody'll fill that spot."