A fitting end


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October 4, 2016 12:00 AM

TIE GAME Members of the Lloydminster Chargers and Lloydminster Mustangs hold up the Bantam Bowl Cup together after an 8-8 tie Bantam Bowl game on Saturday during Rod Kirby Football Day. It was a fitting tribute to the late Lloydminster Minor Football Association president, Rod Kirby, as Kirby helped coach and mentor both teams and their players.

It would seem only fitting that the day renamed to honour the man who helped building football in the Border City would end with both Lloydminster bantam teams holding the Bantam Bowl Cup, as the Lloydminster Mustangs and Charges battled to an 8-8 tie on Saturday night during the Bantam Bowl game on Rod Kirby Football Day.
While a draw wasn’t how anyone expected the game to end, having both team’s names engraved on the cup for 2016 was the best tribute the bantam players could give to their former president, who not only helped build Football Day into an annual event, but also as a salute to the former coach and president’s mantra of leaving it all out on the field.
“This day was really for us to come together for Rod,” said Chargers head coach Michael Wirachowski. “He had a big part in both of these teams, so it was a good way to end it. This is Rod’s organization, so it was a good way to attribute him.”
The Bantam Bowl game was played in rainy and slick conditions, as the forecast wasn’t favourable for the Football Day events with rain clouds hanging over the field all day.
But football was played, even if it was difficult to hang on to the ball at times. Neither the Chargers or Mustangs could score in the first half as both teams made their fair share of mistakes in the rain.
It would be the defending Bantam Bowl champions, the Chargers, who would open the scoring first in the third quarter, as Jaymin Raccette would score on a run, giving the Chargers an 8-0 lead.
The Chargers would concede a safety late in the third quarter as they were backed up near their goal line, making it an 8-2 game heading into the final quarter of play, giving the Mustangs a chance to score.
Late in the fourth, the Mustangs would be in the red zone threatening to score. Anton Amundrud would break wide and cross the goal line to tie the game a 8-8.
However, the Mustangs would miss the extra point kick after a penalty pushed them back, giving the Chargers a chance for the victory with just over a minute to play.
With some running up the middle and a 15 year penalty to help, the Chargers were in the red zone with seconds left to play. They would try to win the game on a rouge kick, but after the ball went out through the end zone in what seemed like the extra point the Chargers need to retain the Bantam Bowl championship, a penalty flag for flew, erasing the point and pushing the Chargers back.
The ensuing kick went out of bounds. Each team would get a quick possession, but no points were added to the game, leaving the Bantam Bowl championship to be shared by both teams in what has been a year of reflection and honouring to their former president Rod Kirby.
“It is kind of fitting that it is Rod Kirby day and all the kids are out here playing, trying to leave it all on the line today,” said Mustangs head coach Paul Amundrud. “He’s been part of both of these teams, coaching and managing both teams, so it’s fitting that we get to end in a tie and both teams get to hold the trophy for our day.”
Rod Kirby Football day began with two peewee contests, as the Lloydminster Colts opened the day with a 53-0 victory over Bonnyville, while the Lloydminster Steelers were downed 54-6 by the Wainwright Renegades.
Despite the rain, faithful football fans came out to celebrate the game in what is being called another successful Football Day event.
“Other than the weather it was great,” said Lloydminster Minor Football Association president Edwin Hippe. “We had our diehard football fans out here. Having both their names on that trophy is fitting. We would have played it out a couple years ago, but this year, it only seemed fitting. Everybody is happy.”

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