It was a tale of two halves for the Steinbach Regional Secondary School's football team Thursday in the cold at the East Side Eagles Field in Winnipeg.
The Sabres rallied from 24-3 halftime deficit with a masterful second half performance but couldn't catch Vincent Massey.
The Vikings completed their perfect season defeating the SRSS 31-23 in the Winnipeg High School Football League's Westman Bowl.
Sabres kicker Bradey Dornez was good on an 18-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Vincent Massey quarterback Justin Sharp threw three second quarter touchdowns as the Brandon school took advantage of three SRSS turnovers which incuded a fumble, interception and a blocked punt.
Sharp also ran for 92 yards and a third quarter major that put Massey ahead 31-3.
Austin Neufeld rushed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Sabres who scored 20 unanswered points during their frantic fourth quarter comeback.
Eric Martens also had touchdown on the ground while Jackson Penner added a two-point convert.
"I'm extremely proud the resolve and determination of our kids to fight through adversity and make it a competitive game," noted Steinbach Regional head coach Stephen Fedus. "Losing is never a fun thing but a loss like that is nothing to be ashamed of and our players can certainly keep their chins up knowing they competed to the bitter end."
The Sabres lost both regular season games to the Vikings by scores of 35-9 and 36-14.
Jamie Peters, the varsity teams defensive coordinator and the school's football convenor, was thrilled that his team was able to compete after the 2020 WHSFL season was cancelled.
"It was just a privilege to be able to get on the field, wear equipment and hit! We were fortunate to play a season schedule and complete our games! Unfortunately we were not able to secure a JV schedule but we did two games for those young guns. Our program is in a mini rebuild as most are. We had 80 players across grades 9-12, We only had six seniors and we only had 18 players who previously played for the Sabres. Our team was young, they were inexperienced but they got better each week. They worked hard and they improved, The future for the Sabres is bright and we look forward to building off what we built in 2021."