The Steinbach Regional Secondary School's junior varsity football team left Oak Park High School with a single point Wednesday night.
Jaxon Gruninger ran for three touchdowns as the Sabres and defending champion Raiders played to a 28-28 tie in the Winnipeg High School Football League season opener for both teams.
"I'm extremely pleased with how our season opener turned out," texted SRSS head coach Kerry Friesen. "We were expecting a very tough Oak Park team who were coming in as the defending champions and who had beaten us this spring."
"I'm not sure how many of our players believed we could beat Oak Park, but after we started moving the ball in the second quarter our boys rallied around each other and put together a very impressive performance that exceeded my own expectations."
Gruninger finished the day with 125 yards on the ground.
The Sabres, who gave up 15 unanswered first quarter points, trailed 15-7 at halftime.
Steinbach Regional took the lead for the first time thanks to an 11-play five minute drive that culminated with quarterback Austin Duerksen punching the ball in from the one-yard line with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The extra point was blocked making the score 28-22 in favour of the Sabres.
The Raiders found the SRSS end zone and tied the game with 22 seconds remaining.
Oak Park then missed the go-ahead convert.
Gordon Prest and Caelen Poetker both had quarterback sacks in the season opener.
The Sabres next game is Wednesday, September 19th against the St. Paul's Crusaders at A.D. Penner Park.