Lions running back Jason Jubinville carries the ball into the endzone during the team's 75-23 victory against the Lloydminster Comp. Barons in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 31. Jubinville scored five touchdowns in the game, as well as a conversion and a two-point conversion.
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Lions maul Barons 75-23 in season opener
Running back Jason Jubinville led the Lions to a commanding 75-23 victory over the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School Barons on Friday, Aug. 31, scoring five touchdowns on his way to 292 rushing yards.
It was only the sixth time in 29 years that the Lions have defeated the Barons and the first time they have ever reached 75 points in a game, but Jubinville made his job on the field look easy.
"Lightning in a bottle, that's what we call him," Lions head coach Todd Tanasichuk said of Jubinville, adding that he was "in shock" by his team's overall performance against a roster that he considers one of the biggest threats in the league.
Jubinville started his season for the Lions with a run that brought life to the Jungle at St. Paul Regional High School. After the Lions defence stopped the Barons' opening drive in three downs, Jubinville made a 50-yard touchdown run on the team's first offensive play of the game to put them up 6-0.
"Everything was shocking today. You're expecting a tough, tough war and things were coming somewhat quick and easy for us," Tanasichuk said. "I don't think that's a detraction on (the Barons), I think it's just our boys came out and just executed."
The Jubinville show did not stop there, as the running back drove in two more quick touchdowns on 30 and 15-yard carries to put the Lions up 19-0 by the end of the first quarter, then added another two in the second half.
"We know that he's a phenomenal running back. I know they were worried about him too," Tanasichuk said.
By the end of the game Jubinville had run the ball for 292 yards on 17 carries – over half of the Lions total 549 rushing yards – tallying 33 points on five touchdowns, a conversion and a two-point conversion. But Jubinville says none of it would have been possible without a strong performance from the Lions' offensive line.
"I've got a great O-line, and we've got a very special team. I think we're going to go a long way this year," Jubinville said. "They made big holes for me, I could see the field way better, they made it easy to run through."
Tanasichuk agreed that the Lions offensive line was integral to their success on the gridiron against the Barons.
"Our offensive line is so rock solid. Our coach Steve Johnson has done such a fantastic job with our offensive line. It shows they're all beasts out there. They've got big bodies on (the Barons) and our boys were dominating them up front," Tanasichuk said.
"When that happens, it's going to be an easy day for everybody else out there. It allows a guy like Jason (Jubinville) to go out there and do his thing."
Quarterback Brenden McKay also had a solid outing for the Lions. While it was the running game that was the driving force behind the Lions offense, McKay threw nine completions on 11 attempts for 114 yards with no interceptions, putting up three touchdowns in the process and keeping the punting unit off the field for the whole game.
McKay also ran for 59 yards on eight carries and called on his own number to run in a touchdown from 17 yards out in the third quarter.
While McKay was keeping the ball out of the hands of the Barons on offense, Taylor Joly was taking it away from them on defence. Joly made three interceptions to keep the Barons from adding to the scoreboard, a feat that Tanasichuk says he could not have expected.
"Taylor is an outstanding athlete, but three interceptions? I wouldn't have bet on it, and each time he made a play on it. There were no gimmies . . . he made plays on every one of those." Tanasichuk said of Joly, who also added a touchdown on a 10-yard run.
"It feels great . . . I just wanted to go for the six, that's all I wanted," Joly said of his thoughts during each interception, adding that the outcome of the game was dependant on teamwork, not individual performances.
"This team, this is a great team. I love these guys."
Slotback Dominic Dion also added two touchdowns in the game, while slotback Brian Boucher and offensive tackle Zac Smith each scored one of their own to compile a record amount of points scored by the Lions in a single game at 75.
"There were many years where the Barons would beat the Lions un-mercilessly, so for our alumni I hope they get a satisfaction that we took it to them (on Friday)," Tanasichuk said in an email.
"However, the Barons always said that if the shoe were on the other foot, they would not complain but just keep playing . . . they lived up to that (on Friday) and were extremely classy."
The Lions continue their season-opening home stand on Friday at 5 p.m. against the Lloydminster Holy Rosary Raiders.