Bengals kick off season with win over Chargers
The St. Paul Bengals laid last year’s winless season to rest by posting a dominant 48-14 victory over the Lloydminster Chargers in the team’s season opener on Saturday.
“Considering last season was a hard season to suffer through, it’s good for the kids that were with me last year to get a win right away,” said Bengals’ head coach Seth Henderson.
“They’re going to be good leaders on this team and when they feel good about having a victory like this, I think it’s a good sign for the rest of our season.”
Quarterback Patty Dion and running back Liam Krys combined for all seven of the Bengals’ touchdowns in the game.
“Everybody did their job and that’s why we had so much success,” Krys said, adding that the victory felt like “a first step towards something bigger.”
“We can’t score points if the O-line doesn’t block and we can’t score points if the whole team isn’t doing their job. We won because everybody was playing good today.”
Krys opened the scoring with a 23-yard run into the end zone that gave the Bengals a lead they would not give up. Krys followed it up with three more touchdowns on a 65-yard punt return, a five-yard run and a 58-yard reception.
“(Krys) is just a football talent. You can’t have enough Liam Kryses on the football field,” Henderson said. “He is a guy that, I think, could be one of the best players in the (Wheatland Bantam Football League) if he wants.”
Dion picked an interception early in the game and ran the ball back 25 yards for a touchdown and followed it right up with a 70-yard punt return, a 26-yard run for a touchdown and a 58-yard throw to find Krys for the game’s final score.
“(Dion) is our kid that’s got the most level head on the football field. He’s got a brain that doesn’t allow him to get worried about anything,” Henderson said. “Whenever he has issues, he fights through them because he’s mentally tough . . . that type of guy is essential on any football team. Without him, our offense just doesn’t click.”
The Bengals were also very strong defensively, holding the Chargers to only two touchdowns in the game and putting up a number of key defensive plays, including a sack by Isaac Porozni in the fourth quarter. Porozni followed up the sack with a fumble recovery on the next play that took the life out of the Lloydminster bench.
“(The Bengals) were very good, very well coached. They had a strong offense and their defense was good too,” Chargers head coach Darren Mokuruk said following the game. “They covered up both sides very well and didn’t leave a whole lot of openings.”
However, Henderson said the team still has room for improvement. “One negative is the amount of penalties that we took, even the (bench penalty) that I took in the fourth quarter; those are going to cost us down the road. We’re going to tighten that up during film sessions and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
The Bengals’ next game will be this Saturday night under the lights at St. Paul Regional High School field as they take on the Cold Lake Bantam Royals in the first half of a double header. The Bengals will kick off at 6:45 p.m. followed by the Lions at 9:15 p.m. as both teams host their rivals from Cold Lake.
“It has to be pedal to the metal right from the start of the game,” said Henderson. “That’s what we’re going to try and do, and that’s what we’re going to instill in our kids.”
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