It wasn't the way the ECS Elecs would have wanted to end their regular season, nor start their playoff run.

They went to Yorkton Tuesday afternoon to play the Gridders, but returned home with another injured quarterback and a 79-6 loss.

"It was a tough one for us. We had Rylan Erdelyan start at quarterback for us after Kaleb Bechtold was injured a couple games ago. Then Rylan ended up getting knocked out of the game with an injury, and so Shanelle Rioux went in at quarterback for about half the game. With all the personnel changes on offense, we really struggled to move the ball," related Head Coach Mark Schott.

"It was similar to the Central game before the weekend, where our defense was on the field a lot against a very efficient offense, and they were able to put up a number of points. It was a tough ask of our defense to be out there for probably three quarters of the game."

He noted that they will have to rely on Rioux, who normally plays as a receiver, as pivot as they enter the post season.

"She (Shanelle) played well at quarterback. I think we have to juggle some of the positions around her and make adjustments there, and really work on some blocking with our offensive line. I think she's the right fit for us heading in."

Their first playoff test will happen on Saturday against Swift Current, and Schott expressed that he hopes some practices ahead of time will help nail timings and plays with her at the helm.

"At least move the ball, so that we can prolong some drives and put up some points, and give our defense a bit of a break. They've been on the field far too much in the last two games."

When Erdelyan replaced Bechtold as quarterback, that meant the loss of a receiver. The situation was repeated when Rioux took over from Erdowin, and the Elecs are left with a limited, although not incapable, receiving corps.

"It's an opportunity for some other players to step in and hopefully have a chance to shine. We can look at doing some quick routes to get the ball out of the quarterbacks hands a little faster, and hopefully that can lead to some success for us on the offence," said Schott, adding that there may be an increased reliance on the run game.

"Whether it's on the ground or in the air, we just need to execute better. A successful offence is able to do both. Running the football definitely helps in the passing game because it opens up the passing lanes with the defense trying to send pressure and load up the box to stop the run. Hopefully we can have some success with that. We've got some very good running backs in the backfield with Hunter Eagles, Jonah Bachorick and James Knibbs...so if we can get some blocking up front and open up some holes we should be able to run the football as well."

Injuries have also taken their toll on the defense, and the Coach noted that they'll have to tweak their coverage schemes heading into the playoffs, looking to find a way to stop the passing game of opponents, and an area that Swift Current excels at.

"We're definitely not playing our best football in the last couple games. There's been a number of factors that have played into that, injuries and personnel shifting, but once the playoffs come, anything can happen. There's a lot of things that can factor into a win or go home type of game, and hopefully that can bring out the best in our players, that sense of urgency that the season's on the line and we need to respond," added Schott.

 

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