First-year Voyageur Reid Skrypichayko scored two touchdowns and threw for another as the Bonnyville Voyageurs marched their way to a 28-20 victory over the visiting Wainwright Commandos on Friday evening.
The Voyageurs, normally a run-dependent offense, flipped the script scoring three of their four touchdowns through the air.
“It was a good start. The passing game is hard to get going. It was good to see the guys put it together,” said head coach Larry Godziuk. “Our quarterback called a good game. He made most of the calls in the second half on his own.”
The scoring started late in the first half when Skrypichayko caught a 13-yard pass from Bonnyville quarterback Gregory Godziuk, stiff-armed a few defenders and broke into the end zone capping off a 45-yard drive.
After a penalty-filled, low scoring first two quarters Bonnyville lead 7-0.
The game flipped around late in the third quarter as the defenses started to tire and both teams’ offenses clicked.
After Wainwright tied the game on a 15-yard touchdown by Mackenzie Lawson, the Voyageurs wasted no time responding. With two minutes remaining in the third quarter Skrypichayko busted out a 12-yard run, setting the Voyageurs up with great field position. Then the coaches decided to bust out a trick play. Godziuk made a quick pass to Skrypichayko, who then planted his feet and threw a perfect 19-yard pass to open receiver Isaac Fagnan in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
“We had a little trick play there. A double pass and I had to stand and make that throw. I am just glad we got the touchdown,” said Skrypichayko, who played some quarterback during his time with the Bandits bantam squad.
“Every football team had the hitch pass,” said Coach Godziuk. “We had only run the play twice, so I knew (Wainwright) was going to bite on it.”
The play put the Voyageurs up 14-7 with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Bonnyville added to their lead about nine minutes later when Godziuk hooked up with receiver Kaelan Elchuk for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Voyageurs a 14-point lead.
The final two minutes of the game saw a fury of scoring as Wainwright broke through for two touchdowns and Bonnyville added another one of their own.
Skrypichayko ‘s 43-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left sealed the win for the Voyageurs putting them up 28-14. Wainwright would score with 3.7 seconds left to make the game close, but didn’t have enough to tie them game.
“We kept the lead the whole time. We stayed mentally strong. We played a great game and I am glad we came out with the win,” said Skrypichayko after the game. “We played some tough defense. Our boys got a little tired near the end, but that happens. Hats off the Wainwright offense, they played really well.”
Coach Godziuk was pleased with the win, but feels the Voyageurs will have to be a little more focused going into the match against Vegreville next weekend.
“We just need to work on our focus,” said Godziuk. “There is a lot going on out on the field and with our younger guys it is sometimes hard for them to remember what their job and their responsibility is.”
The Voyageurs will travel to Vegreville to battle to Vortex on Sept 12.