Ryan Botterill just started playing football this fall, but it looks like the speedster has figured things out.
Botterill had 280 total yards and three receiving touchdowns for the Peacock Tornadoes in their 36-14 win over the Yorkton Raiders in the Moose Jaw High School Football League on Wednesday afternoon.
“I'm new to football and to have a game like that felt especially good,” said Botterill, the provincial high school track and field 100-metre and 200m champion.
“I'm just starting to figure out how the game works, coming in, I didn't know much about the rules and it's a commitment game, coming out and practicing every day really helps.”
The rookie's big game, along with a two-touchdown day for running back Kyle Arndt, helped Peacock improve their record to 5-0 on the season, while dropping Yorkton down to 3-2 on the year.
“He's fast,” said Yorkton head coach Roby Sharpe.
On the second play of the game for Peacock, quarterback Park Andrews hit Botterill for an 89-yard touchdown. Arndt made it 14-0 later in the quarter with his 16th touchdown run of the season, scoring from ten yards out with 4:06 to go in the opening frame.
Peacock exploded in the third quarter with Arndt scoring on a two-yard touchdown to put them up 22-0.
After Yorkton got on the board with a 24-yard touchdown by running back Caleb Bymak, Peacock erased that touchdown with a score of their own just 30 seconds later when Andrews connected with Botterill for an 83-yard touchdown.
Bymak scored his second touchdown of the day, a 67-yard run, to pull Yorkton within two scores early in the fourth quarter, but Peacock again responded to the Raiders' touchdown with a long strike.
Botterill sped past the Yorkton defender over the middle and scored a 65-yard touchdown just over a minute after the Bymak score, making it 36-14.
“From the get-go, I felt like we were going to come out strong,” said Botterill.
Andrews finished 15-of-21 for 338 yards passing in his best start of the season, while Arndt had 16 carries for 126 yards to lead the ground attack for Peacock. Arndt pushed his league-leading touchdown total to 17 with his two scores on the day.
Andrews said their quick start and strong finish were key to coming away with the victory.
“We came out with those two quick touchdowns, but we flattened out and weren't our best, but we picked it up in the third quarter again,” he said. “We definitely want to focus on coming out hard and playing hard the whole game.”
The Raiders were without league-leading passer Nick Payne for the game, but grade 10 Matthew Balysky filled in well, going 6-of-17 for 76 yards.
Yorkton focused on the ground game for the most part, pounding running back Caleb Bymak 17 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
“The game didn't mean a whole lot to us," said Sharpe. "We're playing for first place, but first place doesn't mean much to Yorkton because we still don't get home field advantage. We'll try to take what we can out of it.
“We saw a lot of bright spots, (Balysky) showed a lot of poise in there under pressure.
“We plan to see these guys again and hopefully when we do, we have a bit of a different look to our football team.”
The Tornadoes have clinched first place with a game against the Estevan Elecs on tap next Tuesday to wrap up the regular season. Yorkton will finish the year against the Vanier Vikings next Tuesday.
There's a pair of games coming on this Thursday to finish off Week 6, the 2-2 Vikings will host the 1-4 Swift Current Colts at Gutheridge Field for a 4:00pm kickoff, while the 3-1 Central Cyclones make their way to Estevan to face the 0-4 Elecs at 4:00pm.