Dallas Lister ran in the game's only touchdown late in the fourth quarter to lift the Peacock Tornadoes past the Vanier Vikings in a low-scoring, defensive battle at Gutheridge Field on Tuesday.
Peacock came away with an 8-3 win over Vanier in the regular season finale for both teams, giving the Tornadoes a 3-3 record, while the Vikings fall to 1-5 with the loss.
After a defensive battle throughout the game, Lister finally broke through for the Tornadoes with 5:09 remaining in the game, scoring on a 13-yard run and then adding the two-point convert, to give Peacock a five-point lead that they never surrendered.
"We are more of a second-half team this year and I know that we have to work on the first half of games, but we knew that we were going to push and that we were going to score in the end, so it worked out in our favour," said Lister after the win.
The Peacock quarterback finished 149 yards rushing on 22 carries. He also completed 5-of-15 passes for 40 yards and one interception.
Peacock head coach Bert Redstone gave a lot of credit to his quarterback for powering the team ahead when they were struggling to move the ball through the first half.
"He's a grade 12 player, who converted to quarterback, he has the mentality of a linebacker and he just took it on his shoulders and executed," said Redstone. "He's going to power it upfield and try to do what he can and credit to him, he did it."
Vanier controlled the ball for a lot of the first half, but they couldn't finish off a drive to take control of the game.
The Vikings put the first points of the game on the board when Alex Digeralamo connected on a 23-yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half.
Quarterback Tyler Lorenz said if they scored on that drive, it might have been a different game, "I'll take the blame for that one, I underthrew that ball a bit, if I put it on the money that's a touchdown and we've got all the momentum going into the half," he said. "We've still got to come out in execute in the second half, that play didn't define the game."
Lorenz finished 3-of-6 for 66 yards, while he also finished with -13 yards on 12 carries. He said that the team pushed hard, but came up just short in the game.
"We played good, our offence needs to pick up the defence a bit more, but it was a cold day, tough defensive battle and both teams were going to war," said Lorenz. "You have to give credit where credit is due, their defence buckled down, our defence played a heck of a game and we just need to execute a bit better."
Both teams dug in defensively throughout the game as the score remained low and neither wanted to give an inch.
Vanier running back Brydon Bell had a team-high 34 yards on five carries, while Cole Coroy caught two passes for 56 yards and had 11 yards rushing.
For Peacock, running back Kayde Shymko finished with 10 yards on five carries and one catch for five yards, while Drake Luebke picked up four catches for 33 yards.
The Tornadoes will now take on the Weyburn Eagles in the quarterfinals on Saturday, while the Vikings will go up against the Central Cyclones. The other quarterfinal match-up will have Swift Current take on Estevan.
Central and Weyburn met to close out the regular season on Tuesday with the Cyclones securing a 35-14 win over the Eagles.
Central quarterback Ethan Johnson threw for 313 yards in the win, giving him 1,853 passing yards this season, breaking the single-season record of 1,686 yards, which was set by Sawyer Buettner in 2014.
Johnson completed an incredible 91-percent of his passes in the win as he finished 21-of-23 and threw for three touchdowns, giving him 24 in six games this season.
Central receiver CJ Vincent caught nine passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Also on Tuesday in Yorkton, the Raiders locked up first place and a bye into the semifinals with a dominating 80-6 win over the Estevan Elecs. The defending champions went 6-0 in the regular season and scored an incredible 345 points, while the Elecs finish 1-5.