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St. Paul’s Crusaders back on top in high school football with win in ANAVETS Bowl

The St. Paul's Crusaders hoist the trophy after winning the ANAVETS Bowl on Thursday at Investors Group Field. Walther Bernal / Global News

WINNIPEG – The last time the St. Paul’s Crusaders went three straight years without winning the Winnipeg High School Football League championship was back in 2002. That streak will continue as the Crusaders ended a short two year championship drought on Thursday by winning the ANAVETS Bowl at Investors Group Field.

The Crusaders avenged last year’s loss in the title game with a 17-8 victory over the defending champion Vincent Massey Trojans in a rematch of last season’s championship game. It was the Crusaders’ 10th division one title in school history. Only the Daniel McIntyre Maroons have more with 12.

Riley Naujoks and Shae Weekes scored touchdowns for the Crusaders in the victory. Weekes was also named the game’s most outstanding player.

WATCH: ANAVETS Bowl Highlights

Click to play video: 'HIGHLIGHTS: WHSFL ANAVETS BOWL Vincent Massey vs St. Paul’s' HIGHLIGHTS: WHSFL ANAVETS BOWL Vincent Massey vs St. Paul’s
HIGHLIGHTS: WHSFL ANAVETS BOWL Vincent Massey vs St. Paul’s – Nov 11, 2016

The win capped off an undefeated season for the Crusaders as they won all seven regular season games and three playoff games en route to the championship.

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“The cliche would be defence wins championships right.” said Crusaders head coach Stacy Dainard. “We gave up a lot of yards but the defence really bore down when they were in the red zone. Made enough plays to keep an amazing offence like Vincent Massey, a lot of weapons. We kept them to one touchdown. That’s pretty special.”

RELATED: Vincent Massey Trojans are 2015 high school football champions

Kyler Filewich scored the lone touchdown for the Trojans in the loss.

WATCH: St. Paul’s Crusaders head coach Stacy Dainard on the win in the ANAVETS Bowl

Click to play video: 'ANAVETS Bowl Post Game Reaction' ANAVETS Bowl Post Game Reaction
ANAVETS Bowl Post Game Reaction – Nov 11, 2016

Earlier on Thursday the Steinbach Sabres defeated the Kelvin Clippers 16-0 to claim the division two championship. The Sabres’ Austin Buhler was named the game’s most outstanding player as Steinbach won just their second Winnipeg High School Football League title, with their last coming in 2012.

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