Saskatoon Hilltops win sixth straight Prairie Football Conference title

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WATCH: The Saskatoon Hilltops win the team's sixth straight title, and second straight over the Huskies – Oct 28, 2019

For the sixth straight year, the Saskatoon Hilltops will represent the PFC as conference champions following Sunday’s 30-14 victory over the visiting Edmonton Huskies.

Despite the recent successes enjoyed by the blue and gold, their head coach, Tom Sargeant, didn’t mince words when describing the difficulty of the latest achievement for the toppers.

“To win one is unreal, to win six in a row — you don’t even understand,” Sargeant said.

“[There was] a lot of pressure on these guys this year, a lot of pressure.”
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READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops finish regular season perfect 2nd time in a row

His players echoed their coach’s statement after a hard-fought game that was within six points late in the fourth quarter.

“It gets better every time,” defensive back Brant Morrow said. “We fought hard this year and we’re going to keep fighting.”

“It’s special,” quarterback Tyler Hermann explained. “It’s all the people that have gone through the program with me, and the coaches that work so hard.”

“It’s an awesome feeling,” running back Ben Abrook agreed.

Although the Hilltops came into the conference final riding an incredible 28-game winning streak dating back to September 2017, the team’s veteran players were still filled with nervous energy before kickoff.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops win 23-straight but still have room to improve: head coach

“You’re thinking both ways, like, if I lose what’s going to happen? If I win what’s going to happen?” fifth year linebacker Riley Keating said.

“I was pretty nervous coming into this game. I had some butterflies, but I trust the guys around me and we just did our jobs.”

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The game was possibly even more trying for graduating defensive back Colton Holmes, a PFC All-Star who’s only gotten into four games this season due to injury.

“Leading up to it was really nerve-wracking,” Holmes said. “Not being able to be out there today with the boys. But injuries are part of the game, so I’m just trying to [do] my part — keep the guys motivated, coach some of the young guys up, and hope for the best.”
Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Hilltops finish regular season perfect 2nd time in a row' Saskatoon Hilltops finish regular season perfect 2nd time in a row
Saskatoon Hilltops finish regular season perfect 2nd time in a row – Oct 14, 2019

The biggest moment of the game came with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Hilltops leading by six. After the Toppers were denied twice by the Edmonton defence on the goal line, Sargeant elected to gamble on third down, which paid off as Ben Abrook punched into the end zone for his second touchdown of the afternoon.

For the Hilltops’ head coach, sending the league’s best field goal kicker, Rylan Kleiter, onto the field for an 18-yard field goal wasn’t even an option.

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“Not a chance,” Sargeant exclaimed. “That’s not who I am. At the end of the day, I’ve got the belief system and the trust in our players that when we’re in those tough situations that we have to come out on top.”

“When we’re on the one-yard line, we’re going for it, we’re going to score,” Abrook agreed. “Having that confidence behind us too just pushes us over the goal line, so it’s huge.”

The Hilltops now find themselves on the road for the remainder of the season, beginning Saturday, Nov. 2 in London, Ont., for their CJFL semi-final match-up with the London Beefeaters.

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