It certainly was a tale of two halves during the SHSAA 2A 9-man Football Provincial Championships Saturday afternoon at Shadows Field between the Shaunavon Shadows and Indian Head Broncs.
At the half the potent Shadows offense was held in check, trailing 7-0, and Shaunavon's head coach Garret Glasrud said the halftime message to the team was to just settle down and not think about what is at stake in the game.
"I think it was just to settle the nerves. We had a little bit of nervousness going on there in the first half, the guys talked to each other, they settled in, and just treated it like a different football game and we came out firing."
Runningback Lane Pritchard says that certainly fueled a comeback.
"Coming into the room at halftime we were down. We came together like brothers, we picked each other up, and we said the second half is ours," he said. "We came out with a vengeance and it was really in our favour, and we just kept pushing and pushing, until it definitely went our way."
The Shadows scored 24 unanswered points on three rushing touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to win 24-7, being crowned Provincial Champions in the process.
"For us it's just an amazing feeling - at the start of the year it was our goal, but we didn't know what was going to be possible the first couple weeks of the season," said Glasrud. "Right now just extremely proud of the guys. They worked so hard in the second half."
Pritchard, who scored a rushing touchdown in the game, says there was notably some added influence helping the team in the win.
"We had Mr. Smith watching over, and I have an angel in my family watching over, I just thought that this was definitely going to be in our favour, and I was just very thankful that I could get this opportunity again," said Pritchard, who was on their 2015 provincial gold medal-winning team. "Nothing but just happiness to get this twice. Garret was talking, breaking it down in the dressing room how many people don't get this opportunity - we couldn't pass it up."
Not only was the Shadows offense in rhythm the last two quarters of the game, but as was the case in the quarterfinal and semifinals, Shaunavon's defense was relentless in pursuit of the multi-faceted Indian Head offense.
"Our defense really had to start keying in on the things we'd been game-planning against all week," Glasrud said. "We knew they were going to try and pass on us there eventually so all we had to do was keep shutting down the run as much as possible and then we could play against that pass, which goes into our favour."
After Glasrud and his 2015 Shadows team won their provincial gold medal at home as well, this seems to be a fitting end to a fantastic season, especially for a passionate Shadows community and fan base.
"Just extremely pleased and happy by all the support we get from fans, parents, and sponsors everywhere," he said. "It's great playing here, feels great to play at home, and we're just excited we could do it in front of our crowd."