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Clippers dominate in season-opening win

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The Dauphin Clippers opened defence of their Rural Manitoba Football League championship with a convincing 63-0 win over the Swan Valley Tigers, Friday in Dauphin.
The Clippers jumped out of the gate quickly, building a 28-0 lead after the first quarter. They held a 35-0 lead at halftime.
The Clippers wracked up 543 total yards, led by Zach Eiffert’s 248 yards. He finished with 192 yards on the ground on eight carries and another 56 receiving yards on four catches. Eiffert also scored three touchdowns, including a 90-yard run in the first quarter.
Ty Hassel had a pair of TD’s and Hayden Yuriy, Ethan Thacker, Alex Kish and Mason Rody had one major each. Rody also converted all nine touchdowns and ran the ball for 103 yards on five touches.
Hassel completed eight of 12 passes for 61 yards and ran the ball for 19 yards. Thacker had four completions for 64 yards, including one TD pass. He had 13 yards rushing.
Defensively, Steven Zurba led the way with 11 tackles and one knockdown. Branden McCready had nine tackles, Jason Kish had seven and Dawson Fletcher contributed six tackles and one sack.
Clippers coach Shayne Montpetit was pleased with the team’s play, noting the Clippers have a lot of veterans and they were ready to play.
“And I think Swan, they need some work. But they’ve got some good athletes and they just weren’t ready. But they’ll be ready later on in the year. Those guys, they’re good,” he added.
Montpetit was surprised the Tigers did not put up more of a challenge. But he felt the Clippers jumping out to such a big lead early set them back on their heels.
“I expected them to be quite strong. But that being said, when we got up on them so quickly, they’re still young men and when you get jumped on that quickly, they just folded. They’re a way better team than the score (indicates),” he said.
Montpetit was able to give some of the Clippers’ young players some playing time and was pleased with their performance.
“There was a kid out there, Aaron (Catcheway), he got a sack and this was his first game. He’s only in Grade 11, never played football before and he got a sack in his first game. How good is that?” he said.
The Clippers hit the road for the first time on Friday, when they head south to battle the Southwest Sabres in Souris.
Montpetit is expecting a tough game.
“Souris is going to be very tough. They lost 33-18 to Moosomin and Moosomin is very good. I’m assuming that was a real close game. They throw the ball a lot. We’re going to have to be ready for that. I expect a totally different game (this) week,” he said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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