Brandon's Vincent Massey High School Vikings football team ended 2021 undefeated and earned the West Division Championship, so when 2022 rolled around they set their sights higher - a Division 2 Championship. In a media release, the team looks back its 2022 campaign.
"After starting 3-0 the team faced a major challenge from the John Taylor Pipers at the Viking Football Hall of Fame game. After falling behind the 28-0 to the Pipers and a 28-6 halftime score, the Vikings had a major hill to climb to keep their historic undefeated run intact. After a final minute go ahead touchdown, they secured the programs greatest come from behind victory.
The Vikings continued to roll through the final 3 regular season games, securing a home playoff game, by beating Myles Mac, Springfield, and crosstown rivals Crocus Plains.
The Vikings hosted the quarterfinals game against the Portage Trojans, controlling the line of scrimmage and used their running backs (Temi Toogun and Braden Smith) effectively, with over 300 yards of rushing. Their defense was stingy and relentless on every play, holding the Trojans scoreless, and easily moving onto the semi finals at IG Stadium in Winnipeg vs the Springfield Sabre (a rematch from earlier in the season).
The well-prepared team learned from their mistakes made in their earlier match up and entered the contest relaxed and confident. The defense had a relentless effort in a near perfect performance and the offense lit up the scoreboard and finished the 1st half up 48-0. Outstanding performances by Josh Atchison and Connor Van Santen on the defensive side of the ball and Brayden Smith, Justin Sharp and Mathew Escoto-Andino on the offensive side, kept the Vikings season perfect, and sealed a birth into the Division 2 Championship game.
The Vikings have been in the Division 2 Championship game before, losing to the Oak Park Pirates in 2017. The 2017 team was the 1st ever Brandon team to compete for the D2 championship. So, the 2022 Vikings were on the cusp of history if they could stay perfect and win this Championship.
The Division 2 Championships was an absolute nail-biting, double overtime game at IG Field. The Vikings stayed perfect winning 20-14 over the Sturgeon Height Huskies. The Vikings won on the last play of the game when Kevin G. knocked down a potential game tying touchdown to seal their championship. The Vikings capped off a perfect 10-0 season for the second year in a row. Justin Sharp and Carter Moore won offensive and defensive players of the game."
2022-2023 Western High School Football League Awards:
Vincent Massey Vikings Coaching Staff: Coaching Staff of the Year (5‘h time since 2010)
Carter Moore: D2 Lineman of the Year
Justin Sharp: The Blue Bombers Alumni’s Most Outstanding Award
Brayden Smith: Runner Up for Rookie of the Year
Brady Dane: Nominated for Assistant Coach of the Year
Mike Steeves: Runner Up for Head Coach of the Year