The Winnipeg Rifles may not have had the result they wanted last week, but one individual made his presence felt.
Portage's own Kyler Banfield was named the Prairie Football Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week as he had three special teams tackles and a blocked punt.
"Jordy, our head coach, kept saying over and over that we were going to get a blocked punt on these guys. Apparently, the Rifles haven't had a blocked punt in three years," Banfield explains. "I kept watching film on their punt formation, and I saw that it's possible to block it. All I did was hit the middle with speed and got my hand on the punt. We recovered the ball on their nine-yard line."
Banfield says this isn't the first time he's blocked a kick, however; he hadn't done so since elementary school.
"I was kind of in shock. I didn't actually think I'd be able to get the block," Banfield continues. "Unfortunately, the punt went away from me. We had people jump on it, but then the ball popped out, so I jumped on it. If the ball would've gone back the way I blocked it, I could've scooped and scored, but I got tackled as soon as I tried to pick up the ball."
The Rifles were unable to generate points, despite the great field position, but Banfield is still happy to check 'block a punt' off his bucket list.
The former Portage Collegiate Trojan believes the Rifles beat themselves last week by having a few mental errors. Banfield says if they clean those up, they should be in a good position when they return home tomorrow to face the Regina Thunder.
"We played them three weeks ago, and we were up 14-0 in the first quarter, and then we started to beat ourselves again. We just have to play a good, clean, and smooth game. If we do that, I think we have the chance to be one of the best teams in the country."
In three games of action, Banfield has ten total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He and the Rifles will host the Regina Thunder on September 17 at 1:00.