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Dakota Lancers champs as they down Grant Park Pirates 28-7

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The 2023 Winnipeg High School Football season came down to one final game Friday night.

It was the AAAA final, the Dakota Lancers battling the Grant Park Pirates for the ANAVETS Championship.

These two south east division teams finished with identical 6-1 records to end the regular season.

Dakota started the game with a bang by recovering an onside kick and marching it down the field for the first score of the game.

The Lancers added to their lead in the second with another trip to make it 14-0.

Grant Park’s defence stood tall near the end of the quarter, intercepting the pass from Dakota and returning it for a touchdown. However, there was a penalty after the interception and the score was called back. It didn’t stop the Pirates though as they marched the ball down the field and rushed it in for a touchdown to make it a one score game at halftime.

Move to the third quarter, the Lancers went back to work, this time on the defensive side of the ball, picking off Grant Park and returning for a touchdown to make it a 21-7 game.

Then the start the fourth quarter the Lancers again with the ball and running in another touchdown making it a three score game 28-7.

That is all the Lancers would need as they were crowned, for the very first time, ANAVETS Champions with the 28-7 win.

'THERE ISN'T QUITE A FEELING LIKE THIS'

The Lancers' Amid Kanu was named the player of the game as he rumbled into the end zone three times.

Despite the individual success, he said he couldn't have done it without his entire team.

"I give credit to my coaches and my teammates," said Kanu postgame. "I wouldn't be here without them."

Dakota quarterback Blake Penner had a remarkable regular season tying a Winnipeg High School Football record for most touchdowns thrown in a year.

Even with the record he had one focus, winning a championship. Now, he is on top of the world.

"There isn't quite a feeling like this. This is pretty good," said Penner.

He too took the time to recognize his entire team saying he wouldn't have been as successful without them.

"I'm so lucky to have the people around me that I do. It's really easy for me when I have the amazing receivers running the routes that they do and the O-line blocking, giving me all the time that I could ask for. It's really the people around me making me better." 

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