Bujold didn’t speak directly to the Imperials contribution in the devolvement of the game, but he shared his personal thoughts, saying the game went in the tank on the second play of the game.
Author of the article:Gordon Anderson | The Sault Star
Published Jun 18, 2023
The Sault Steelers had their two-game winning streak snapped in a 22-6 road loss to the Sarnia Imperials in NFC action on Saturday night.
“I have never been a part of something like last night,” Steelers GM Jon Bujold told the Sault Star. “It wasn’t good. We rolled down there with 21 guys. Our 37-man roster turned out to be 21 for trip, which is something we need to address, both with the players we have signed and, potentially, go out and get more depth in the coming weeks.”
Brock Hoover scored the only touchdown for the Steelers. Hoover led the squad with 41 receiving yards on four receptions. Alonzo Clarke rushed for 46 yards on nine carries.
The lack of commitment to the trip south isn’t a referendum on the state of the team but it does give the GM pause about commitment.
“I am not concerned about the longevity of this team,” Bujold said. “When we are at home we have a strong roster with plenty of depth but the problem is commitment from guys on road trips. We can’t be rolling out with 21 guys. It’s not a good situation, as it puts our star players at risk.”
Bujold said the club usually gets the total number of players squared away the week prior to the actual trip itself but, perhaps, the reasons to beg off this particular trip didn’t pass muster with the GM.
“We found out last weekend that a lot of guys weren’t able to make the trip, with work arrangements or whatever,” Bujold said. “At the same time, there were other guys who had these reasons, whether we think those reasons are justifiable reasons, that is kind of in the past but we have to have a chat about commitment to the team.”
Bujold estimated five to eight guys played every snap, with about five to 10 players playing in 75 per cent of the snaps. The GM himself suited up for the second time this season and played on the offensive line for every snap.
Bujold termed the game ‘chippy’ and ‘messy.’
“There were a lot of dumb penalties on both teams, which was totally unnecessary,” Bujold said. “With us being low in numbers I was hoping our guys wouldn’t feed into it, but we did. We got right in to all the nastiness. It’s bad enough when you travel down with limited numbers, especially against a pretty good team, but when you start to get frustrated and get a whole bunch of objectionable conduct or unnecessary roughness penalties, it is going to make for a long day.”
Bujold didn’t speak directly to the Imperials contribution in the devolvement of the game, but he shared his personal thoughts, saying the game went in the tank on the second play..
“I don’t want to speak for Sarnia on it but what I do know, from our end, I think it was retaliatory,” Bujold said. “Our guys were already defensive because we were low in numbers and we felt there were extra-curricular activities that got out guys a little bit amped up to defend themselves. It was a fight or flight reaction and we fought. We didn’t run away from it, we stood up to it.”
The Steelers (2-1) are at home next Saturday to play the Hamilton (1-2) Jaguars.
“We are going to put this game behind us and focus on Hamilton and start prepping to make sure our next road trip is well stocked,” Bujold said. “We have a couple of weeks to take care of that.”