The best offence is a great defence, Steelers in Sarnia on Saturday night in NFC action

The defence surrendered 62 yards in passing and 41 yards in rushing in a 10-1 win over the Sudbury Spartans last Saturday night.

Author of the article:Gordon Anderson | The Sault Star
Published Jun 15, 2023

In the steel curtain defence, the Sault Steelers have the ultimate security blanket.

The Sault Steelers are on the road to play the Sarnia Imperials in Northern Football Conference action on Saturday night.

“We have the kind of defence that gives us a chance to be patient,” Steelers general manager and emergency offensive lineman Jon Bujold said. “We don’t have to be perfect as an offence because the defence is going to give us chances to get a win.”

The defence surrendered 62 yards in passing and 41 yards in rushing in a 10-1 win over the Sudbury Spartans last Saturday night.

The Steelers are 2-0 in the early portion of the season and tied with the North Bay Bulldogs for first in the West Standings.

Even though the club is perfect, record wise, through two weeks Bujold noted the offence has sputtered in both games, their foibles self-inflicted.

“We would like to clean up the chances we have been missing,” Bujold said. “It’s been a pretty efficient offence as far as moving the ball and getting first downs. We have had a lot of sustained drives but we’ve wasted quite a few of them, whether it be fumbles or dropped passes. We want to clean that up and see this offence gel and mesh together. If they can do that and progress as a unit then I have a high degree of confidence.”

Quarterback Ryan Yost completed 10 passes for 98 yards while the ground game ran the ball 31 times for 134 yards in the nine-point victory over Sudbury. Alonzo Clarke rushed for 95 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown, a short-yardage carry from one yard out early in the first quarterback.

Naturally, the part-time offensive lineman would like to see the offence pick up the pace, he realizes the ‘D’ is so tight that the ‘O’ has some leeway to find its footing.

“A good defence lightens the load on the offence too,” Bujold said. “We are not coming off the field arguing or bickering because we didn’t score on a drive. We are coming to the sidelines and talking about how we can get better and finish the next drive.

“There is no panic because we know the defence is going to be good. So, it gives us the freedom on offence to focus on chemistry, development and getting better at what we do.”

The GM acknowledged they have a short season in which to get the offensive cohesiveness in sync but Bujold isn’t panicking due to his experience with the league.

“Getting the offence focused on (playing well) when the playoffs rolls around is really all you have to do,” Bujold said. “Especially when we have a defence that is going to keep us in the game. We know we are going to be competitive. So there is no panic.”

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