A powerful overwhelming force is a fair description of the Saint John Wanderers considering how they have plowed their way to an impressive 3-0 record in the Maritime Football League this season.
So far, Saint John has outscored its three opponents 129-7, including a 45-0 shellacking of the P.E.I. Privateers three weeks ago in Saint John, N.B.
And therein lies the challenge, said Privateers head coach Vernon MacIntyre, as his team prepares to host the Wanderers Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Terry Fox Complex in Cornwall.
“They’re a juggernaut this year, but we have to focus on our own game. In the last game, the guys were trying too, hard, trying to do too much and that took them out of their game, (and) Saint John used that against us,” said MacIntyre. “I think if the guys stick to (their jobs) we can match up, but every guy has to play their best game to keep up.”
The Privateers (1-1-1) and Saint John had been scheduled to play today at 4 p.m. in Cornwall, but the threat of tropical storm Arthur forced the shift to Sunday.
The Privateers beat the winless Capital Area Gladiators 17-15 to open the season and tied Moncton 23-23 two weeks ago in Cornwall.
But P.E.I. has surrendered over twice as many points (83) as its scored (40) and is tied for second place in the standings with the Moncton Mustangs (1-1-1).
“I’m not happy with it,” said MacIntyre. “In those two games we had large leads going into the fourth quarter.”
Saint John, however, has had an easier time shutting out Moncton (34-0) and P.E.I. and pounding Capital Area
“First of all their coaching is excellent. You can see it, see their when guys come out. They’re prepared,” said MacIntyre of the Wanderers. “And they have numbers. They’ll likely have more players (for a road game) than us. They're a great organization. They’re what every team in the league wants to be.”
That said, the Privateers are the only team to beat the defending MFL champion in the regular season since 2011. Including this year, that’s 23 games and a 22-1 record.
The Halifax Shockers, who folded this season, downed Saint John in the league final two years ago.
P.E.I. beat Saint John 27-21 last year in Cornwall and MacIntyre has an eye toward another upset, if things go the Privateers way again.
“(Last year), we went into the half up by seven (points). That’s where I’d like to be,” he said.
Sunday is the team’s last regular season home game and it’s annual ‘pink’ game, where a portion of the proceeds going to breast cancer research.
Fans are asked to wear pink, and there will be a jar at the gate for additional donations.
Admission is $5.
Youth under-12 will be admitted free.
League playoffs will start on Saturday, July 19.