Lightning look to advance at provincials
The Hunting Hills Lightning have already made school history, but it’s not over.
The fourth-ranked Lightning won their first-ever high school provincial playoff game with a 14-7 win over Springbank last weekend, earning a berth in the tier II Southern Alberta final against top-ranked Catholic Central Cougars at noon Saturday at the University of Lethbridge Community Stadium.
“We can look at this two ways,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick. “One, we can be satisfied with what we’ve accomplished, or two, go down there expecting a war and try to win it all. I believe the guys are starting to understand we’re the same size school, have similar athletes and we earned a spot in this game just like they did.”
Obviously the game won’t be easy as the Cougars won the tier II title in 2010.
“Once you get to the provincials there are no easy games,” said Sedgwick. “We’ve watched them a couple of times and they have good size and good athletes. Their quarterback plays both ways and is run-first on offence. They also have two big running backs, one of whom was on the provincial team. Those two run in between the tackles while they have a couple of others who like to get outside.”
Sedgwick sees the Catholic Central offence similar to Sylvan Lake.
“With their quarterback liking to run we’re treating this much like we treated Sylvan Lake when (Tyler) Ledwos was at quarterback.”
The Cougars defence is also similar to Springbank.
“They play a three-man front with a big nose tackle and send five guys on most plays,” explained Sedgwick. “Because we played a similar defence last week that should help.”
What also should help is the fact the Lightning left for Lethbridge today.
“We’ll get there and have a chance to practice at the Stadium and get a good sleep and not have to just step off the bus before the game,” added Sedgwick. “Last week we only had to travel to Calgary and yet the guys were sluggish in the first quarter. We can’t afford to do that this week.”
The winner will meet the winner of the north final between Edmonton’s Austin O’Brien and McNally.
The tier I semifinals sees the No. 2-ranked Calgary Notre Dame Pride at the fifth-ranked Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams and the third-seeded Bev Facey Falcons at the top-ranked Spruce Grove Panthers.
Division III action has the eighth-seeded Lethbridge Winston Churchill Bulldogs at the No. 2 Cochrane Cobras and the third-ranked St. Paul Lions at the sixth-ranked St. Albert Skyhawks.
In tier IV, the top-ranked Drumheller Titans will host the fourth-ranked Willow Creek Cobras of Claresholm and second-ranked Ardrossan Bisons meet the fifth-ranked Cold Lake Royals.
l A pair of Central Alberta teams are looking for provincial titles in the peewee ranks at John Bright Park in Edmonton Saturday.
The Stettler Panthers take on the St. Albert Colts at 11 a.m. in tier IV action and the Lacombe Explosion face the Parkland Predators in the tier III division at 2 p.m.