Cougars win big over Wetaskiwin
The Notre Dame Cougars had little difficulty rolling to a 55-13 victory over the Wetaskiwin Sabres in Central Alberta High School Football League non-conference play at Great Chief Park Thursday.
But really the final score didn’t mean much to either team.
Both coaches went to the bench early, giving their younger players plenty of playing time.
“Mission accomplished,” said Cougars head coach Gino Castellan. “We got everyone into the game and our Grade 10s got a lot of playing time. That’s why I like these non-conference games.”
One of those Grade 10s was backup quarterback Keegan MacDonald, who replaced starter Kieran Pruden in the second quarter.
“I thought Keegan showed a lot of grit and we’re pleased with what we saw,” said Castellan.
Pruden, who connected on nine of 11 pass attempts for 195 yards before giving way to MacDonald, was all smiles when talking about his protégé.
“It was great to see Keegan, and the other guys making plays,” said Pruden. “I’ve been helping him out a lot and he’s making great progress . . . he looks like a natural.”
MacDonald connected on six of 12 passes for 72 yards and ran five times for 24 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown romp on the final play of the first half, making the score 49-13.
Castellan also appreciated the fact Sabres head coach Kevin Gibson, played his younger players and played hard to the final whistle.
“I’ve known Kevin for a long time and his players play hard and will keep playing.”
Gibson said the same about Castellan.
“We went into this game knowing right off the bat we would be using a lot of younger kids and to Gino’s credit they did the same thing,” Gibson said.
“This wasn’t a rivalry game, or competitive, but that’s OK. It was a matter of getting the young kids time.”
One of those players is backup quarterback Aaron Abrahamson, who replaced starter Josh Saddleback.
“Aaron is our future at quarterback and has a strong arm. He overthrew some guys, but that’s a coach’s dream. Some kids throw the ball short, while we can work on pulling him in a bit.”
The Sabres have a 1-1 record in conference play this season, a plus over the last two years.
“We didn’t win for two years so last week (a 15-3 win over Camrose) was big. It brought some success to the program, and even today we had some success. It was like a preseason game and you can eliminate the scoreboard.”
Pruden also liked what he saw.
“We’ve made a lot of progress from the beginning of the season . . . I’d say especially our O-line,” he said.
“They give me time to pass and open a lot of holes for Myles (Corsiatto).”
Corsiatto also saw limited playing time and finished with 61 yards on six carries and scored two touchdowns.
“Myles has been great, he opens up a lot of things for our passing game,” said Pruden, who has depth among the receivers.
“I can go to our last guy and trust him.”
Pruden has looked sharp throwing the ball plus he’s rolling out and throwing on the run more this season.
“We use more of a spread offence this year and I worked on my quickness and mobility.”
Jordan Briault caught four passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars while Brad Podloski and Mike Malin added single majors. Luis Moreno kicked seven converts and field goals of 21 and 33 yards.
Joel Bishop, on a 70-yard pass from Saddleback, and Josh Jorstad, on a 95-yard kickoff return, had touchdowns for the Sabres. Dallas McMurer kicked a convert.
Colin LaGrange had 58 yards rushing on 11 carries for Notre Dame while Bishop had three catches for 116 yards.
• In conference play the Sylvan Lake Lakers downed the visiting Lacombe Rams 31-21.
The Lakers led 28-0 before the Rams found the scoreboard in the third quarter.
Tyson Maton scored twice for the Lakers on a 23-yard interception return and an 88-yard pass play while Tyler Ledwos scored on a 14-yard run and Shon Zenert on a 18-yard romp. Morgan Drews kicked four converts and Brian Vaillancourt added a 24-yard field goal.
Dakota Haarstad scored on a 20-yard interception for the Rams, who got other majors from Todd Wendt, on a one-yard run, and Adam Goode, on a 13-yard run. Austin Ericson had three converts.
Zenert led the Lakers with 68 yards rushing on 12 carries while Carter Waldbauer had 42 yards on 11 carries for the Rams.
Chase Hoffman completed 11 of 17 passes for 229 yards for Sylvan Lake with Ledwos grabbing five for 71 yards and Maton four for 152. Ericson completed 11 of 20 passes for the Rams with Jacob Bailey hauling in seven for 69 yards.
League action continues tonight as Camrose visits Rocky Mountain House, Stettler is at Ponoka and Hunting Hills meets Lindsay Thurber at 7:30 p.m. at Great Chief Park.