Lightning get first provincials win
The Hunting Hills Lightning made a little history Saturday.
The Lightning recorded their first-ever provincial high school football victory with a 14-7 win over the Springbank Phoenix in tier II Southern Division semifinal play in Calgary.
“It wasn’t our best effort, but the guys battled and it was a character win,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick. “We definitely had some nerves and bus legs (for the 11:30 a.m. game) plus we were coming off a high from the previous weekend when we beat Notre Dame in the league final. And it was cold, which made it tough to hold onto the ball, but that was the same for both teams.”
The Lightning made a number of mistakes and took more penalties than they normally do.
“We did a lot of things you don’t want to see at this time of the year,” said Sedgwick.
Scott Pearson scored on a plunge and then connected on a touchdown strike to Brendan Peterson. Austin Belan kicked a pair of converts.
“We made it 14-0 and they came right back to score, but our defence did a good job,” said Sedgwick.
The Lightning will face the top-ranked Catholic Central Cougars in Lethbridge next Saturday.
The Cougars beat Calgary St. Mary’s Saints 22-7.
In the north, Edmonton’s Austin O’Brien downed St. Josephs Celtics of Grande Prairie 22-2 and the Lloydminster at Edmonton McNally game was postponed until today.
l The Notre Dame Cougars battled tough roads to get to Lethbridge for Saturday’s tier I south semifinal, then had nothing left as they were whipped 59-0 by the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams.
“Nothing went well . . . nothing,” said Cougars head coach Gino Castellan. “We couldn’t catch the ball, couldn’t run . . . couldn’t do anything. They scored twice on interceptions and twice on blocked punts.”
Still Castellan was pleased with his season.
“I’m still proud of the guys . . . we’ll regroup and show up next year.”
LCI will face the Notre Dame Pride, who beat Henry Wise Wood 37-1 in an all-Calgary south semifinal. In the north the No. 1-ranked Spruce Grove Panthers whipped Grande Prairie 80-21 and Bev Facey of Sherwood Park stopped the Jasper Place Rebels of Edmonton 30-17.
l Tier III will have a new champion after the Stettler Wildcats were eliminated 31-14 by the St. Paul Lions in the north semifinal in Stettler Saturday.
The ‘Cats fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and 28-0 before Austin Cherewko and Morgan Loshny scored touchdowns for the Wildcats. Frank VanOmmeren kicked a pair of converts.
Braden Nelson led the Wildcats with 135 yards rushing on 22 carries.
St. Paul will face the St. Albert Skyhawks, who downed Peace River 49-21.
In the south the Winston Churchill Bulldogs of Lethbridge beat then Olds Spartans 28-10 and the Cochrane Cobras stopped top-ranked Crescent Heights Vikings of Medicine Hat 32-16.
• The West Central Rebels of Rocky Mountain House lost 43-20 to the homestanding Cold Lake Royals in north semifinal play.
The Royals will face Ardrossan, who beat Sexsmith 27-14.
In the south, top-ranked Drumheller beat Pincher Creek 21-7 and Willow Creek of Claresholm downed the Highwood Mustangs of High River 36-2.
l Central Alberta teams had a tough time in bantam semifinal play Saturday.
The Lindsay Thurber Raiders lost 41-31 to the Stony Plain Blue Bombers in tier II action while the Olds Bulldogs dropped a 38-7 decision to the Calgary Wildcats in tier III.
In tier IV the Drumheller Titans were defeated 35-0 by the Medicine Hat Hawks while the Camrose Buffaloes lost 10-6 to the Grande Prairie Bandits.
l The Lacombe Explosion and Stettler Panthers will fight for provincial peewee titles next Saturday.
The Explosion downed the Calgary Stampeders 18-6 in tier III semifinal play and will face the Parkland Predators in the final.
The Panthers stopped the Lloydminster Colts 26-12 in tier IV play and will clash with the St. Albert Colts.