Three Central Alberta Buccaneers combined for a tackle during a 47-7 loss against the Fort McMurray Monarchs at ME Global Park on Saturday night in Alberta Football League play. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate staff)

Central Alberta Buccaneers fall to Fort McMurray Monarchs

Monarchs 47 Buccaneers 7

The Central Alberta Buccaneers were simply overmatched by the defending league champion Fort McMurray Monarchs in Alberta Football League action on Saturday night at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe.

Fort McMurray controlled the play from the outset to the end, finishing the night off with a deep pass as time expired to close out a 47-7 victory.

“I knew they were a very strong team. I knew they were up there with the Calgary Gators, but Murphy, mother of child these guys are semi-professional. They’re big, they’re fast and you almost think they do this on a full-time basis,” Bucs head coach Fred Knip said.

The powerhouse Monarchs improved to 4-0 in the AFL this year, while the Bucs dropped to 2-2 on the season.

The Bucs defense was relied upon heavily against the Fort McMurray offence that has averaged just over 57 points a game this season. They stood tall with several interceptions and kept the game close at half time. But the Monarchs were just too dynamic offensively as the game progressed.

“They picked on a few areas where we were less than strong. I think they had three or four touchdowns down the left side. Their left, our right. They were fast, there’s no doubt about it,” Knip said.

Monarchs quarterback Deric Davis converted five touchdown passes in the victory.

Bucs quarterback Judah Knip struggled for the second straight week with five interceptions and only nine completions and less than 100 yards of offence.

“Obviously we need to work on the offence. They fill their gaps so quick. They fill the lanes so quick. By the time Judah makes a read, he throws the ball, boom they’re there and they pick it off,” the head coach said.

That led to the Bucs defence being stuck on the field possession after possession, which looked like it led to some fatigue as the game carried on.

The Bucs will play their next two games on the road, travelling July 8 to take on the expansion Parkland Predators before heading to Airdrie to take on the Irish. Next home date for the Bucs is July 22 against the Calgary Wolfpack.

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