Central Alberta Buccaneers wide receiver Tanner Olstad catches one of two touchdown passes in a 79-7 win over the Lloydminster Vandals on Saturday night at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe. (Photo by Byron Hackett/Advocate Staff)

Central Alberta Bucs cruise to quarter final win over Vandals

Central Alberta Buccaneers quarterback Judah Knip tossed five first half touchdowns and sealed the playoff fate of the Lloydminster Vandals at MEGlobal Athletic Park on Saturday.

The Bucs moved on with a 79-7 quarter-final rout over the Vandals in Alberta Football League action.

The win locked in a semi-final date with the Calgary Gators.

Defensive back Tylor Johanneson was frank is his assessment of Saturday’s matchup with the Vandals, explaining this week the focus was on how to beat the Gators and less so on their quarter-final opponent.

“We’ve got a couple people that weren’t here when we played them the first time. We were right with them. We’re looking to go back to the championship game,” he said.

“We spent this week prepping for the Gators. At the end of the day, we felt that we were good enough to come in here and execute. It was difficult. We had a couple mental lapses and once you get up 50-0 it’s hard to keep that focus. We played really well.”

Johanneson is the kicker as well and had a unique set of scores in the victory. He was perfect on extra point conversions and also ran in a fake field goal for a touchdown in the first half. He added two interceptions in the second half and threw a touchdown to Axsaiver Lawrence late in the game for good measure.

“Probably not. I don’t think so, that was a special game,” said Johanneson when asked if he’d ever scored that many different ways in a football game.

Knip had a tidy stat line that included seven TD passes. He hit his favourite target Jesse McPhail three times on the night for touchdowns and found Lawrence twice more.

“Those guys are going to go to the wall every play and they’re going to find a way to get open. I think (Jesse McPhail and Axsaiver Lawrence) are two of the top receivers in the league right now so it’s definitely nice to have and makes my job easier,” Knip said.

He also connected twice with wide receiver Tanner Olstad.

The first-year pivot said that as the season has went on, he has become more comfortable in the pocket and really found chemistry with his offensive teammates.

“I have a lot more confidence than I did at the beginning of the year,” he said.

“If I got hit I would get flustered. As the season goes on you learn how to handle hits and keep your mind right and come back and perform and give your team everything you’ve got. Big shoes to fill, but things are rolling pretty good right now. Tough game next week.”

The Bucs defence added three other interceptions and stalled the Vandals offence time after time throughout the contest.

The Bucs travel to Calgary to play the Gators for the AFL semi next weekend.

byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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