Lacombe Rams quarterback Johnny Ericson fends off Hunting Hills Lightning player Joe Hedlund during second quarter action at MEGlobal field in Lacombe Friday night. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Four safeties and pick-six lifts Hunting Hills over Lacombe

Lightning 28 Rams 3

The Hunting Hills Lightning’s defence led the charge by scoring 15 points in a 28-3 victory over the Lacombe Rams at MEGlobal Park Friday night.

Hunting Hills got on the board first, when two snaps flew over the head of Lacombe quarterback Johnny Ericson. The team lost 34 yards as a result of the snaps and opted to take a knee in its own end-zone instead of punting.

The safety put the Lightning on their own 35-yard line, but the marched down the field and scored on the seven-play drive. Lightning quarterback Brandon Rees found receiver Nathan Lavigne for a 42-yard touchdown.

Lacombe’s deficit increased just seconds into the second quarter as another snap went over Ericson’s head and he was forced to surrender the team’s second safety of the half.

Kyle Sedgwick, Lighting head coach, said his team was able to pressure the extremely skilled Lacombe offence throughout the night.

“I thought our defence played a lot better than we did last week. We played as a unit and played fast and hustled to the ball,” said Sedgwick.

Lacombe gave up a third safety halfway through the second quarter after penalties pushed them back to their own goal-line. This put Hunting Hills up 13-0 – a lead the team brought into halftime.

The Rams were only able to record one first-down through the first half.

About six minutes into the third, another snap went over the head of the Rams’ quarterback and into his team’s end-zone. Ericson was able to fall on the ball first, but it was the fourth safety against Lacombe.

Shortly after, Rees called his own number for Hunting Hills and picked up a 13-yard rushing touchdown, putting his team up 22-0.

Hunting Hills’ defence continued to score before the end of the third quarter. Safety Austin Schneider intercepted a pass from a scrambling Ericson and ran it 75 yards into the end zone.

Schneider said the hard work of the defence really paid off in the game.

“I almost tripped towards the end, but I just kept running. It felt so good when I got into the end zone,” said Schneider.

After failing to convert the extra-point, the Lightning sat ahead of the Rams 28-0.

Rams kicker Jack Bahler was the only player to put up points in the fourth quarter. He kicked a 37-yard field goal with two minutes remaining.

The Lightning ran down the clock with a few rushing plays and eventually won 28-3.

Jason Petrie, Rams head coach, said his team’s defence played well, but just couldn’t get the offence rolling.

“It was a kind of weird game for us,” Petrie said. “I don’t think this game is indicative of the calibre of our team. Everybody has a bad week from time-to-time.”

A couple injuries, especially on the offensive line, really hurt the Rams, Petrie added.

Hunting Hills running back Luc Lukalu ran for 148 yards, while Rees threw for 181. Lacombe’s Ericson picked up 66 passing yards, while the team recorded minus-78 in total rushing yards.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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