Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

An electrifying performance

The Hunting Hills Lightning treated the Great Chief Park audience to a second-half light show Thursday and left the Lacombe Rams in the dark. The Central Alberta High School Football League’s most explosive squad erupted for 30 points in the final 24 minutes and thumped the Rams 47-7 in a City Division semifinal.

The Hunting Hills Lightning treated the Great Chief Park audience to a second-half light show Thursday and left the Lacombe Rams in the dark.

The Central Alberta High School Football League’s most explosive squad erupted for 30 points in the final 24 minutes and thumped the Rams 47-7 in a City Division semifinal.

Up 17-7 at the half, the Lightning players talked among themselves during the intermission.

The over-riding theme of the pep talk?

“Just that we had to play Hunting Hills football,” said running back Brandt Burzuk, who scored four touchdowns. “Our system came together and everything ended up working out.”

The Lightning will face the winner of today’s 6 p.m. semifinal between the Lindsay Thurber Raiders and Notre Dame Cougars at Great Chief in the division championship game Nov. 7. It will mark the Lightning’s sixth straight appearance in the final.

“It feels amazing,” said Burzuk, who opened the scoring a mere 49 seconds into the contest after Kaden Hall returned the opening kickoff to the Lacombe two-yard line.

Burzuk ran 46 yards for another major six minutes later and the Lightning were up 14-0 after one quarter. Eder Arias booted a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter to extend the lead, before the visitors recorded their lone score of the contest, quarterback Jonathan Ericson hooking up with Logan Ellis on an 80-yard pass-and-run play 2:21 before the break.

“We’ve had some lulls this season,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick. “It’s weird, some games our second quarter is bad, some games it’s the third quarter.

“In the second quarter we had a bit of a lull. In the second half we finally clued in. We have a lot of Grade 12s this year and they realized if they didn’t get it going the season was over … 17-7 at the half, it’s anybody’s ball game.”

Burzuk scampered 50 yards up the middle for a touchdown 2:25 into the third quarter and three minutes later Zech Pilgrim hauled in a pass from Eric Thomson and scored on a play that covered 55 yards.

Burzuk’s fourth major of the evening came on a 58-yard run 36 seconds into the fourth quarter and Alex Sugrue scored on a four-yard run late in the contest. Eder Arias converted all six touchdowns and added a 30-yard field goal, and the Rams conceded a safety.

“Our leaders had to lead tonight and they did,” said Sedgwick. “But that’s a young team over there and they’re going to be good. They gave us a battle tonight, for sure.”

The Rams’ defence was particularly effective in the second quarter.

“But we just chipped away,” said Sedgwick. “They ran without a safety quite a bit and had (star receiver David) Mueller playing some linebacker.

“They just wanted to take away the run and that’s what teams are doing. But Eric Thomson is getting a lot more confident with every series, not just every game. He made some throws tonight and was just a few inches away from a few that would have been game-breakers for us. We need a more balanced attack, but when push comes to shove, Brandt and Kaden Hall carry the mail for us.”

• Elsewhere Thursday, the Stettler Wildcats ripped the visiting Rocky Mountain House Rebels 36-0 in a Rural Division semifinal.