There was next to nothing on the line, but nonetheless the Notre Dame Cougars put their best foot forward Thursday at Great Chief Park.
“Like I told the kids before the game, ‘this game doesn’t really mean anything in the standings, but we want to move forward for next week’, and I think we did,” said Cougars head coach Gino Castellan, following his team’s 38-14 mauling of the Lacombe Rams in the Central Alberta High School Football League City Division consolation final.
The Cougars, who host the third-seeded Calgary team — likely the Henry Wise Wood Warriors — in a provincial Tier 1 quarter-final Nov. 8 at Great Chief Park, got through Thursday’s outing without any injuries. They also displayed an ability to fight off adversity.
“It was a good game all around for us,” said Castellan. “We showed a bit of character after Lacombe scored on their first series. We didn’t get down, which was nice. We kept marching and playing hard, and that’s a good sign.”
The Rams got an early go-ahead touchdown from Cam Heslop on a three-yard run, but the Cougars replied just under five minutes later when Jacob Hamilton forced a Lacombe safety, and assumed a permanent lead on a 17-yard scoring run by Justin Fedun.
From there, Notre Dame quarterback Keegan MacDonald scored on a one-yard run and hooked up with Jesse Kowalchuk and Taylor Vida on passing plays that covered 18 and 90 yards for touchdowns, and Fedun scored a major from two yards out.
Rams quarterback Zachary Bailey ran one yard for a fourth-quarter touchdown and Jared St. Thomas converted both Lacombe majors. Eric Meraw had four converts for the Cougars, with Hamilton adding a late safety.
MacDonald completed seven of 17 passes for 183 yards, including two to each of Payton LaGrange and Brandon Heidinger for 35 and 29 yards, respectively. Fedun led all rushers with 139 yards on 21 carries.
For the Rams, Bailey was good on four of 21 passes for 71 yards. Heslop hauled in two balls for 30 yards and Josh Person ran for 88 yards on 13 carries.
• In the Rural Division consolation final Thursday, the host Stettler Wildcats scratched the Rocky Mountain House Rebels 32-14.