Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

Lightning strike early in win over Raiders

The Hunting Hills Lightning continue to crackle. The undefeated Lightning built a 21-0 first-half lead en route to a convincing 37-0 victory over the Lindsay Thurber Raiders in a Central Alberta High School Football League game Friday before 525 spectators at Great Chief Park.

The Hunting Hills Lightning continue to crackle.

The undefeated Lightning built a 21-0 first-half lead en route to a convincing 37-0 victory over the Lindsay Thurber Raiders in a Central Alberta High School Football League game Friday before 525 spectators at Great Chief Park.

Hunting Hills head coach Kyle Sedgwick liked his club’s quick strike ability but gave the Raiders credit for pushing back in the second quarter.

“I was happy with how fast we played right from the gate,” he said. “The first series of the game they drove it pretty good, then we got a deep pass and went up seven, and that created momentum for ourselves.

“We got up three scores and then had a bit of a lull there for awhile and they really took it to us.”

Quarterback Eric Thomson hooked up with Kaden Hall on an 84-yard pass and run scoring play to get Hunting Hills on the board, and the Lightning added another first-quarter major when Hall scored on a seven-yard run.

The Lightning struck again 28 seconds into the second quarter, with Thomson running 37 yards to the end zone, but the Raiders managed to stay in the game with some stout defence over the final 11 minutes of the first half.

“This is such a good rivalry that no matter the score, both teams are going to play hard,” said Sedgwick. “They (Raiders) have too much pride over there. They played real hard most of the second quarter.”

Thomson added his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run 3:31 into the third quarter and Zech Pilgrim scored the Lightning’s final major when he returned a punt 70 yards to the Raiders’ end zone. Eder Arias converted all five touchdowns.

The Raiders conceded a fourth-quarter safety to round out the scoring.

“That was the best we’ve started this season, but we have to learn to finish a team off and we didn’t do that in the second quarter,” said Sedgwick. “But we were able to pick it up in the second half and everybody got some reps.”

Raiders star Ben Pasiuk returned to action Friday for the first time since suffering an injury during the summer and saw some duty at wideout.

“I’m happy to see him back after a pretty serious injury and he’s going to help their team immensely,” said Sedgwick.

Thomson completed four of seven passes for 110 yards and teammate Brandt Burzuk led all rushers with 67 yards on seven carries.

For the Raiders, quarterback Sean Vandervlis was three-for-14 for 68 yards and Rhomark Visaya and Bradley Pope rushed for 59 and 57 yards, respectively.

• Elsewhere Friday, the visiting Notre Dame Cougars downed the Lacombe Rams 34-17 and the host Sylvan Lake Lakers overwhelmed the Ponoka Broncs 54-7.

Justin Fedun and Johannes Smith rushed for 175 and 129 yards and scored two touchdowns apiece for the Cougars. Parker Dahl hauled in a 22-yard scoring pass from Devin Desormeau to account for the other Notre Dame major.

For the Rams, David Mueller scored on a 62-yard punt return and a 60-yard pass and run with quarterback Jonathan Ericon. Luke Dutchak added a two-point convert.

At Sylvan Lake, the winners got three majors from Tyrees Hamilton and single scores from Mike Smyth, Patrick Bennett and Tristan Koller. Dagan Slimmon also booted a field goal.

Braeden Korchinski scored the lone Ponoka touchdown.

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