Chargers 30 Lightning 20
The Bert Chruch Chargers were too much to handle for the Hunting Hills Lightning in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association Tier II south regional semifinal.
The Chargers brought their A-game up Highway 2 Saturday and despite bitterly cold conditions and an icy field, the visitors passed their way to a 30-20 victory at Great Chief Park.
Hunting Hills didn’t have their best effort under tough conditions and were forced to play from behind almost the entire contest.
“Conditions and weather weren’t great, but we’ve played the last two games in that. Bert Church played real well. They made more plays. I don’t want to discredit what they did, but today just wasn’t our day,” Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick said.
“We didn’t get a lot of bounces. Just big plays we weren’t ready for and they made them. Credit to them.”
On the opening kickoff, it started poorly for the home side, as Evan Stahl fumbled for the Lightning and it led to points for the Chargers.
Bert Church drove down the field but on a third and goal from the one-yard line, the Lightning held the fort and kept the Chargers out.
Hunting Hills wasn’t able to get anything going on offence and conceded a safety on third down early in the game.
Momentum finally swung in favour of the home side midway through the second quarter, when Lucas Fuerbringer punched in a one-yard touchdown.
Bert Church’s passing game picked up late in the half, hitting on a deep ball and then Balise Newberry caught a seven-yard score from quarterback Tristan Remus-Arevalo.
With just two seconds left in the half after another deep pass, Remus-Arevalo hit Colter Cannon for his first touchdown of the day to put the Chargers ahead 16-7.
That was a backbreaker for the Lightning.
“Big score at the end of the first half, off a big play they had down the middle of the field,” Sedgwick said.
Still, the home side refused to go away quietly, burying a pair of field goals to cut the deficit to 16-14 through three quarters.
“We controlled the ball well, had to settle for field goals and at this time of year, you have to get into the endzone. Credit to Bert Church,” Sedgwick added.
Late in the fourth, Bert Church hit on another passing touchdown to take a 23-14 advantage.
With less than two minutes to play, Joe Hunt took the kickoff to the house and got the home side within three. Hunting Hills couldn’t recover the onside kick and the Chargers converted a deep 20-yard pass to put the game away.
“This time of year is tough, there’s only one team that wins the last game of the year,” Sedwick said.
“Now we have to go deal with emotions of Grade 12s who put in a tremendous amount for us and have won a lot of games for us, but then we’ll take some time and celebrate the successes.”
In the Tier IV north regional semifinal, Stettler lost 25-23 to the Ardrossan Bisons. Sylvan Lake also fell in the Tier III north division semis, losing 24-5 on Friday.