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Buccaneers tame Wolfpack with three TD performance by Gavin Halvorson

Buccaneers win 36-18 at home
Central Alberta Buccaneers Gavin Halvorson put the team on his back Saturday with a three-touchdown performance at Setter’s Place in Red Deer. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Buccaneers 36 Wolfpack 18

The Central Alberta Buccaneers came ready to play.

For their second consecutive victory the Bucs’ took down the Calgary Wolfpack 36-18 in a come-from-behind victory in Alberta Football League action.

Central Alberta was led by a three-touchdown performance by Gavin Halvorson who looked unstoppable in the rushing attack.

The 18-year-old from Sylvan Lake said following the game it felt great but gave his teammates all the credit.

“The lineman did awesome,” he said. “They left me huge holes all the time. I hit the second level and then it’s just running after that.”

Halvorson is in his first season with the Bucs’ after playing in Kelowna with the Okanagan Sun of the Canadian Junior Football League.

A desire to play closer to home brought Halvorson back to central Alberta to play for the Buccaneers. And on Saturday night at Setter’s Place, he looked like he was on another level.

“I just wanted to be home and play with my old teammates again,” he said.

Halvorson was raised going to Buccaneers games and always idolized the players on the field.

He grew up playing through the Sylvan Lake Minor Football Association and played with many of his Bucs’ teammates since he was eight years old. Wide receiver Teej Johannesson was even one of his assistant coaches when Halvorson played for the high school senior Sylvan Lake Lakers.

“It’s a great experience,” he said. “The team is starting to bring it all together. We’re moulding.”

On Saturday night Central Alberta knew they were going to have their hands full going up against Wolfpack quarterback Darryl Leason.

However, the Buccaneers’ defence came up clutch with two interceptions including a massive pick with 2:33 remaining to seal the deal.

At the beginning of the game the Wolfpack struck first to lead 6-0 but the Bucs’ answered to take a 7-6 lead. Before the half, Calgary reclaimed the lead to head into the intermission up 12-7. The Wolfpack missed both of their conversions to remain at 12.

The Buccaneers struck early in the third quarter marching down the field on the opening drive to take the lead 15-12. Calgary put points on the board that very next drive for another lead change of 18-15.

However, from that point on it was all Bucs.

Halvorson scored his second and third touchdowns of the game to take a 29-18 lead in the fourth quarter. Johannesson caught a late touchdown in the endzone with just 14 seconds remaining to take home a 36-18 victory.

With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 2-2 on the season after losing their first two games of the year.

Next week is a bye week for the Canada Day long weekend but central Alberta will be back in action on July 8 in Grande Prairie. They will then head to Cold Lake to take on the defending champion Fighter Jets on July 15.

The Buccaneers will then have a bye during the final week of the regular season on July 22 before the playoffs commence.

Saturday night’s game was the Buccaneers’ final home game of the season unless they host a playoff game. The postseason is set to begin with the quarterfinals on July 29.

Central Alberta Buccaneers quarterback Brett Bylsma lines up under centre against the Calgary Wolfpack on Saturday in Alberta Football League action at Setter’s Place. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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