The Central Alberta Buccaneers were the 2021 Alberta Football League champions last season after beating the Edmonton Elite. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

The Central Alberta Buccaneers were the 2021 Alberta Football League champions last season after beating the Edmonton Elite. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Central Alberta Buccaneers seeing improvement despite starting season 0-2

Next up for the Bucs is a date in Calgary

Despite a slow start, Central Alberta Buccaneers head coach Geoff Rambaut is optimistic about his team this Alberta Football League season.

The Buccaneers opened their season on the road against the Airdrie Rush losing 31-22 and after a bye week, they played the Fort McMurray Monarchs losing 14-13 in overtime.

Rambaut said against Airdrie he thought his team performed well. He added there are a lot of rookies on the team who got their first game experience in the AFL.

“Our defence performed really well and our offence actually moved the ball pretty well we just didn’t execute in the red zone a couple of times so if we clean that up our offence looks pretty promising going forward,” Rambaut said.

On the offensive side of the ball, they are young, more specifically a young quarterback but they have an experienced defence.

“The biggest thing is we have a very young quarterback and so it’s his first time playing football outside of high school and he has very good fundamentals, and he throws the ball really well. And we’re just working on him picking up the reads on a higher level of football where the defences move a lot quicker and so really, it’s just about him adjusting to the new game and through two games he’s done a great job,” he explained.

On Saturday, July 18 they were in Fort McMurray to take on the Monarchs where they lost despite having the lead until the end of the game but missed a few field goal attempts. They travelled to Fort McMurray with a shorter bench than usual but Rambaut said he was impressed with how they played for how short-handed they were.

“Fort mac was 1-1 going into that game they’re now 2-1 and the fact we were within a point with a young team is a great step. While it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, the process and the learning from that game were promising for the rest of the season,” he said adding the improvement week by week has been significant.

He likes the progress thus far and said that come playoff time he feels they could be a dangerous team and a bit of an underdog.

This weekend the Buccaneers will be playing in Calgary in a matchup against the Wolfpack on Saturday. Rambaut said their defence matches up well against Calgary’s offence.

“Calgary has a very experienced quarterback even though he’s older he’s also a former player from the CFL and a 20-year veteran in this league. He’s a little bit past his prime here, mentally probably the strongest quarterback in the league and he’s very capable so I think our defence will have their hands full but we match up well. Our offence I think will be able to take advantage of some of the holes in their defence,” he said.

Following this week, the Buccaneers will have three straight home games with the first against the Edmonton Elite at 6 p.m.

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