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Central Alberta Fire fight hard but fall in provincial final

They lost to the Valkyries 30-18

In the first-ever U16 Female Football Provincials, the Central Alberta Fire gave it their all but came up short of their goal in the gold medal game.

On Saturday afternoon at Setters Place in Red Deer, the Fire lost to the St. Albert Valkyries 30-18 in the provincial final.

Tied at six at halftime, the Valkyries scored on their half's opening drive to take a 14-6 lead.

However, the Fire responded with approximately a minute to go in the third quarter. After their touchdown to trail St. Albert 14-12, they missed the extra point.

Central Alberta continued to build on their momentum in the fourth quarter intercepting a pass, which led to another touchdown lead 18-14.

St. Albert retook the lead with under nine minutes to go and after a few defensive plays from both teams, the Valkyries sealed the victory with another touchdown with 45 seconds to go.

Head coach Dallas Haldorson said his team played well but had a few injuries to key players, especially on offence.

"We had injuries coming into this week as well but I don't want to take anything away from St. Albert they played an awesome game," he said. "The offence was effective but we had key players go down with injuries. It really affected the score."

Overall, Haldorson is happy with their season. They finished the regular season with a 2-1 record which propelled them to two playoff wins.

The first came against the Foothills Eagles 70-12 in the Southern Alberta Female Football League semi-finals followed by a 62-14 win over the Calgary Wildcats in the league finals.

"This is a really young group. We only age out three players out of 16 heading into next year. To have a young group like this and to be able to achieve what they have going to a provincial game in their first year I consider that a huge success," he added.

"We would have rather won it but it's still huge to be in this game."

Looking ahead to next season, Haldorson expects the majority of the roster to return and has already recruited a few new players.

The U19 Central Alberta Fire did not compete for a championship after their semi-final matchup 44-28 to the Wildcats during their league playoffs.

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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