Cougars maul Rebels in opener

Notre Dame Cougars head coach Gino Castellan was a little worried heading into his Central Alberta High School Football League season opener against the West Central Rebels of Rocky Mountain House.

Notre Dame Cougar’s Braden Fordyce pushes past West Central Rebel Tyler Hodgen for a 10-yard gain on Thursday. Cougars won 40-6.

Cougars 40 Rebels 6

Notre Dame Cougars head coach Gino Castellan was a little worried heading into his Central Alberta High School Football League season opener against the West Central Rebels of Rocky Mountain House.

In the end there was no need as the Cougars rolled to a 40-6 victory at Great Chief Park Thursday.

“They’re a big, tough team and I was worried as I had no idea how good we were,” said Castellan. “In the end I was pleased with what I saw considering it was our first game. Our defence did a great job and while there’s still a lot of work ahead on the offence they started to come together.”

The offence, led by first-year starting quarterback Kyle Devine, started slow, but by the middle of the first quarter showed signs of coming together.

“A slow start was to be expected as the kids had to be a bit nervous,” said Castellan.

Devine, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student, agreed.

“I was nervous before the game, but I settled in after a couple of series,” he said.

He did that as he threw the ball with precision from the outset, connecting on seven of 13 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns. He also had three other passes dropped.

“We’re looking at throwing the ball a little more this year, or at least I hope so,” he said. “Tonight I didn’t throw with a lot of confidence from the pocket, but I did when I rolled out, which I enjoy.”

Castellan expects to ride Devine’s strong right arm a lot this season.

“We hope to open things up for the running game with the passing game,” he said.

“That is a bit of change for us,” added Devine. “In the past we ran to open up the passing game.”

The Cougars’ running game wasn’t bad either as Grade 11 tailback Dale MacDonald carried the ball 15 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He opened the scoring at 7:44 of the first quarter on a 63-yard dash and added a second-quarter major on a six-yard run.

“Dale did a good job considering he played defence last year,” said Castellan. “He still need to work on a few things, but he ran hard.”

Nathan Stearns, who had six catches for 94 yards, scored touchdowns on passes of 26 and 18 yards while Connor McLachlan scored on a 63-yard toss and Glen Ritchie on a 27-yard pass and run.

Aaron Moritz kicked four converts.

Jesse Cooling scored the lone Rebels major, on a one-yard run early in the third quarter, which made the score 27-6.

Cooling led the Rebels with 66 yards on 11 carries while Braden Fordyce had 27 yards on five carries for the Cougars.

The Cougars, who rushed for 225 yards and passed for 184, held the Rebels to 96 yards rushing and 32 passing.

While the Rebels struggled it’s been a rough few days on many of the players after losing school mate Tanner Mayer in a freak accident.

“It’s been a tough three days,” said Rebels head coach Vance Curtis. “A lot of the kids are still mourning his loss and there wasn’t much fire in their eyes.”

As well the Rebels were without one of their top running backs in Jordan Hare, who has a slight leg injury.

“His loss hurt, but I can’t say that would have made the difference,” said Curtis. “They kicked us with their passing game. Their quarterback threw the ball real well and was on the money all night.

“It was a good lesson for us. We’ve been talking about that part of the game and now the kids hopefully understand what we’ve been saying.”

But Curtis did see some positives.

“Our No. 70 (Chris Lublinkoff) is a Grade 10 kid and we put him on the defensive line and he did a good job. We don’t want to lose him off the offence, but we’ll have to look at him going both ways.”

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rainbow flag raised at Red Deer College to kick off Pride Week

Central Alberta Pride Week runs next week

Alberta to explore small nuclear technology

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says it plans to join three other… Continue reading

From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

Plans are being made across the country for how to safely send… Continue reading

Red Deer asking for feedback on new transit routes

The new routes will begin Aug. 23

Updated: Red Deer region unemployment hits 14% in July

Unemployment in Red Deer region nearly double July 2019 rate of 7.4%

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

EDMONTON — Frenzy over the Edmonton Oilers online 50/50 draw continued Friday,… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on leaving the province on holiday this summer?

Do you plan on leaving the province on holiday this summer?… Continue reading

Flower show open to the public

The Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society will host its annual flower display… Continue reading

Innisfail Eagles to play in Ranchlands Hockey League in 2020-21

Eagles have still declared as a senior AAA team for next season

Red Deer Rebels lend helping hand to Vancouver Canucks

The hockey community is a tight-knit one and it was the Red… Continue reading

Labyrinth is a gift to neighbours

Lacombe resident encourages others to use their imagination

You have nothing to fear from central EMS dispatching

My name is Brad Higgins. I am reaching out with respect to… Continue reading

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 14-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Most Read