Cougars roar past Lightning

The Central Alberta High School Football League meeting between the Notre Dame Cougars and Hunting Hills Lightning Monday at Great Chief Park had a little more meaning than the normal clash between the two Red Deer rivals.

Notre Dame Cougar Dale MacDonald leaves Hunting Hills Lightning Ben McIver

Cougars 28 Lightning 7

The Central Alberta High School Football League meeting between the Notre Dame Cougars and Hunting Hills Lightning Monday at Great Chief Park had a little more meaning than the normal clash between the two Red Deer rivals.

The fact that first place was on the line should have been enough, but add to that the fact Lightning first-year head coach, Kyle Sedgwick, was up against his former high school coach, Gino Castellan, who had Sedgwick on his coaching staff the last several years.

In the end the teacher got the upper head as the Cougars recorded a 28-7 victory. It was something that didn’t sit well with Sedgwick.

“It sucks,” he said. “It left a (deleted) feeling in my stomach. The biggest thing was I wanted this to be a competitive game.”

In the end the Cougars controlled the game, jumping into a 21-0 lead by the half.

The story was Cougars outstanding running back Dale MacDonald, who opened the scoring with a 96-yard burst around left end at 6:16 of the opening quarter. Before the half was over he carried 12 times for 227 yards.

“We did a very poor job of containing him,” said Sedgwick. “The guys were so worried about what the guy next to them were doing they didn’t do their job. The second half was better.”

The Lightning limited MacDonald to 69 yards on 14 carries in the second half.

“Give Kyle credit they did a good job of tightening up in the second half,” said Castellan. “But early on we took advantage of what they were giving us, especially around our left side. Not that we were purposely picked on that side, but things were working and we stayed with it.”

The only thing that bothered Castellan about the offence was a string of penalties.

“We’d march the ball, then take a penalty or two that would kill the momentum,” he said. “That’s something we have to clean up.”

The Cougars finished the day with 14 penalties for 110 yards.

The Cougars accumulated 294 yards rushing and 101 passing while the Lightning had 96 and 64 respectively.

League rushing leader Stas McPhail was held to 108 yards on 25 carries for the Lightning.

“Our defence did a good job against him most of the game,” said Castellan. “He got a couple runs near the end, but overall I was pleased with the defence.”

Notre Dame quarterback Kyle Devine connected with Connor McLachlan on a 24 yard pass and with Braden Fordyce on a 15-yard strike for the other two Notre Dame first-half touchdowns. McLachlan scored the Cougars lone second-half major, picking up a fumble and rumbling 64 yards.

Aaron Moritz added four converts.

Quarterback Jon Boutin scored the Lightning major on a one-yard plunge at 10:12 of the final quarter, one play after a 37-yard pass and run play with Tyler Rutherford.

• Devine hit on five of eight passes — two to McLachlan for 51 yards while Boutin connected on four of 10 tries, including two to Rutherford for 46 yards.

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