Hunting Hill Lightning running back Joe Hunt tries to shed a tackle from a host of Holy Trinty Knights players in Football Alberta non-conference play at Great Chief Park at Setters Place Friday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Hunting Hills Lightning fall to Holy Trinity Knights

Lindsay Thurber Raiders win big in Strathmore

Knights 10 Lightning 6

On a day when defences dominated, it was one play that ultimately hurt the Hunting Hills Lightning.

A long 68-yard pass from the Holy Trinity Knights was the only touchdown in a 10-6 victory for the visitors at Great Chief Park in non-conference high school football action Friday.

Coming into the game, Holy Trinity, the top-ranked Football Alberta Tier II school, had averaged just over 36 points-per-game in four wins this season.

Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick said considering that his group was able to hold them to just 10 and also execute its own offence well, he was happy with the performance.

“That’s the best football game we’ve played this year. That’s real football. Yeah, we didn’t get in the endzone and we have to try and correct that, but our effort and our physicality was outstanding,” said Sedgwick, adding they were missing two starting offensive linemen in the contest.

The first half was a defensive battle between the two highly ranked schools. Neither team found the endzone, and only the Lightning earning a score.

Daniel Bae connected on a 20-yard field goal for the Lightning late in the first quarter, for their only score of the half. Late in the second quarter, after a fumble by Lucas Fuerbringer, the Lightning took a knee in the endzone to concede a safety to Holy Trinity.

Before that play, it looked like the Knights were primed to find paydirt. An interception by Bryce Lang in the endzone with less than a minute left in the half kept the visitors from scoring on offence.

Just three minutes into the second half, Holy Trinity struck on a deep ball. Ben Leggett hit Nick Dielissen on a 68-yard pass for the first touchdown of the contest. They added a two-point conversion and made it a 10-3 advantage.

“We over-rotated on their fake jet and they caught us down the seam, what do you do,” said Sedgwick.

Hunting Hills were rolling early in the fourth quarter, but after the drive stalled deep in Knights territory, they elected to kick a field goal. The kick was blocked and Holy Trinity took over, in what was a pivotal moment in the contest.

“Maybe the moment got a little big for some guys, we’re really young. Our quarterback is young and lots of linemen are young on both sides of the ball. We didn’t take advantage and when you play good teams, you have to make use of that,” Sedgwick added.

Still, on a third-down fake punt late in the game, the Lightning stopped the visitors on the 31-yard line and took over possession. A fortunate roughing the kicker penalty extended another stalled drive for Hunting Hills. Bae hit a deep 34-yard field goal to get his side within four.

With the Knights threating to put the game away, Hunting Hills forced a fumble on their own goal line with 37 seconds left. They drove the ball to midfield but that’s as far as they got before time expired.

“Down at the end (of the game), we don’t really (have) a lot in that desperation, one play to win (situation). It’s early October, and we’ve got time for that,” Sedgwick said.

“Our goal is ultimately to make it to provincials and play a team like that.”

In Strathmore, the Lindsay Thurber Raiders kept rolling with a dominant 32-8 victory.

Senior wideout Will Moir ruled the day for the Raiders, cashing in three touchdowns in the win. Raiders’ Cody Anglo also returned an interception for a touchdown.

Next Thursday, the two local rivals will square off to settle first place in the city high school football league at Great Chief Park, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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