It was a wild and windy night in Central Alberta High School League football action.
Wind warnings up to 90 km/h were in place for parts of Central Alberta and it played a huge factor on the field Friday.
The Hunting Hills Lightning ran their league record to 3-0 with a 14-3 victory as they were just able to outlast the Lacombe Rams.
“Wind was a factor. It was one of those games where everything seemed like it was in slow motion. Maybe it was because of the weather,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick.
“Lacombe played physical. They’re a hell of a lot better than they were earlier in the year and that’s a credit to them… We were missing five starters and we got through today… now we go into bye week and we have to get healthy for playoffs.”
With the win, the Lightning finished first in the league.
“We’re just trying to get better at football right now,” Sedgwick noted.
“The wins are great because it’s going to help the confidence of our team but there are also a lot of high expectations in our room and we have to balance both. We were happy to get through tonight healthy.”
On the first series of the game, Lacombe Rams kicker Simon Gray hit at a deep 41-yard field goal with the wind at his back.
Lightning quarterback Haidan Brown then tossed a 46-yard score after a third-down stop midway through the first quarter.
He heaved the pass up and Logan Kendze beat the Lacombe secondary for the touchdown. It was the only touchdown in a turnover-filled first half.
“We were throwing right into the teeth of it and it worked out sometime you have to take those chances,” Sedgwick said.
Brown was intercepted twice in the first half and also fumbled late in the first quarter. Hunting Hills was able to force one fumble in the half.
Early in the third quarter, the Rams picked off Brown again but couldn’t convert a deep field goal. Late in the frame, they had the ball in the redzone at the five-yard line but failed on three straight pass attempts.
“We’re getting there. It would be nice to see us be more consistent on offence, but we’re getting better. Baby steps I guess,” said Rams head coach Brian Ross.
With time winding down in the third, Brown started to take over.
He rushed for a first down and passed for two more before the quarter expired.
On the first play of the final quarter, he carried the ball almost 20-yards into the end zone but was stopped on the goal line. He managed to sneak the ball in from the one-yard line on the next play.
“He was a starting DB for us, he hasn’t played quarterback since bantam. He’s so intelligent and his football IQ is good. We’re relying on him now and he makes plays. He is a very good athlete and he wants to run the ball,” Sedgwick said of Brown.
Rams player Skylar Allarie was seriously injured on a hit early in the fourth quarter and the game was delayed for almost fifteen minutes.
In other action, Sylvan Lake knocked off Rocky Mountain House 41-1, Stetter topped Camrose 43-0 and Wetaskiwin beat Drayton Valley 29-8.
The Central Alberta High School League football semi-finals will start on Oct. 26.