Lightning 31 Rams 0
Joe Hunt and the Hunting Hills Lightning steamrolled the Lacombe Rams in the Central Alberta Football League city final.
Hunt capped the night off with a 47-yard touchdown with a minute to play, his fourth major of the game for an exclamation mark on the 31-0 victory.
Rain poured down throughout the entire night, rendering the passing game largely ineffective for both sides and making the run game a crucial factor.
“The elements played a little bit of a factor. We had to stay on the ground a little bit more, but not nearly as bad as Monday. I’m extremely proud of the guys,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgewick.
For the Lightning, it was their third straight city title and eighth since 2010. This win was a bit more battle-tested for the Hunting Hills, as they lost linemen Joe Hedlund and Kyle Rees this season and forced some younger talent to step up.
“You always face adversity in a football season, but we faced a lot this year in a lot of different ways and I’m extremely proud of our guys,” Sedgewick said.
“These guys took nothing for granted, not resting on what they did last year or the year before, this is their team, this is their time. I think a few people counted us out after the (Lindsay Thurber) game, sometimes that’s the best thing to happen.”
The man of the hour, Hunt was happy for the individual accolades but said it was a team effort that helped them capture their third straight league title.
I’m proud of my boys, we fought hard throughout the whole season and just gave it all the work and effort to come together and win the league,” he said.
Hunt found the endzone twice for the Lightning to help them pull away in the second quarter.
He punched in a five-yard scored that capped a nearly 80-yard drive for the Lightning with all the damage being down via the run.
With time winding down in the half, he picked up his second major of the night. Hunting Hills made a crucial stop on third down with 1:47 left in the half and Hunt scored just a few plays later with under a minute left.
“Every now and then he looks for a little too much, instead of finishing runs forward,” Sedgwick said.
“Against Notre Dame (Monday), when they scored at the end of the third quarter, we started to be able to run the ball a little bit at that was all Joe finishing his runs forward, putting his pads down and he played that way right from the start (Saturday).”
Evan Stahl had two interceptions on defence, including one in the endzone early in the game and one late in the third quarter. Bryce Lang had a pick early in the contest and Quinn Doll also added one late.
Hunting Hills will host the Bert Chruch Chargers at Great Chief Park on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m., in the Tier II South Regional semifinal.
In other high school football action, the Sylvan Lake Lakers took home the rural league title with a 30-15 win over the Stettler Wildcats. Sylvan Lake will play the Holy Rosary Raiders on Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. in Lloydminster.
In the city league consolation final, the Notre Dame knocked off the Lindsay Thurber Raiders 27-24. Luc Lukalu and Trey LeBlanc had touchdowns, while Ethan Bariault threw for a pair of scores in the victory.