Rams 11 Lightning 0
It was all about defence on the gridiron Friday night.
The Lacombe Rams won the battle in the trenches and behind the strength of their defence, knocked off the Hunting Hills Lightning 11-0 in a tight Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association Conference contest at Great Chief Park.
“Our team is built around our defence and it has to be. Our offence is a little young,” said Rams coach Brian Ross.
“Defensively we’re aggressive and I’m pretty happy with what they’re doing.”
The only touchdown of the game came courtesy of a beautiful deep ball from Rams quarterback Scott Magee. He hit Gabe Hiebert with a 49-yard strike just four minutes into the second quarter, giving Lacombe a 10-0 advantage.
Hiebert was central to the Rams attack, including a beautiful catch on the touchdown grab.
”Gabe Hiebert is the real deal. I hope that some university takes a look at him. He makes things very different for us,” Ross said.
On the other side, the Hunting Hills Lighting couldn’t find pay dirt in the loss and are winless on the year, including two non-conference losses and a defeat at the hands of the Lindsay Thurber Raider last week.
Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick said his team has just five grade 12 players, with the majority of his roster not playing football at the senior level before this season.
“We are getting better every week. We don’t have a win right now and I’m sure there’s a lot of people in this area of the province that are pretty happy about that. But I’m okay with it,” Sedgwick said.
“It’s Oct. 1, there’s a long way to go. We had a small group of Grade 12s as it was this year and two of them weren’t dressed… we’re young, but I don’t want that to sound like excuses. That year off, we lost momentum. It’s evened some things out and it’s all about which team can get their players football IQ where it needs to be, as soon as they can.”
Meanwhile, the win pushed the Rams to 1-0-1 in conference play, after a 22-22 tie against the Notre Dame Cougars in the opening week of city play.
Ross said they also have a problem with inexperience.
“They’re all essentially the equivalent of Grade 10s. They didn’t get that year of eligibility (last year). My Grade 12s only have a portion of a year of experience. They’re young, they’re learning, they will figure it out at some point,” Ross said.
“I think everybody is facing the same problem. We have smaller numbers and less football IQ. Just because of lack of experience.”
The Lighting will host St. Joe’s of Edmonton in non-conference action next Friday at Great Chief Park, while the rest of the teams in the city conference will have a bye week.
In the late game Friday, the Notre Dame Cougars knocked off the Raiders 24-16. Lindsay Thurber led 13-10 at halftime and 16-10 heading into the fourth quarter.