Lakers 37 Lightning 10
For the first time in two years the Hunting Hills Lightning tasted defeat in the Central Alberta High School Football League.
And to make it even worse was the fact their 37-10 loss to the Sylvan Lake Lakers came in the championship game at Great Chief Park Saturday afternoon.
“We knew it would be a battle all the way and it was one of those days,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick. “We couldn’t make the plays and then ran into injury trouble. In high school football you’re not usually that deep and when you get injuries it’s tough to recover from that, especially when the heart and soul of our team, Mark Beingessner, goes down. When he was injured you could see it deflated the team.”
Beingessner went down early in the second quarter following a 20-yard run. It not only took away the Lightning’s top running back but one of their leading linebackers. He did manage to come back later in the second half and played on defence.
The Lightning also lost starting quarterback Scott Pearson on their second play in the second half when they trailed 16-10. He hit his head on the ground and laid motionless for a long period of time before getting up. But he was done for the game and it affected their offence.
“Those injures affected their team” said Lakers head coach Jeremy Braitenback. “If we had two similar guys go down it would have affected us as well.”
But the Lakers didn’t lose any of their elite players and in the end they were simply too deep and well prepared for the Lightning to handle.
“They played well,” said Sedgwick. “They did the things we thought they’d do and the same things we prepared for, but the game came down to execution. Our offensive line didn’t play as well as they did all year. Maybe it was pressure or the way the day went, but we didn’t make the plays. What can you do. Give them credit. They played hard and wanted it more than we did.”
The Lakers jumped into a 14-0 lead in the first quarter as outstanding running back Brad Huhnold went 57 yards at 4:35 and Tyler Ledwos went 39 yards at 11:50. Both were converted by Alistair Smith.
Shane Gasser took a pass from Pearson and went 64 yards on the final play of the first quarter and then converted his own major. Gasser later kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it 14-10. Gasser also gave up a safety at 10:32 of the second quarter.
The Lakers took a 23-10 lead in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Nathan Tarling with Shon Zenert and Bud Kriekle adding touchdowns in the final quarter. Smith converted all three.
Huhnold finished the game with 169 yards rushing on 17 carries while Ledwos grabbed seven passes for 108 yards. Ryan Myles had five catches for 78 yards for the Lightning.