Lightning 33 Cougars 14
The Hunting Hills Lightning made a little history Thursday and to make it even better they did it against their arch-rivals from down the street.
The Lightning downed the Notre Dame Cougars 33-14 at Great Chief Park, which wrapped up first place in the Central Alberta High School Football League for the first time.
The Hunting Hills squad ran their record to 7-0, and with only a meeting Oct. 15 at home against the Rocky Mountain House Rebels remaining on their schedule, they can do not worse than tie for first with either Camrose or Lacombe.
“We have the tie-breaker advantage on both of them, so this was a big win,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgewick. “It’s history for the program as it’s the first time we finished first and the first time we’ll host a playoff game.
“It’s exciting to know we’ll be at home for the semifinals. That was one of the goals we set..”
The Lightning took control of the game in the first quarter with a 20-yard Tyler Lewis field goal and a pair of touchdown runs by Stas McPhail. McPhail scored twice more in the second quarter on runs of seven and 54 yards and Lewis kicked four converts to make the score 31-0 at the half.
“We went into the game knowing they’d throw everything at us, but we had a week to prepare and came out hard,” said Sedgewick. “We fortunately got a couple of turnovers and seemed to always have a short field. As well Stas was outstanding for the second week in a row and took over when we needed it.”
But despite the lopsided score, Sedgewick, a Notre Dame grad, gave the Cougars credit.
“The two schools are 500-yards apart and it doesn’t matter what the records are it’s a rivalry game. I came through that program and they have a lot of pride. They’re young and have a lot to build on.”
Cougars head coach Gino Castellan agreed.
“We played with a lot of Grade 10s in the second half and it was promising for the future,” he said. “That team (Lightning) is a very good team, similar to ourselves last year. They have talent and if Kyle would have kept his starters out there they would have won by 60 or 70. But he did a good job of putting some of his younger guys in in the second half and I appreciate that.”
The Cougars outscored the Lightning 14-2 in the second half.
They gave up a safety while quarterback Kieran Pruden connected on a 28-yard touchdown toss to Brady Podloski and Dale MacDonald bulled in from the one. Luis Moreno added a pair of converts.
“The second half we had a lot of our young guys against their younger guys and we did a good job,” added Castellan, whose squad slipped to 0-6.
McPhail finished with 132 yards rushing on nine carries while Lewis had 68 yards on nine tries. Quarterback Jon Boutin rushed for 36 yards on six carries and Joel Nicholson had 36 yards on eight carries.
MacDonald led the Cougars with 142 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Pruden connected on eight of 23 pass attempts for 94 yards.
Trojans 31 Lakers 16
The Camrose Trojans, 4-1, scored the final 17 points of the game to down the Sylvan Lake Lakers 31-16 in Sylvan Lake.
Trailing 16-14 late in the second quarter, Eric Rust went 63 yards on a kickoff return to put the Trojans ahead for good. Jon Heidebrecht kicked the third of his four converts and he added a field goal to finish the scoring.
Rust also scored on a fumble recovery and on a 35-yard run while Adam Kuntz had the final Camrose major on a five-yard run.
Nathan Tarling, on a one-yard plunge, and Tyler Ledwos, on a seven-yard pass, scored touchdowns for the Lakers, 3-4, while Callum Smith had a convert and a field goal.
Kyle Winder led the Lakers with 89 yards rushing on 14 carries while Jeff Watson had 58 on nine. Rust had 35 yards rushing on six carries.
Rams 46 Wildcats14
The Lacombe Rams ran their record to 4-1 with a 46-14 win over the homestanding Stettler Wildcats, 3-2-1.
Tanner Green rushed three times for 93 yards and caught three passes for 117 for the Rams. He also scored twice on passes from quarterback Cole Stewart, who hit on nine of 12 passes for 174 yards.
Skyler Sargeant rushed nine times for 88 yards and two majors. Stewart added a touchdown on a four-yard run and also passed 35 yards to Brandt Kolybaba for a major.
Braden Nelson had 122 yards rushing on 15 carries for the ‘Cats while Landon Potter added a touchdown while rushing 13 times for 72 yards.
l League action continues tonight when the Lindsay Thurber Raiders host the Wetaskiwin Sabres at 7 p.m. at Great Chief Park.