Lightning 17 Trojans 15
The Hunting Hills Lightning have been one of the feel-good stories in the early part of the Central Alberta High School Football League season.
The Lightning have already equalled their win total of a year ago when they posted a 4-4 record. The Lightning ran their 2009 mark to 4-0 with an entertaining 17-15 victory over the Camrose Trojans, 1-2, at Great Chief Park Friday.
“We knew coming in it would be a tough game” said the Lightning running back Stas McPhail, who was the offensive star for the Lightning, finishing with 160 yards rushing on 23 carries and scoring a pair of touchdowns.
He scored on a three-yard run at 11:57 of the first quarter to tie the game, then put the Lightning ahead 17-7 with a 50-yard romp on a third-down gamble at 8:47 of the third quarter.
“He almost got me, he just got a piece of my foot,” explained McPhail, who said he was feeling the affects of the hard-hitting affair.
“I’m sore,” he said. “But it’s good to get the win.”
McPhail, who is in Grade 11, was a marked man most of the night, something he knows will happen.
“The other team is always yelling my number, but I like the challenge,” he said.
Kicker Jose Liso accounted for the other Hunting Hills points with two converts and a 33-yard field goal.
Both Camrose majors came on passes from Josh Millang. He connected on a 77-yard strike to Joel Winterhalt at 7:34 of the first quarter and on a six-yard strike to Tylor Henry at 1:46 of the fourth quarter. Adam Kuntz had a pair of converts and Millang kicked a 42-yard single.
The Trojans came within a whisker of winning the game but Adam Proulx made an outstanding defensive play at the final gun to knock the ball down and preserve the win.
“We almost cracked, but we hung in there and we’re learning how to win,” said Lightning head coach Kyle Sedgwick. “We’re still making mistakes and taking some penalties at the wrong time, but I think it’s getting better. Wins like this build character as we were up against a tough team with a lot of offensive potential.”
Trojans head coach Kirt Purdy expected a battle.
“It was the kind of game we expected, as they’re 3-0 (coming in) for a reason,” he said.
Purdy also believes his team could be 3-0 as well.
“It we played to our potential and if we were a little healthier,” he said. “We’re banged up and have a short bench. We hoped to get off to a good start so it would create a little more interest and we’d get a few more bodies out. But it’s the why it is for now and our minor program is very healthy and drawing more and more players, so the future looks good.”
The Lightning finished with 216 yards on the ground and 23 in the air while the Trojans were 74 and 221 respectively.
The Lightning return to action Thursday as they visit the Sylvan Lake Lakers while the Trojans host Lacombe.
l In other action, the Lacombe Rams beat the Wetaskiwin Sabres 49-8 and the Lakers downed the Rocky Mountain House Rebels 42-0.
Brady Olsen finished with 60-yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns for Lacombe while Dalen Kolybaba had a touchdown and a two-point convert and Julian Sacher, Nathan Goode, Skylar Sargeant and Brandt Kolybaba single touchdowns. Cale Jacobs kicked five converts.
Cody Angus had a touchdown for the Sabres and Mark Kaiser a convert and Andrew Majek a single.
Justin Jorstad had 99 yards rushing on 13 carries for the Sabres.
Brad Huhnold had a pair of majors for the Lakers while rushing for 105 yards on 17 carries. Ian Graham carried the ball five times for 101 yards and Kyle Winder 88 yards on eight carries and had one touchdown.
David Lewis, Nick Kezekanich and Jeff Watson added one touchdown each and Sean Wood six converts.
The Lakers held the Rebels to 13 yards rushing and 11 passing while rushing for 314 and passing for 152.