Lindsay Thurber Raider Dawson McCrea protects the ball as Hunting Hills Lightning Dexter Lubchenko makes a tackle during first half action at Great Chief Park Friday.

Lindsay Thurber Raider Dawson McCrea protects the ball as Hunting Hills Lightning Dexter Lubchenko makes a tackle during first half action at Great Chief Park Friday.

LIghtning win slugfest against Raiders

The Hunting Hills Lightning didn’t expect anything less than a battle Friday night.

The Hunting Hills Lightning didn’t expect anything less than a battle Friday night.

That’s what they got from the Lindsay Thurber Raiders before scoring a pair of late touchdowns to prevail 29-14 in a Central Alberta High School Football League game played before an overflow gathering of 1,041 fans at Great Chief Park.

“They always put up a good fight,” said Lightning workhorse and star running back Brandt Burzuk, who gained 213 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Hunting Hills head coach Kyle Sedgwick was in total agreement, and then some.

“This is my seventh year at Hunting and it doesn’t matter what each team had as far as personnel . . . when we play that team it’s a true rivalry, a street fight,” said Sedgwick. “Both teams try and establish the run, and obviously that’s where we are now, and the defences always play hard.

“That was just a street fight. You have guys laying on the ground not just because they’re tired, but they’re literally exhausted. You have two public schools in the city, so that’s how it should be.”

The Raiders trailed 9-0 early but closed the gap to 12-7 at halftime, then grabbed their only lead of the game early in the third quarter when quarterback TK Kunaka hit receiver Jonathan Goulet over the middle for a 67-yard pass-and-run play for a touchdown that Goulet converted.

But the Lightning regained the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Eder Arias just over a minute later and never looked back, overcoming a late third-quarter fumble by Burzuk at the Raiders three-yard stripe with a fumble recovery for a touchdown by linebacker Edward Kim on the first play of the final quarter.

Burzuk scampered 25 yards around the left end for a major with 1:56 remaining and teammate Zech Pilgrim followed with an interception of a Kunaka pass at midfield to nail down the victory.

The Lightning got on the board 3:23 into the contest on a conceded safety, then got a major from Burzuk — on a six-yard run — 68 seconds later. Kunaka tossed an 11-yard scoring pass to David Dunbar to get the Raiders off and running before the end of the opening quarter, and Arias, who booted three converts on the evening, replied for the Lightning with a 24-yard field goal with 5:12 left in the first half.

Burzuk left the game twice with leg cramps.

“I’m a little sore, but I can tough it out,” he said. “I just ran behind our O-line tonight. I have a great line.”

The Raiders’ ground game was good for only 69 yards — with Bradley Pope gaining 48 on 12 carries — but they gained 131 yards through the air, with Kunaka completing eight of 13 passes for 119 yards and one interception, and Sean Vandervlis going one-for-two for 12 yards and a pick. Goulet hauled in two balls for 71 yards and Dunbar grabbed three passes for 15.

Hunting Hills quarterback Eric Thomson completed three of seven passes — all to Pilgrim — for 20 yards.

Raiders head coach Dave Smith was impressed with the intensity shown by both teams.

“That was a slugfest, back and forth,” he said. “Our defence played really well in the first half, we had their number, then we got a little tired in the second half and they got some breaks on us, for sure.

“Offensively, we have to work on moving the ball more consistently and controlling the line of scrimmage, which we didn’t do like I wanted to today.

We had some bright spots with Jonathan Goulet and TK, who played a good game, but it all starts and stops at that line of scrimmage.”

l Raiders quarterback Ben Pasiuk, who suffered an injury while playing for Team Alberta at the Football Canada Cup in July and is expected to be out until late fall, has committed to the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the 2016 season.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

The owner of Mae’s Kitchen in Mirror, says hamlet residents were ‘disheartened’ by a recent anti-restriction protest. The restaurant is following all the health restrictions in place. (Photo courtesy Mae’s Kitchen Facebook)
‘We don’t need that’: Mirror restaurant against recent anti-restriction protest

A week after a large anti-restriction protest at The Whistle Stop Cafe… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford shakes hands with people associated with the hall before a hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils in Toronto. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association is forging ahead in its bid to establish an economically sustainable professional league in North America with or — for now — without the NHL’s full financial backing. In response to Sportsnet.ca reporting the NHL was not in a position to operate a women’s league for the foreseeable future, PWHPA executive Jayna Hefford wrote in an email to The Associated Press late Thursday that her group has begun developing what she called “a parallel path for a future that doesn’t rely on NHL support.” (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Kenney is distancing himself from a decision to expel two members from his United Conservative caucus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. A judge is expected to rule this morning on a challenge of the United Conservative government's inquiry into whether foreign groups have conspired against Alberta's oil industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Judge dismisses attempt to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ activities inquiry

Judge dismisses attempt to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ activities inquiry

Albertans receive vaccines at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Alberta Health Services says it has obtained a restraining order against a Calgary mayoral candidate who the agency says has threatened health workers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta health agency obtains restraining order against Calgary mayoral candidate

Alberta health agency obtains restraining order against Calgary mayoral candidate

Most Read