Defence and the dual running threat of Josh Burke and Luc Lukalu powered the Notre Dame Cougars to their second win of the high school football season.
The Cougars put their first victory up Thursday, running over the Lacombe Rams 28-3 in Central Alberta High School Football League city play. Notre Dame finished league play 1-2, while the Rams ended up 0-3.
“Defence played fantastic. Bent a few times but didn’t break, to only give up three points like that– our defence is doing a great job right now, with the offence starting to come around. Still lots of football left to play,” said Cougars coach Ian Rattan.
With several strong defensive stands in the opening 12 minutes, Ty Friss made the biggest play for the Cougars defence. He hauled in a tipped pass in Notre Dame territory and rumbled all the way down to the Rams one-yard line. That led to a touchdown by running back Josh Burke.
In a first half where the defensives stood tall, it was the final minute of the second quarter that made the difference in the contest.
After a strong drive late in the quarter and deep in the Cougars territory, Lacombe took a penalty and then fumbled on the next play before settling for a field goal and their only score of the game.
That proved costly, as the Cougars drove down the field in the final minute of the half and Spencer Henderson capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown.
Luc Lukalu proceeded to break the game wide open just under three minutes into the third quarter, busting through a number of Rams’ tackles on the way to a 50-yard score.
“The running backs are finding their stride, but our O-line did a heck of a job in the second half. Those O-linemen were white-knuckling it and it was awesome to see because it gave those backs a bit of space. Just good to see the O-line get a bit of confidence,” added Rattan.
Late in the game, Cougars quarterback Ethan Briault hit Jayden Tattrie for an 18-yard score to ice the game.
After Thanksgiving on Oct. 15, the Cougars will take on Crescent Heights in non-conference play. The city league semi-final are set for Oct. 25 and 26.