Raiders 14 Wildcats 14
Lindsay Thurber Raiders veteran safety Mark Fay is already considered one of the premier defensive players in the Central Alberta High School Football League.
Now he’s beginning to make a mark for himself on the offensive side as well.
Fay turned in an outstanding two-way performance Monday to help the Raiders pull out a 14-14 tie with the Stettler Wildcats at Great Chief Park.
On defence he picked off a pair of Dustin Dayman passes — giving him four in three games — and was consistently in the face of the Wildcats’ outstanding running back Josh Meyer.
On offence, he grabbed four passes for 164 yards and a touchdown. His major came on a 15-yard pass from veteran quarterback Kyle O’Meara on a third and 10 play with 1:31 remaining in the game.
“I played a bit on offence last year, but they have me out there more this year and I enjoy it,” said Fay, who only appeared to be shadowing Meyer.
“He’s a great back and everyone had an eye out for him,” he said.
As it was Meyer rushed for 189 yards on 21 carries and scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 38-yard romp in the first quarter.
The Wildcats grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first half when Landon Potter went around end from eight yards out 56 seconds into the second quarter. Steve Strandquist converted both touchdowns.
“We gave them a lot of room in the first half and we talked at the half about getting the defence going,” said Fay, who played a key role in both LTCHS touchdowns.
In the first half he combined with rookie quarterback Wilson Lougheed on a 48-yard pass and run play which set up Lougheed’s 15-yard strike to Kyle Pickett for the a touchdown at 7:01 of the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Fay combined with O’Meara on a 58-yard pass and run play, three plays before of his touchdown.
Brody Slagman converted both touchdowns.
The Raiders appeared as if they would pull out the victory when Colin McKean intercepted a Dayman pass with 55 seconds remaining in the game and went 50 yards to the end zone. But the play was called back on a penalty.
“We gave this away with some penalties, some of which I didn’t agree with, but that’s the way it is. I was proud of the guys and their ability to come from behind,” said Raiders head coach Dave Smith.
He was especially pleased with Fay.
“He was awesome on both sides of the ball. He’s a leader and very dependable.”
O’Meara, who came in in the second half, was also outstanding, connecting on 10 of 18 passes for 207 yards. Lougheed hit four of eight for 77 yards.
“We made the change because Kyle has the experience and a little stronger arm to throw deep,” said Smith. “We decided to throw more in the second half and go deep after what we saw in the first half.”
Wildcats’ head coach Norbert Baharally wasn’t surprised to see the Raiders go to the air.
“We’re still young back there, plus this is the first game anyone tried to pass a lot on us.”
Both teams sit at 0-2-1.
• In other league action the Notre Dame Cougars, 2-0, downed the 1-2 Sylvan Lake Lakers 21-3, the Hunting Hills Lightning ran their record to 3-0 with a 22-9 win over the Wetaskiwin Sabres, 1-2, and the 1-1 Camrose Trojans whipped the 1-2 Rocky Mountain House Rebels 54-0.
Dale MacDonald scored a pair of touchdowns for the Cougars with Nathan Stearns adding one. Aaron Moritz kicked three converts. Sean Wood had a 28-yard field goal for the Lakers.
MacDonald finished with 204 yards rushing on 21 carries while Justin McCartney had 72 yards on eight carries and Brad Huhnold 54 on five for the Lakers.
Results of the other two games were unavailable.
Contact Danny Rode at email@example.com