Notre Dame Cougars wide receiver Trey LeBlanc is tackled by a St. Joseph Celtics player on Saturday at Great Chief Park in a high school football exhibition game. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Video: St. Joseph Celtics roll over Notre Dame Cougars

The St. Joseph Celtics laid a licking on the Notre Dame Cougars Saturday at Great Chief Park in high school football exhibition action.

Notre Dame was plagued by injuries in the contest and hobbled to the finish line in the 41-1 loss.

Cougars starting quarterback Triston Taylor was injured midway through the second quarter and their top two running backs, Luc Lukalu and Josh Burke also missed the game because of injuries.

“It’s tough, it was a big score, but we got better as the game went on. Still, it’s not the effort we need in the Central Alberta league going forward. They’re a big, physical team and when guys aren’t going hard, it doesn’t work, ” said Cougars head coach Ian Rattan.

“It was tough because when you have a bunch of backups jumping in right away and some guys aren’t ready to get in there right off the hop. It gets jumbled up. It’s not an excuse that we will move forward with, but it’s something we have to figure out.”

It was the last exhibition game for the Cougars, who have started the year 0-3 before they kick off Central Alberta High School league play on Friday.

“The kids have to go hard the entire time. They have to do their job for the three to four seconds the play is going on then go again. They can’t celebrate on big plays and can’t get down on themselves with the bad plays too much,” Rattan said.

“We missed a lot of tackles. Have to ramp up the intensity in practice and practice with a bit more urgency. Then clean some stuff up and guys have to come to work and get after it.”

The Celtics led 20-0 at halftime and scored on a long run early in the third quarter to really put the game out of reach.

Celtics quarterback Izayah Rogers threw for three touchdowns and also ran in for a 28-yard score.

Tanner Morris, Josh Pipegrass and Xander Matheson all caught touchdowns in the win for the visitors. Morgan Taylor and Gabriel Speerin each had rushing touchdowns for the Celtics.

Jaxyn Flunder was the leading rusher for the Cougars with eight carries for 56 yards.

In other Central Alberta football action on Saturday, the Lindsay Thurber moved to 2-0 with a 32-7 win over Grande Prairie.

On Sept. 21, the Cougars will take on Hunting Hills Lightning at 7:30 p.m. at Great Chief Park and the Raiders will host the Lacombe Rams at 4:30 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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Notre Dame Cougars running back Jaxyn Flunder runs past a group of St. Joseph Celtics defenders on Saturday in a high school football exhibition game at Great Chief Park. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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