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U18 Central Alberta Fire advance to gold medal game

They’ll play in Calgary this Sunday
Central Alberta Fire Rowan Macleod runs towards the end zone during the U18 Female Football Jamboree at Setters Place in Red Deer. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The Central Alberta Fire U18 female football team will have a chance to win a gold medal in their inaugural season.

The undefeated fire knocked out the Okotoks Eagles on Sunday in a blowout 66-0 victory to advance to the U18 Female Football League championship game.

Head coach Martin Rheaume said the girls came together to defeat Okotoks and explained making it to the final is the sprinkles on top of a fantastic season.

“We told the girls that it was all up to them now and they really came together in an immense way,” he said.

“The defence absolutely dominated. They say defence wins championships and they certainly proved that point on Sunday.”

At one point in the game, the defence forced a turnover that led to the game’s only defensive touchdown. The Fire’s offence scored the remaining 60 points.

The Fire is made up of players from across central Alberta with a mix of experienced players and some who have never played before. Rheaume said coming into the season they didn’t know what to expect.

“When we saw we were quite competitive with the others we saw that we can be competitive in this league,” he said.

“With careful preparation, watching game film, and learning from our mistakes things started to pick up. All of a sudden you win a few games you go, ‘Oh, we actually have a chance.’”

With the win, the Fire will play the Calgary Wildcats this Sunday at Shouldice Athletic Park in Calgary at 1 p.m.

“Calgary is going to come in pretty tough,” he said. “We gave them their first loss this year and last year they never lost. They’re going to be coming with a vengeance.

“We’ve got to make sure we are absolutely ready and we come just as strong as we did from last Sunday.”

The two teams played each other in week three with the Fire getting the upper hand in a 19-6 victory at home. The matchup will be between the two top teams of the league.

Rheaume explained the Wildcats are very strong offensively but are also solid on the defensive end.

“We’re going to have to earn our win on Sunday but so will Calgary. Whoever wins this game on Sunday it’s not going to be a walk in the park… We’re going to have to be ready.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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