The stage for the Central Alberta High School Football League final has been set and the two powerhouses will meet on Saturday.
The Hunting Hills Lightning and the undefeated Stettler Wildcats will compete for central Alberta senior football’s ultimate prize in Stettler at 2 p.m.
During the regular season, the Wildcats dominated with a 5-0 performance and only allowed a league-low 46 points on defence. On the offensive side, Stettler showed no mercy piling on 208 points of total offence. After a successful season, the Wildcats took care of business in the semi-final and took down the Notre Dame Cougars 49-14.
On the other hand, the Lightning really hit their stride late in the year with a 3-2 regular season. Hunting Hills were also dominant on the defensive side of the ball and allowed just 58 points to their 137 points on offence. In the league semi-final, the Lightning won a back-and-forth tight matchup against the Sylvan Lake Lakers 32-28 in Sylvan Lake.
Head coach of the Lightning Kyle Sedgwick said they knew it would be a tight matchup with the Lakers with plenty of offence.
He added he thought his defence made some key stops against the Lakers’ talented running back but gave credit to his opponent for making some big plays through the passing game.
“There’s been some years in the past where we’ve had some really tight playoff games and you have to be able to learn those too. I thought that was a really big step for our program to get back to that by winning a really tight game and making a few more plays than them at the end,” he said.
The Wildcats will be no easy task for the lightning to solve who beat them 31-11 in late September but Sedgwick said his team played a good first half of that matchup.
“We’re a far better team than we were then but obviously they’ve improved as well. It’s another interesting scenario… There’s a lot of tradition and a lot of bragging rights for league champions and teams want to win that,” Sedgwick said.
They’re hoping to take the approach of limiting Stettler’s run game because Sedgwick explained it’s not realistic to expect to eliminate it completely.
“They’re very well versed in that they know their system well but we’re going to have to just try and limit it. We have to get them into passing situations and then we just have to compete for the ball in the air,” he said.