Lakers sink Royals in semifinal

A little ice wasn’t about to stop the Sylvan Lake Lakers passing game.

Lakers 41 Royals 21

A little ice wasn’t about to stop the Sylvan Lake Lakers passing game.

In fact they may have thrived on it as they rolled to a 41-21 victory over the Cold Lake Royals in provincial Tier III North Division high school football semifinal action in Cold Lake Saturday.

“With quarterback Howie Gray we have a good weapon and we were able to utilize him and passed the ball more than we ran,” explained Lakers head coach Jeremy Braitenback. “Overall we played well. The field was a little icy, but we handled it and the nice thing was we came away without any injuries.”

The Lakers jumped into a 28-0 lead and coasted home. In fact Braitenback took Gray out of the game in the final quarter.

The Lakers didn’t know all that much about the Royals, although they did see them in last year’s playoffs.

“That was all we knew,” said Braitenback. “But we felt they’d have a good running back and a good defensive line and it was what we expected.”

Receiver Ian Graham led the Lakers with three touchdowns while Justin McCartney, Brad Huhnold and Luke Green added single majors. Gray kicked five converts.

The Lakers host the Peace River Pioneers in the north final Saturday at 1 p.m. at H.J. Cody. The Pioneers advanced with a 75-14 win over the Beaumont Bandits.

In the south, the Lethbridge Winston Churchill Bulldogs downed the Highwood Mustangs of High River 20-7 and the No. 1-ranked Brooks Buffaloes beat the Cochrane Cobras 26-0.

Tigers 17 Cougars 16

The Notre Dame Cougars let a 9-1 lead slip away in the final seconds, then lost 17-16 in double overtime to the McNally Tigers of Edmonton in the Tier II north semifinal.

The Tigers took advantage of a Notre Dame fumble on an exchange between quarterback Kyle Devine and running back Dale MacDonald late in the game .The Tigers took control of the ball inside the Cougars 40 and marched to the Notre Dame five.

Then on a third-and-goal quarterback Andrew Johnson hooked up with Jonathan Weaver for a touchdown with 38 seconds remaining. Johnson then found Mo Abdallah for the two-point convert.

MacDonald broke loose on a 35-yard touchdown run on the first play in overtime, which was converted by Aaron Moritz. But Johnson fired a 16-yard scoring pass to Weaver and Sam Maroney added the convert.

Then after Devine was intercepted on the Cougars’ second series in overtime, the Tigers marched to the 15 from where Ariel Steinberg booted the ball through the end zone for the winning single.

Earlier MacDonald scored a touchdown and Connor McLachlan added a two-point convert and Moritz had a single on a wide field goal for the Cougars.

McNally now faces the Edmonton Austin O’Brien Crusaders, who beat the Lloydminster Barons 43-23.

In the south, St. Mary’s Saints of Calgary downed the Calgary Ernest Manning Griffins and the Foothills Falcons stopped the Cardston Cougars 22-0.

Raiders 27 Rebels 7

The West Central Rebels of Rocky Mountain House saw their hopes of a Tier IV playoff run stopped as they dropped a 27-7 decision to the No. 2-ranked Holy Rosary Raiders of Lloydminster in the north semifinals Saturday in Rocky.

The Raiders will meet the Ardrossan Bisons, who beat Sexsmith 52-0.

In the south, top-ranked Rundle College of Calgary beat Willow Creek Cobras of 24-0 and Kate Andrews of Coaldale downed Bow Valley of Cochrane 47-25.

Tier I

In the north Edmonton Harry Ainlay downed Grande Prairie 34-3 and Bev Facey of Sherwood Park stopped Fort McMurray 56-0 while in the south No. 1-ranked Raymond beat Ross Sheppard of Edmonton 61-0 and Calgary Notre Dame downed Bishop O’Bryne of Calgary 31-8.

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