Cougars 35 Rams 19
The Notre Dame Cougars, with Keiran Pruden back at the controls, earned themselves a home playoff date Friday.
Pruden returned from injury and completed 12 of 20 passes for 218 yards as the Cougars downed the Lacombe Rams 35-19 at Great Chief Park.
The game was a preview of the Central Alberta High School Football League fifth/sixth place game to be played next weekend at Great Chief. Notre Dame finished regular season play at 4-4 while Lacombe closed with a 3-5 record.
“We got a lot of kids in the game tonight and it really makes a difference when Keiran plays,” said Cougars head coach Gino Castellan. “We played our fourth- and fifth-string quarterbacks last week. He (Pruden) didn’t play at all.
“He came back tonight and played well and our receiving corps did a good job.”
Pruden hooked up with six different receivers. Leading the way was Brady Podloski with six catches for 97 yards, while Logan Hughes hauled in three passes for 49 yards and one touchdown and Steven LaGrange had three receptions for 57 yards and two majors.
The visitors also displayed a strong passing attack as Austin Ericson completed 11 of 14 passes for 150 yards and Judah Knip was eight-for-17 for 138 yards.
Jayden Jones was the leading Lacombe receiver with eight catches for 43 yards. SaDair Nobel caught three balls for 92 yards and two touchdowns and Corban Knip grabbed two passes for 68 yards and a major.
Neither club mounted much of a running attack. Pruden and teammate Kieran Mill were the leaders with 34 yards apiece.
Myles Corsiatto caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and ran four yards for another Notre Dame major.
The Cougars scored all of their points in the first half, taking a 35-13 lead into the intermission.
“I was a little disappointed with the second half,” said Castellan. “We let down a bit which a lot of times is natural when you’re up big. Kids take it easy a bit but you have to teach them not to do that.”
The Cougars had six starters absent from their offence due to injury. None are expected to return for the playoff date with the Rams.
“We were plagued with injuries this year. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Castellan. “But it was a good effort tonight. We saw a lot of good things.
– copyright Red Deer Advocate