Colts 13 Raiders 0
The Lindsay Thurber Raiders’ offensive finish was as cold as the weather Saturday.
The Raiders moved the ball into scoring position on several occasions but couldn’t get it into the end zone and fell 13-0 to the Calgary Colts in the provincial bantam Tier 2 football final at Great Chief Park.
“We were missing a couple of big studs today and that really hurt,” said Thurber coach Dean Pasiuk, in reference to injured stars receiver/safety Ben Pasiuk and running back/linebacker Bryce Maki.
“Still, we had our opportunities to score. We won the field position battle like we wanted to in a game like this, but we just didn’t make the catches when we really needed to. We had a couple of drops in the end zone. It happens.”
The Colts got a second-quarter touchdown from Nathan MacDonald on a 35-yard run and the clubs took turns spinning their wheels in the minus-19 weather (minus-28 with the wind chill) until Evon Savytskyy sealed the deal with just over two minutes remaining, running 45 yards to the Raiders end zone on a reverse play.
“They’re a very good foortball team and our hats are off to them,” said Pasiuk.
They did the things that they needed to do and we just didn’t.”
The loss was the first of the season for the Raiders, who were clearly the cream of the Central Bantam Football League and defeated Leduc in a provincial semifinal last weekend.
“If you were to tell me at the beginning of this year that we’d be playing in this game I don’t think any one of our coaching staff would have believed you,” said Pasiuk.
“With the adversity these kids went through this year (with the sudden death of coach Blair Murray in September) . . . I have never seen anything like that in my 46 years of life. The effort that these kids put in day in and day out and to get to this game and to come up a bit short is a heart-breaker. But they’ll all be better men for it.”
l The Innisfail Cyclones and Lacombe Explosion captured the provincial Tier 3 and 4 peewee championships Saturday with respective 12-0 and 38-0 wins over the visiting Calgary Colts and Spruce Grove Cougars.
l In high school provincial semifinal action, the host Stettler Wildcats advanced to the Tier 3 final versus the Cochrane Cobras with a 21-14 victory over the St. Albert Skyhawks and the Sylvan Lake Lakers and Rocky Mountain House Rebels fell short.
The Lakers lost 16-0 to host Okotoks Holy Trinity in Tier 2 action and the Rebels lost 21-6 to the visiting Ardrossan Bisons in a Tier 4 semifinal.