Wolfpack break Buccaneers in final minute

The Red Deer Buccaneers saw their playoff hopes slip away late in their Alberta Football League encounter with the Calgary Wolfpack Saturday at Great Chief Park, but it certainly wasn’t because of a lack of effort.

Wolfpack 56

Buccaneers 49

The Red Deer Buccaneers saw their playoff hopes slip away late in their Alberta Football League encounter with the Calgary Wolfpack Saturday at Great Chief Park, but it certainly wasn’t because of a lack of effort.

The Bucs turned in their best offensive performance of the season, but the Wolfpack broke a 49-49 tie with 55.5 seconds remaining in the game to pull out a 56-49 victory.

The loss left the Bucs with a 1-6-1 record and one point back of the Calgary Gators, who grabbed the sixth and final playoff spot.

But while there was disappointment, there were more smiles than frowns.

“What a way to go out, scoring 49 against the Wolfpack,” said Bucs quarterback Josh Achtemichuk.

The Buccaneers and Wolfpack went back and forth all evening in the highly entertaining affair with Red Deer tying the game at 49-49 with 3:37 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 31-yard pass from Achtemichuk to Randy Lawrence. It was the third time the pair hooked up to find the end zone. Jay Pike kicked his seventh convert and all the Bucs needed was one defensive stand.

However, the Wolfpack, behind outstanding quarterback Darryl Leason, marched the length of the field and took the lead for good when running back Sean Ahronson went in from the one.

The Bucs were able to move the ball, but simply ran out of time.

Achtemichuk, behind a strong offensive line, was the story of the game as he connected on 24 of 33 passes for 541 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed four times for 27 yards and one major.

“We watched game film over and over and over again and picked apart what they gave us last time and it worked perfectly,” said Achtemichuk. “And it would have kept working, we just needed more time.”

Kenton Poelzer grabbed seven passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns and rushed nine times for 43 yards. Josh Sorensen had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Bucs head coach Dave Hanni agreed.

“I’m so happy and proud of these guys,” he said. “They (Wolfpack) were trash talking all week on their website and in the media and saying we wouldn’t get 50 yards rushing and 100 yards passing, but we torched them tonight. What we didn’t want to do was get into a shoot out, a heavyweight fight, but that’s the way it went and they were smiling at the end, because they knew they got away with one.”

But overall the Bucs couldn’t handle Leason, who tossed five touchdowns, a two-point convert and ran in for a major. Former Ottawa Rough Rider Tom Dixon had five converts and two field goals.

Leason threw a pair of touchdowns to Scott Sargent and one each to Ahronson, Hughes Audet and Mike Leason.

“We knew coming in they had their backs to the wall and would be ready for us,” said Darryl Leason. “Josh played a heck-of-a game for them and he gave their receivers a chance to make plays and they did just that.

“That’s a good up and coming team and they’ll be that much better next year. They’ll get more wins and be in the playoffs. Unfortunately they’re not there this year because they’d give some teams problems.

“We came in today a bit banged up but that’s no excuse,” added Leason. “They made the plays and if not for that fumble (on the Calgary one) they may have tied this.”

Achtemichuk, who fumbled after a 10-yard run, felt he may have been down before the fumble.

“Who knows, but we got the ball back and scored right away anyway, so that didn’t determine the outcome,” he said.

Experience played a big role in deciding the game as the Wolfpack are coming off of winning the national championship last year.

“You could see their experience. They made the plays when they had to and have an outstanding quarterback who puts the ball where it has to be,” said Hanni.

“Next year we’ll have more of that. This year we had 25 rookies with 12 to 15 of them starting. And our rookies mainly come out of high school. We may have six guys who played beyond high school while we’re up against ex-pros and a lot of guys out of university and junior.

“If we keep this team together next year we’ll definitely move up.”

drode@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month