Warren Stewart-Brown takes the hand-off and looks for an opening in the Wildcats defence. Unfortunately, he was run out of bounds before he could gain postive yards on the play. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Warren Stewart-Brown takes the hand-off and looks for an opening in the Wildcats defence. Unfortunately, he was run out of bounds before he could gain postive yards on the play. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

H.J. Cody Lakers stumble against Stettler Wildcats

The Lakers lost the home game, Sept. 20, 20-8

It wasn’t the outcome the H.J. Cody Lakers were hoping for in the team’s matchup with the Settler Wildcats Thursday night.

The Lakers worked to be more disciplined and focused in preparation for a difficult game against a notoriously hard team.

Historically, the Wildcats and the Lakers end up being first and second in the league, and with Thursday night’s loss, it looks like this year will continue that trend.

“Stettler is tough team, and we knew that coming in and we prepared as best we could,” said Lakers Head Coach Jeremy Braitenback.

Stettler was able to capitalize on the Lakers’ slower momentum and difficulty stopping the outside run to secure a 20-8 win.

Braitenback says the team will take away a lot this game to work on and get better.

Specifically, he pointed out the defence’s trouble on the outside run, and says that will be a focus once again in next week’s practices.

However, he says the Lakers defence played a good game, even if the score might not reflect the sentiment at first glance.

“The defence played very well. You may not think that with the score, but [Stettler Wildcats] have being score 40-plus on other teams this season. We held them to 20 [points],” Braitenback said.

The Lakers didn’t score until the second period, putting one point on the score board with a rouge. Later in the second Max Seib caught a pass for a touchdown, which Lied the Lakers with the Wildcats at 7-7.

The Lakers are attempting something new on the team. The team has recruited a rugby player as the kicker.

Instead of the typical place kicking for the point-after conversion, the Lakers are trying out dropping kicking, like what is seen in rugby.

“It’s been working out well in practise, but we have yet to get it to work in games,” said Braitenback, who added they will continue to work on it this season.

In the last two home games, the Lakers have yet to make a success point-after conversion.

With Ben Tindall adding another point to the board just as the first half ended, the Lakers were still in fighting form and ready for the second half of the game.

“At half-time there was hope, things were looking up. It just didn’t go our way,” Braitenback said.

After a fumble recovery touchdown for the Wildcats, the hope started to fade, and by the end of the fourth quarter the Wildcats had run away with the game 20-8.

It was a little disheartening, according to Braitenback, but he says his team will learn and improve from this game.

With four games left in the regular season, Braitenback says this game will be where the Lakers learn the most.

“If you win every game, if everyone is easy, you won’t grow. So we’ll take this one and continue to grow,” he said.

To prepare for the second half of the season, Braitenback says the team will continue to focus on the outside run on defence, while learning to make big plays offensively.

“We can make little five run plays every time, but that isn’t getting us far,” said Braitenback.

“We need to be able to mix it up and throw in those big plays as well.”

The Lakers will next meet Camrose on the gridiron on the road. The game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Kin Park in Camrose.

 

Daxton Bylsma looks for a player to take the hand-off n the Lakers one-yard line. Bylsma was sacked on this play which was recovered by the Wildcats in hte endzone.

Daxton Bylsma looks for a player to take the hand-off n the Lakers one-yard line. Bylsma was sacked on this play which was recovered by the Wildcats in hte endzone.

Ethan Murphy-Forest tackles a player in the third quarter of the game after he passed into Lakers territory.

Ethan Murphy-Forest tackles a player in the third quarter of the game after he passed into Lakers territory.