Ardan Kasha runs for a 90-yard touchdown, the final one of the game, late in the fourth quarter. Kasha said if it wasn’t his first ever touchdown, it was definitely his longest. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

HJ Cody Lakers aim for championship after opener win

The Lakers won against the Wetaskiwin Sabres 49-8 at the home opener, Sept 5

The HJ Cody Lakers a gearing up for a championship year, anything less would be a disappointment, according to Head Coach Jeremy Braitenback.

After a standout win Thursday evening versus the Wetaskiwin Sabres, the Lakers are looking to continue developing into a well-tuned machine.

“This is a championship team,” said Braitenback, explaining there is a balance between talents and grades. “We are of course looking at taking the championship and even further, to make it into provincials and leave our mark.”

The Lakers won handily over the Sabres at the home opener with a final score of 49-8.

While overall, Braitenback said he was happy with how the team performed, he said there were mistakes that need to be cleaned up and areas where they can still grow.

In particular, he said he wasn’t impressed with how the Lakers came out of the gate in the first half.

“We did a lot of things well, but we made a lot of mistakes, and we need to clean those things up so we can be as close to perfection as possible,” Braitenback said.

During the first half of the game the team was a little slow to get into the grove of things, mistakes were made in both with both passing and running.

The Lakers only let the Sabres have one touchdown – with a two-point conversion added on, which was scored with just over a minute left in the first half.

As the minutes to the first half ticked down, the Lakers quarterback through an interception. On the ensuing drive, Mason Rempel, No. 87 for the Lakers, picked off a pass intended for a Sabre receiver and ran it for 35 yards.

The Lakers had an impressive 13-point lead at the half, leading 21-8, and would drive in another four touchdowns in the second half of the game.

“In the second half we really picked it up,” said Braitenback. “Everyone, the offence, defence, special teams, were all cooking.”

The star of the game was defensive lineman Ardan Kasha.

With just over three minutes remaining in the game, Kasha, while on defence, got hold of the ball and ran it for a 90-yard touchdown.

As he left the field the crowd and his fellow teammates cheered and yelled his name.

“The highlight of the game was definitely the touchdown by Arden. I didn’t know he could run 80 yards, let alone do it in a game,” said Braitenback.

Kasha described the play to his teammates as a “Teletubby running for a touchdown.”

The Lakers will take on the Drayton Valley Warriors next Friday, and Braitenback says the team will work to clean up their game before taking to the field.

He doesn’t expect there will be any change ups to how they play going into next week’s game.

The Lakers will play the Warriors at home on Sept. 13, with the game scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

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Brett Blysma closes in on the quarterback with the Sabres, Josh Wiebe, and tackles him to the ground, just shy of the first down marker. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

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