Sylvan Lake fans were treated to a captivating football game as they vociferously cheered the H. J. Cody Lakers to a win in Rocky Mountain House last Friday.
And there’s more interesting action on the horizon as the Lakers meet Hunting Hills Lightning Saturday in the Central Alberta High School Football League final.
This will be the third year in a row the two teams have met in post season action. In 2011 the Lakers won the league championship over Lightning then last season they lost a 14-10 league semi-final to the Red Deer team. Lightning went on to win the league championship.
Playing against West Central Rebels, last Friday, the Lakers were propelled to a 25-21 win after trailing 15-11 when the Rebels threw a touchdown pass on the final play of the opening half.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter with the Lakers adding a point on a convert while the Rebels were unable to convert. Score 21-18.
A Laker punt attempt midway through the final quarter hit the upright. Then with just over two minutes in the game, the Lakers were stalled on their line of scrimmage for two downs before Josh Barrie caught a pass to garner the Lakers first down on the Rebels eight.
With 1:15 left in the game, the Lakers climbed ahead of their opponents after Shon Zenert scrambled into the end zone.
On the kick off return, the Rebels were stopped at their own 15 yard line, then attempted two passes before completing on a third to throw a scare into the Lakers as they moved to their own 27 yard line. By the end of the series the Rebels were just 13 yards from the Lakers end zone.
Then the Rebels were penalized for unnecessary roughness and moved back.
On the following play, which should have been the last of the game, the Lakers took a similar penalty forcing another play since you can’t end a game with a penalty.
So with no time left on the clock, the Rebels had possession. A pass back was fumbled and the Lakers’ defence was all over the unlucky player. The game end with a 25-21 win for Sylvan.
For the record – Shon Zenert scored two touchdowns while Landon Rosene accounted for the other Sylvan major. Rosene added a two-point convert and Aden Smaill booted a field goal and two converts. Rosene had a team-best 98 yards rushing for the Lakers.
Coach Jeremy Braitenback described the game as “exciting right down to the end. We showed a lot of character and heart to pull out the game like that. It’s something we’ve been working on all year and it showed”.
The Lakers meet Hunting Hills Saturday for a 4 p.m. start at Great Chief Park, subject to weather.
While some of the guys suffered “bumps and bruises” during a “physical game” against Rocky, Braitenback said “I think these guys all want to play”. He added they lost to Hunting Hills 40-7 earlier this year and he’s looking for a score that’s more evenly matched. “It’s going to be tougher this week.”