The H.J. Cody Lakers won in dramatic fashion last Thursday Oct. 6.
The Lakers started off slow in the first half but managed to keep the game within one touch down with a score of 7-0. Slotback Tyrese Hamilton, #24, wasn’t pleased with the way the Lakers came out in the first half but knew things would change.
“In my opinion we came out kind of slow for the game but we are a hard grit team and we came out for the second half,” he said, adding that “you may win a half in football but it comes down to how you finish.”
Following the slow start – Coach Jeremy Braitenback had some words for his squad at half time.
“The message was simple – we were being out played and the score reflected that and they responded,” Braitenback said. “That’s what you saw in the second half.”
The second half consisted of the Lakers coming out and scoring two quick touchdowns – the second coming off of an own-zone fumble by Stettler.
“We started getting more confident with the game and they started to lose confidence. I really think football is a confidence game,” Hamilton said. “The team made small adjustments like taking the ball further down the side to give us more running room.”
Stettler would score a touchdown, which brought the game to a tie going into the last minute of the fourth quarter. The final drive of the game would come down to a choice for Coach Braitenback and his squad – to attempt a 25-yard field goal for threepoints, or punt in through the end zone for one.
“We had confidence in our kicker – but it is a lot harder for a defense to block a punt,” Braitenback said. “That’s what it came down to – definitely not his ability.”
The Lakers would win the game 15-14 which is great experience for the Lakers, according to Hamilton.
“Worlds difference – our team will be twice as better after this,” he said. “It’s learning to dig deep when it comes down the last two seconds – that’s what matters most.”
He added the Lakers have to polish up and come into playoffs as strong as they can.
Braitenback was pleased with the results of the game.
“We need more games like this down the stretch,” he said. “They are more meaningful and more memorable “I think we just have to come to work every day and strive to get better.”
He added, “Our fans were great today – I want to thank them as always.”
The Lakers play Drayton Valley Thursday, October 14 at 4 p.m.