It was a cold, cloudy and snowy day for football, but Sylvan Lake’s bantam team, the Lions, and peewee team, the Bears, left it all on the field on Saturday, Oct. 22, and both teams brought home wins.
Saturday’s game for the Lions was the league semi-final, and their win means they’ll be moving on to the final game on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Red Deer at Great Chief Park. For the Bears, this past Saturday’s game was the regular season final and their win means they’ll be moving on to the league semi-final game, also this Saturday, Oct. 29, at Great Chief Park.
The Sylvan Lake Lions played the Lindsay Thurber Raiders on the HJ Cody School field. The first quarter saw a lot of give and take by both teams and the first touchdown didn’t come until 10:18 left in the second quarter, scored by Lions player #30, Ozzy Koller. The conversion was good for another two points and the Lions took the lead, 8-0.
Almost immediately after Koller’s touchdown, the Raiders gave up their safety and the Lions earned another two points, bringing the score up to 10-0.
About halfway through the second quarter, Lions #66, Jake Macleod, gained some major yards and paved the way for Koller to earn his second touchdown not even 20 seconds later, at 4:37. The conversion was good, for an additional two points, and the Lions increased their lead to 18-0.
After kicking off to the Raiders following their second touchdown, the Lions were able to recover the ball and earn a first down.
To round out the second quarter, the Lions increased their lead yet again with a third touchdown by #28, Cayden Cormier, with just 50 seconds left. The conversion was good and this brought the score up to 26-0 for the Lions.
Most of the third quarter saw the Raiders pushing back against the Lions, gaining yards bit by bit. However, the Lions were determined to make the Raiders work hard and no points were gained during the quarter.
Early into the fourth quarter of the game, a player from the Raiders suffered what seemed like a major injury, with play halted until an ambulance came to pick up the player from the field. The loss of their teammate seemed to refocus the Raiders and, a few minutes after play resumed, they scored their one and only touchdown of the game. A successful conversion earned the Raiders an additional two points and the score was 26-8.
And while a score of 26-8 was certainly enough to send the Lions onto the final game in Red Deer, Lions player #28, Cormier, had other ideas and locked in two more touchdowns before the final whistle blew. The conversions were successful after both of these touchdowns and the final score of the game was a whopping 42-8.
“It was a good game,” said Lions coach Geoff Rambaut. “The score makes it look like it was an easy win, but Lindsay Thurber is a good team and they made it difficult.”
The Lions will go on to face Notre Dame in the final game this coming Saturday, Oct. 29. The winner of that game will go on to the tier 2 provincials and the loser of the game will play in the tier 3 provincials.
“This will be our sixth straight year playing in the league finals,” said Rambaut. “And we have a lot of history with Notre Dame.”
Sylvan Lake’s peewee team, the Bears, took to the HJ Cody School field right after the Lions, and the Bears played the Strathmore Badgers in this regular season final game.
The Badgers brought a loud cheering squad with them from Strathmore, but that didn’t deter the Bears. The first quarter started off with two Bears players, #28, Axle Blair, and #29, Nathan Bender, making some great runs down field and gaining precious yards. However, the Badgers gained an early lead, with seven minutes left in the first quarter, and put the first numbers on the board. The conversion was successful and the Badgers were leading 0-8.
The second quarter started off with another touchdown by the Badgers, and with a successful conversion the score was now 0-16.
Only a few minutes later, Bears player #28, Blair, made a great catch, dodged incoming Badgers and ran an incredible 56 yards for the Bears’ first touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 6-16 in favour of the Badgers.
The Bears continued to dominate the field in the second quarter, with several players executing tackles and stopping the Badgers from gaining any more yards. About halfway through the quarter, Bears player #8, Cruz Martin, put everything he had into a long throw down field to #18, Huxley Hammond, bringing the Bears within easy distance of the end zone. On the very next play, Bears player #49, Brycen Gunnlaugron, scored the second touchdown of the game. With a successful conversion, the score was now tight at 14-16.
Martin made another excellent throw that quarter and it landed in the hands of #29, Bender, who brought the ball into the end zone and brought the Bears into the lead. With a successful conversion, the score was now 22-16 for the Bears.
The third quarter saw some excellent defense work by the Bears and, toward the end of the quarter, Bender was able to get his hands on the ball and he made a big run for the Bears’ fourth touchdown of the game. However, the conversion was fumbled and the score jumped to 28-16.
About halfway through the fourth quarter, Bears player #32, Trey Wilde, was the last man standing between a Badgers player and the end zone, and Wilde’s successful tackle meant the Badgers had to go back to their playbook and find a new way into the end zone.
While the Badgers spent the last half of the fourth quarter advancing yard by yard, the Bears pulled out all the stops to hold them back and Bears players #42, Houston Schultz, and Wilde both made impressive tackles.
The Badgers did sneak in one last touchdown, with only a minute left in the game, but it wasn’t enough to secure them a win. The Bears made one final interception to end the game, with a score of 28-22. The Bears will advance on to the league semi-final game this Saturday in Red Deer.
The HJ Cody Lakers will be playing at home this Friday, Oct. 28, for the league semi-final game. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.