The HJ Cody Lakers football team is on their way to the league championship after a surprising end to the semi-final game, Oct. 25.
The Lakers met the Camrose Trojans on the gridiron Friday afternoon, and after two quarters played in intense winds and freezing rain, the game was called.
During half-time, the Trojan coaches forfeited the game, this lead to the Lakers winning with a score of 45-6.
Lakers Head Coach Jeremy Braitenback says he is looking at the positives going into the final game.
“We have to look at the positives in this situation. No one got hurt and we are all healthy going into the final game,” Braitenback said.
Choosing to not play a full game in playoffs is an unusual choice. However, facing a point differential of 39 points at the half, coupled with terrible weather and a shallow bench, the Trojans look to end their season with a win over Wetaskiwin in the consolation game.
For the Lakers, the half-game played on Oct. 25 gives them a chance to recuperate and come back for the final game against rivals Stettler Wildcats.
The last time the Lakers faced the Wildcats, they came out on top, but only just.
Braitenback says the team will be working hard in the lead up to the championship game.
“We have a lot to work on before our game with Stettler, but luckily we have a solid week of practises to do that,” Braitenback said.
Just looking at the score of the game, one would think it was an excellent outing for the Lakers.
Braitenback says its wasn’t a perfect half for the home team.
“It wasn’t a perfect game, there were problems here and there,” said Braitenback.
However, the Lakers coped with winds that ranged between 30 and 50 km/h and freezing cold rain.
The Lakers still have a goal of working their way through the provincial playoffs, and Braitenback says the Oct. 25 game showed the Lakers can be competitive in any weather.
“It we can play through this we can play through anything,” he said.
The following day the Sylvan Lake Lions took their place on the field, looking for a spot in the championship game.
For the fourth year in a row, the Lions will play in the league final, after winning 13-12.
Where the Lakers played through wind and rain, the Lions played on a snowy field against the Drumheller Titans.
The Lions will play for the championship against Stettler this Saturday in Stettler.
The Lakers will also play Stettler for the championship. This game will be held at the H.J. Cody field at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 2.
The Bears also play this weekend, they will be playing in the second round of the semi-finals, after having a bye last week. As of publishing who the Bears are playing and when has not been released.