The Stettler Cougars lost 40-16 to Lindsay Thurber Raiders in their home game on Saturday, Oct. 10 as several players remain off limits plagued by injuries.
The Raiders kept their scoreboard moving consistently, scoring the first touchdown early in the first quarter.
“When you dress 20 and have nine players sitting out due to injury you start to wonder how you are going to fill positions each and every week, but I’m proud of the young men and their willingness to step out of their comfort zones and play positions they haven’t had much instruction at,” said Mark Neitz, head coach. “With all the injury issues, as coaching staff, we continue to cut our offensive and defensive playbooks by about 75 per cent, limiting a lot of what we have in mind to use each and every game.”
Although Cougars put up a fight scoring their first touchdown in the second period, Raiders found gaps and broke through the Cougars defence.
Kelly Page scored the first touchdown for the Stettler boys, with a convert from Steele Nichols.
In the third quarter Raiders kept pounding as an emaciated Cougars team tried hard to contain them.
In the fourth quarter when the score was 32-8, Carson Neitz scored a touchdown with a two-point convert again from Steele Nichols, which brought up the score to 32-16.
But, Raiders scored once again, which brought up the final score to 40-16.
With many of the Cougars playing positions that they haven’t covered before, more injuries were suffered as a team during the game on Saturday.
“We lost a couple more players due to injury Saturday, but hopefully we’ll have a couple return next week who’ve been out for a while,” added Neitz. “Either way, we’ll keep working hard to be competitive, and keep striving to meet our goals, as the players are still upbeat and enjoy playing the game, so as a coaching staff, we really enjoy this group and look forward each and every day to working with them.”
Mark Neitz reflected that although Cougars lost by a margin of 40-16, the score didn’t really indicate the actual game. “The boys played better this week, kept fighting for 48 minutes, and except for an untimely penalty to call a touchdown back in the first quarter against us and a couple of missed assignments on defence and we were neck and neck with them all game.”
Cougars prepare to take on Sylvan Lake next Saturday, Oct. 17 in an away game.
“Preparation for next game doesn’t change, we bring up to speed the next kids that need to fill into positions vacated by injury and continue forward with a goal in mind to keep trending upward going into playoffs,” said Neitz.