The Stettler Cougars faced the Hunting Hills Lightning this past Saturday in a match-up that pitted a young team against an older one and led to a messy 70-12 finish in favour of the visiting Lightning.
Despite the painful final score, the game seemed to be going in a completely different direction at the end of the first quarter, after the Cougars had burst onto the gridiron, shocking the older team with their ferocity.
“I spoke with the coach later,” Cougars coach Ernie Shirreff said. “Their team was shocked.”
During the first, the teams traded the ball, each getting their hands on it for three plays each. Going into the second quarter, Hunting Hills led by a slender margin, 20-12.
But unfortunately for the Cougars, the Lightning’s stunned reaction to the team’s aggressive offence had worn off, and Shirreff said that, “you could see they were stepping up their game.”
Though the Cougars played their hearts out for the rest of the quarter, it was the beginning of a slide that resulted in the painful 70-12 finish.
“We’re a better team than the final score showed,” Shirreff said, noting that it’s hard for a young team, like the Cougars, to keep their spirits up when facing a larger, faster and more experienced team like Hunting Hills.
“It was a bit of a mismatch,” he added. “They have older players and we have younger players.”
This weekend, Sept. 27, the Cougars will face Lindsay Thurber on their home turf, and it’s a game that will be a better matchup in size and experience.
“The team will really be able to see all their work in practice have results with Lindsay Thurber,” Sherriff said.
Sherriff said that there were no specific standouts in the game, but it was an amazing team effort with a strong first quarter, and that he’s proud of the boys for scaring the older team into tougher play.