Stettler Cougars hosted the Sylvan Lake Lions in one of the two Central Football League semi-final games over the weekend and overpowered their opponents 74-6.
The Cougars’ head coach Mike Roach contributed the following interpretation of the game:
“The Lions were hit by the flu and only dressed 21 players of their 27-men roster. The Cougar roster was healthy and had only two players out. The Lions chose to accept the opening kick-off and the Cougars pinned them deep in their end. When they were unable to get a first down, they punted the ball. Tyler Stewart received the punt and ran it back 35 yards to give the Cougar offense great field position. On the first offensive play, Bryce Fisher broke a long run to set up a nine-yard TD run by Braden Nelson. Nicholas Baharally was good on the convert and Stettler led 8 – 0.
On the kick-off the Lions were pinned deep once again. Micheal Lalonde forced a fumble and recovered it on the next Lion offensive play and the Cougar offense took over possession on the Lion 14-yard line. Bryce Fisher scored the next TD and Baharally converted so Stettler led 16 – 0.
The Cougar defense forced the Lions to punt once more and Tyler Stewart gave the offense good field position again. Braden Nelson’s 35-yard run set up a five yard TD run by Mark Forrester.
The convert was missed and the Cougars led 22 – 0. Braden Nelson added two more touchdowns on runs of 35 and 29 yards. Both converts were good and Stettler led 38 – 0. The Cougars scored three more times in the first half – Mark Forrester ran in a TD, Morgan Loshny completed a 25-yard pass to Ty Page for a TD, and Parker Cassidy had a TD. Baharally was good on all three converts and the Cougars led 62 – 0.
The Lions kicked off to Stettler to start the second half and Bryce Fisher broke off a 70-yard run to score a TD. The convert was missed and Stettler led 68 – 0. The Lions never gave up and Curtis Craddock eluded a number of Cougar tacklers to score a 40-yard TD. The convert was missed and the score was 68 – 6. Nicholas Baharally scored the final TD, but missed the convert and the final score ended up 74 – 6. Stettler could have added more points but Bryce Fisher and Devon Woelk both had TDs called back on penalties and Mark Meyer lost a fumble deep in the Lions end.
Except for three penalties and a fumble the Cougars played a good game. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the starting defense only gave up three first downs. The younger Cougar players were able to play the last half and got valuable game experience. Gavin Loshny led the first-year players with an interception, a knockdown, and several tackles. Brandon Rowland also played well on the defensive line.”
In the other semi-final game, Lacombe Raiders beat Lindsay Thurber 44 – 0. The Cougars will host the Raiders on Saturday for the league championship and the chance to advance to the Tier-2 provincial semi-finals.
Coach Mike Roach said his staff were well aware that the Raiders were a well-coached team and that they would be prepared.
“Even though the Cougars defeated the Raiders in the regular season, this game will be a hard fought one and the Cougars know they will have to play a nearly flawless game in order to win,” Roach said.