Frustrating 28-22 loss for Stettler Wildcats

Nighttime game in Lacombe Nov. 17 had missed opportunities says coach

By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent

It was a rollercoaster season starting with a short roster but including great victories against tough opponents, but the Stettler Wildcats closed out their 2017 campaign with w frustrating, heart-wrenching 28-22 loss to Cold Lake Nov. 17.

Due to field conditions in Stettler, the playoff game against Cold Lake was played in Lacombe in frosty conditions Friday evening.

Head coach Norb Baharally said the game started positively but a stalled offense saw Cold Lake slowly pull away.

“We had a great start to the game with a big defensive stop and takeaway during Cold Lake’s first possession,” said Baharally in an email Nov. 18.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to capitalize on that take away. We stopped Cold Lake again on their second possession and we kicked a field goal to go up 3-0. I think if we were able to score a major on that early takeaway, it might have been a different outcome to the game with a huge momentum swing in our favour.

“Cold Lake used our inability to not score majors on our first two possessions to their advantage and the momentum and confidence shifted. Our team was able to keep it close by half time with a score of 14-3 for Cold Lake.

“We scored on our second possession of the second half, missed the two point try and we were down 14-9 halfway into the third quarter. Momentum was on our side again but Cold Lake scored on their next two possessions and went up 28-9 heading into the fourth quarter.

“We were able to score early in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 28-15, missed two point convert again. Our defense held them during their next two possessions and we were able to score another major with about three minutes left in the game, kicked the single, to bring the score to 28-22.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to stop them in the last three minutes of the game to give our offence one more possession and they ran the clock out on us. During the course of the game, we did recover three on-side kick attempts but we were called on being offside all three times that we recovered the ball. “

Baharally said moving the game to Lacombe was the right decision. “If nothing else, playing the game at ME Global Athletic Park in Lacombe gave us better footing as opposed to playing on potentially a sheet of ice on our home field,” he said.

“I really did not like giving up the ‘home field advantage’, especially because this is what you play for all year by moving the game to Lacombe but it was the right decision in the best interest of the safety of the players.

The head coach said the Wildcat offense was frustratingly inconsistent. “The best way to describe our offence on Friday would be inconsistent,” he said. “At times during the game, we looked brilliant and unstoppable and at other times we looked very unorganized and questionable.

“At the times during the game when we needed the big plays to sustain drives, we just could not get it done. “

Baharally said the defense played in a similar fashion. “I would describe our defensive play in the same way as our offence, inconsistent,” said Baharally.

“Again, we had stretches on defense where we dominated the play and our opponent but then there were times when we allowed them to have big plays against us to score.

“Also, when we needed our defense to stop Cold Lake at the end of the game to give the offence the ball again, we just could not stop them and our defensive effort was lacking.”

What’s next for the Wildcats this year?

“We will have our equipment return on Monday after school,” said the head coach.

“Our Wildcat awards banquet will be on Thursday Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in our cafeteria. Some of our players will now be starting into basketball season.

“Hopefully, our returning players will be starting an off-season weight-training program to get ready for next season.

“I would like to thank and congratulate our three veteran Wildcat players Eric Williams, Kameron Bainbridge and Derek Smyth on terrific high school careers. I would also like to thank our first year Grade 12 players, Ethan Tomkow, Kaden Satre and Blake Huziak for joining our team this year and for coming along with us on our 2017 season.

“We have a lot of returning players for next year and I predict that we will be back competing for a provincial and league championship again next year.”

editor@stettlerindependent.com

Just Posted

‘The Best of Stettler’ Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 has launched!

Vote for your favourite local businesses, eateries, services and more until Sept. 21st

UPDATE: Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to drowning

Emergency crews recovered the body of a 19-year-old man from Sylvan Lake in the early evening of Aug. 22nd

Lacombe’s Morrison House Cafe to close Aug. 30

Morrison House recently celebrated 100 years in Lacombe

Five km run and walk raises funds for Stettler Hospice Society

Stettler District Ambulance Association encourages community to be active

Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort has a packed line-up of musical performances

Weekend country music festival set for Sept. 6th-8th

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Body of 19-year-old drowning victim recovered from Sylvan Lake

RCMP say the body was recovered the evening of Aug. 22.

Black bear ruins Alberta barber’s day

It’s not always a good idea to leave the door open

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Red Deer Rebels Training Camp begins Aug. 24

Rebels home opener will be on Sept. 21 against the Edmonton Oil Kings

UPDATED: Search continues for possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP and Fire Department continue their search for 20-something adult male

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Most Read