Even though the Panthers looked good on the field on Saturday, Oct. 1 they were unable to maintain their momentum throughout the game and lost to Innisfail 28-6.
According to Head Coach Ernie Shirreff, the Panthers seemed to take a step back after two weeks of rapid improvement and the boys working hard.
“We played a flawless defensive game against Lacombe but got a little lazy with our tackling against Innisfail,” Shirreff explained. “Fundamentals don’t change in bad weather, but we got away from the things that made us successful in the previous two weeks.”
Shirreff said that the Panthers responded well after Innisfail’s first touchdown because the boys scored on their very next possession, but injuries took their toll and they had trouble moving the ball after that.
“Our opponents scored twice in the second half and we did very little with the ball when we had it,” added Shirreff.
Defensive coordinator Zeke Ryan said that the game went downhill for the team once they were called off the field because of the rain showers.
“It’s almost like they forgot how to play,” Ryan said with a chuckle. “(I’m) not sure what happened besides the rain must have gotten to them. They just couldn’t go forward.”
But both Shirreff and Ryan agree that the boys will heal after a week and go from strength to strength in their next game against Drumheller on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Cougars beaten sorely, eliminated from tier 2 contention
The bantam team had no respite either on Saturday, Oct. 1 against the formidable Hunting Hills, who made sure they scored every opportunity they got.
“For the second week in a row the Cougars played a game where if it could go wrong, it did,” said Shirreff. “Turnovers and poor execution led to us being routed by a good Hunting Hills team.”
According to Shirreff, their opponents scored on their very first play and never looked back.
“Stettler’s offence never got on track and defensively had no answer for the bigger and faster Lightning,” added Shirreff. “This loss eliminates Stettler from tier 2 contention and the boys will now have to recoup and battle for the tier 3 league championship.”
The Cougars play Lindsey Thurber in Red Deer on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 8.