The Panthers made a strong showing at the beginning of the peewee football season last Saturday, comfortably edging out their opponents, the Sylvan Lake Bears, 26-6.
The Stettler boys dominated the game throughout with only one defensive mistake allowing the Bears to score their single touchdown after an 80-yard rush.
Head coach Gary Sorenson was quite pleased with result after the game.
“We have got a completely new offense that has never been there, I am quite happy with what the kids did this weekend, we just have to work on our blocking and get our running back and sealing the ends a little more,” he said.
“Our sweeping game was quite good, our starting quarterback Andrew Shirley had 127 yards rushing, Chance Moon, our foreback, had 98 yards rushing, between the two of them, they did a good job,” said Sorenson.
Clayton Page and Maverick Wilford also showed strong performances in rushing and passing yardage.
“They (the Bears) started to make adjustments in the second half, they tried to shut that down and then we went to our passing game, and we were four of eight in our passing game for about 45 yards and one touchdown.”
“We were both young clubs, they gave us a good push and our players reacted well, it was almost first experience for most of them,” Sorenson said, adding that he was quite pleased with the outcome considering the fact that they had not had any pre-season games.
“In the past couple of years, we had quite a powerhouse team, the games we did play were mismatched, so we feel a lot of teams did not want to come out and play,” he said.
As for the outlook for the season, coach Sorenson said, in addition to his Panthers, he saw Olds and Lacombe teams vying for the top spot.
Zeke Ryan, the coach for defense was also satisfied with the performance of the Panthers on Saturday.
“Defense played strong, every single one on the defense was strong,” Ryan said.
He added that particularly outstanding with their defensive effort were Thomas Cassidy and Michael Loblaw.
Panthers travel to Lacombe this weekend for their second league game, which starts at 1 p.m.