Stettler football teams turn the tide with victories

Tackled hard - Nicholas Baharally

In the roller-coaster world of Stettler football, it was all smiles last week with all three local teams scoring big victories, injecting confidence to both coaching staff and the players for the few games that remain ahead until the end of the season.

Wm. E Hay’s Wildcats returned from Wetaskiwin with a comfortable 44-13 victory while the bantam Cougars thrashed Red Deer’s Notre Dame Cougars 38-14. As for the peewee Panthers, they won their second game of the season against Strathmore, raising the possibility that they could even play for provincial championship in Tier 4.

Braden Nelson opened the scoring for the Wildcats in the ninth minute of the first quarter with a touchdown, and followed with another just two minutes from the end of the second quarter in response to an equalizer from Wetaskiwin.

It looked like the Wildcats were repeating what the Lacombe Rams did to them the previous week, when Jared Steinwand scored the local boys’ third touchdown just a minute after Nelson’s second.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats were all over the field and they scored three more touchdowns making it impossible for the hosts to stage a comeback.

Braden Nelson had 147 yards rushing in 18 carries while Jared Steinwand had 80 yards rushing in eight carries.

“We played a decent game,” said head coach Norbert Baharally.

“There were still some mistakes but we won quite handily.”

The Wildcats now have to win their last regular season game against Camrose on Friday, Oct. 22 in Stettler to be able to finish fourth and go to playoffs.

As for the home game for bantam Cougars, head coach Mike Roach was quite happy with the result.

“The Cougars were the healthiest they had been in weeks,” he said.

With 26 of the 29 players on the roster dressed for the game, “the return of Matt Kirk and Dallas Bosma on the offensive line enabled Stephen Zuk to direct the offense to a total of 352 yards,” added Roach.

Josh Weeteringen was the leading rusher for Stettler with 110 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Peterson also rushed for two touchdowns. Nick Baharally was good on four out of five convert attempts and he also scored one touchdown.

“The defense played very well again this week,” said Roach.

“They only gave up two touchdowns and a convert. Stettler’s special teams were greatly improved over the previous week. They did not have one turnover. “

Cougars now play Lacombe in league quarterfinals this Saturday, Oct. 23.

The peewee Panthers’ joy was obvious with their second win in the league.

“I am proud of the kids,” they played very well,” said head coach Gary Sorenson.

“Right from the start we dominated the line of scrimmage,” he said.

“We rushed for a total of 326 yards, led by Russel Steen, he carried 98 yard in 34 carries and he scored two touchdowns.”

Brett Roper rushed 85 yards and scored a touchdown as well functioning as the leading blocker for Steen.

Timmy Gardner was injured early in the game but until then he rushed for 31 yards.

In the passing game Kyle Lawrence, who is turning out to be a great quarterback completed seven of nine passes for 70 yards.

“He had great percentage and this is really unusual for peewee football,” Sorenson said.

The Panthers travel to Wetaskiwin this weekend for their last game of the regular season.

If they win, the Panthers could play for the provincial championship in their tier, depending on the outcome of the other games.

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