Cooper Smyth and Ty McCann of the Wildcats make lead blocks for halfback Drew Cassidy as he carries the ball for another 10 yards in their game against Drayton Valley on Friday

Stettler Wildcats crush Drayton Valley 43-0, advance to playoffs

Stettler Wildcats played one of their best games against Drayton Valley on Friday, Oct. 23 to win convincingly 43-0.

Stettler Wildcats played one of their best games against Drayton Valley on Friday, Oct. 23 to win convincingly 43-0.

Jeremy Kirk, Clayton Page and Eric Williams all scored touchdowns, while Terron Garbutt had two scores with another touchdown run by Drew Cassidy.

Alex LeBlanc converted after four of the touchdowns, and kicked one single point, while Wildcats defence scored a safety for two points.

“Yes, it was a good game for our guys, a good game for us to try to use a tune up to get ready for the playoffs,” said head coach Norbert Baharally. “We only had 23 players dressed, which meant that all of our players saw a lot of game time, and we had a few players that were playing both ways but we have had to do that most of the year because of our small roster and our guys have gotten used to that.”

Although Baharally was happy with the win, he added “We need to continue to work on some of our basic fundamentals still, tackling, blocking, playing hard until the end of the play and playing with poise and discipline, and we need to keep our composure as individuals and as team and not take unnecessary penalties.”

Assistant coach Guy Neitz was quite pleased with the team’s performance as well.

“In Drayton Valley, we played with determination, passion and excellent execution, and we have to continue to focus on the small details and executing our systems to accomplish our goal of a league championship which starts with the semi-final against Rocky Mountain House on Thursday,” said Neitz. “Rocky Mountain House is a physical team and we will have to match their intensity and hopefully take over the game early, rather than wait till the end to score the winning touchdown like last time.”

Speaking of the Wildcats defence, Neitz said that the Wildcats defence will be faced with stopping a very good run-oriented offence with a talented tailback.

“Our kids need to focus on their gap responsibilities and maintaining outside containment; then making solid tackles,” said Neitz. “On offence, we need to execute consistently and block well enough to open space for our running backs and allow Jordan Lane some time to throw the ball.”

According to Baharally, the Wildcats will not introduce any new strategies but keep focusing on keeping their confidence upbeat.

“If we are going to be successful moving forward, we will have to make sure that we are playing error-free football, and we are going to have to be able to execute our offence and produce points when we are given the opportunities to score,” said Baharally. “Defensively, we are going to have to eliminate giving up the big plays for big yards or touchdowns, and we have to be more aggressive with our team tackling and trying to create turnovers.”

Stettler Wildcats play Rocky Mountain House in their first playoffs, in a home game on Thursday, Oct. 29.

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