Coming alive after a rough opening was not enough to keep the Stettler Wildcats from suffering a 24-0 loss to the Sylvan Lake Lakers last week.
Head coach Norbert Baharally said the Wildcats were caught off guard at the start of the game in Sylvan Lake on Friday, Oct. 3, allowing their hosts to score two touchdowns in the first four minutes, racking up a 14-0 lead.
“Our guys, they weren’t focused at the beginning of the game,” he said.
The Wildcats quickly “woke up,” he continued, noting that the team held the Lakers to just three additional points in the remainder of the first half.
While the defense was strong for the rest of the game, Baharally said the offense missed a couple of opportunities to score when players couldn’t complete the drives.
In one instance in the second half, the Wildcats had reached the Lakers’ six-yard line when a pass to their opponent’s running back resulted in a 104-yard catch and run. The Lakers thus earned their final touchdown of the night, bringing the score to 24-0.
The Wildcats’ final regular season game is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 9 in Ponoka. Baharally stressed that it would be a crucial game for the team.
“We can’t take Ponoka lightly on Thursday,” he said, adding that the schedule for the first round of playoffs would be determined by this weekend.
With Friday’s loss and a win in Ponoka, Stettler can expect to end the season in third place within the Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association, with Camrose in first and Sylvan Lake in second.