Wildcat Alex Leblanc is tackled by an opponent Laker in their game against Sylvan Lake Lakers on Thursday

Wildcat Alex Leblanc is tackled by an opponent Laker in their game against Sylvan Lake Lakers on Thursday

Wildcats concede first loss of the season

The Wildcats’ winning streak was stopped by the Lakers in an away game in Sylvan Lake on Thursday, Oct. 6 as the Lakers kept pushing...

The Wildcats’ winning streak was stopped by the Lakers in an away game in Sylvan Lake on Thursday, Oct. 6 as the Lakers kept pushing through the defence, before running a single to take the game.

Wildcats started off confidently as Noah McKay scored a touchdown with Steele Nichols making the convert successfully.

With the Wildcats maintaining pressure on the Lakers, the score was 7-0 at the end of the second quarter.

But what looked like the Wildcats’ game up until half time, soon began to take a different direction in the third quarter as the Lakers scored two touchdowns to take the lead 14-7.

The Wildcats suffered a lot of injuries during the game and though some were able to return and finish the game, others seemed to be injured for longer periods, with one of the biggest losses early on being Jordan Lane, one of the quarterbacks.

Determined to keep their winning record, the Wildcats made sure they equalized as Teron Garbutt scored a touchdown and Steele Nichols once again made a convert.

In the fourth quarter with an even score of 14-14, Wildcats kept making plays with the hope of inching ahead of the Lakers.

With only a few seconds remaining, the Lakers were able to score a single and overcome the Stettler Wildcats.

“It was a very hard fought game by both teams that did not have a great ending for us,” said Head Coach Norbert Baharally. “I was very proud of how our team played and conducted themselves on the field.”

One of the concerns that Wildcats faced was losing players, but Baharally said, “Even though we lost Lane, Carson Neitz did a great job stepping in for him and running our offence with very limited snaps in practices this week.”

Neitz will be starting the game as Wildcats take on Rocky Mountain House in the next game.

“We are going to be facing another tough opponent in Rocky, so it will give us a great chance to test our resilience and see how well we are capable of bouncing back after losing such a close game,” said Baharally. “I felt that our team outplayed Sylvan Lake but we had a few tough breaks and they took advantage of them.”

Baharally said he was very pleased with how the offence and defence played.

“We had lots of our players step up and played great when they needed to because of the injuries that we were sustaining during the game,” added Baharally. “On the stats sheet, we were pretty much equal in all categories except that they had the ball last and were able to kick a single point to win the game on that possession.”

According to him, playing Sylvan Lake has become a real rivalry over the last 10 years, and even though early on the Wildcats were ahead, recently Sylvan Lake has had the edge over them.

Wildcats will be playing Rocky Mountain House on Friday, Oct. 14 in an under-the-lights game.