Northern Raiders shut down in second game
The Northern Raiders Midget Football Club lost its second regular season game to the Calgary Hilltoppers April 13 at Shouldice Athletic Park in Calgary by a score of 36-0.
“I don’t think the score reflects how the game was played,” said Head Coach Steve Kemp. “It was a lot tighter than it appeared on the scoreboard. It came down to five mistakes on offence and five mistakes on defence.”
The Hilltoppers have been a powerhouse team in the league for some time, but a smaller team this year gave the bigger Raiders a boost in the matchup.
“We were excited heading into the game, the guys were upbeat to show them what we are really capable of,” said Kemp. “Fortunately, we played better than last week, but we still haven’t found our A-game.”
Despite the lopsided score, the team’s attitude on the sidelines was positive, something that Kemp says is valuable for the club.
This week though, the team will be working on getting back to full strength after some injuries and the flu have taken their toll heading into the April 19 matchup against the Calgary Stampeders. (after press time)
“We are working on getting healthy,” said Kemp. “Our plays work, we just have to execute them better. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, there are some tweaks in there for what’s working and what isn’t working.”
Heading into the matchup against the Stampeders, the Raiders have yet to score a touchdown, something that Kemp said would boost the team’s confidence if they get one.
“We can get it all the way down there, but we can’t get it across the line. We have to get our running game going. We have two of the best running backs in the league. We need to have a more balanced offence,” said Kemp. “To get that first touchdown, it’s a bit of a mental block right now. Once we get in that end zone, the floodgates will open and there will be plenty more.”