Airdrie Storm's comeback stymied by the Cochrane Lions
In most sports, two minutes is not a long time. However, in Canadian football, it can make or break a game.
With less than 120 seconds remaining in their game, the Cochrane Lions eked out a 43-40 win over the Airdrie Storm, Sept. 8.
The Airdrie Storm scored first on a touchdown by Jordan Baldwin, his first of six in the game, and spent the first half trading leads with Cochrane. The back-and-forth scoring continued throughout the second half, but the Storm came out with a renewed spirit and refused to let the Lions run away with the game.
“At half time we talked about correcting our mistakes,” said Storm Head Coach Steve Kemp. “In the second quarter, we made some mistakes and they capitalized. We adjusted and it showed. The boys were fired up and they really dictated the pace.”
It came down to the wire, and the Storm was two minutes away from a victory when a Lions player bobbled and caught a long pass before falling into the end zone, giving them a three-point lead. Despite some solid offensive drives spurned by Baldwin, the Storm was unable to close the gap and fell to the Lions.
“It was disappointing,” said Kemp. “The good thing was they left us lots of time to respond. We were driving the ball and Baldwin was playing his usual self. It was disappointing, but we were also happy for the challenge.”
While Baldwin once again led the team in scoring, Dawson Jyles emerged as a secondary scoring threat. While he wasn’t able to crack the scoreboard, several of his rushes led to the Storm’s six touchdowns. Jyles has been one of the surprises this season for Kemp, as the game against the Lions was only his third time ever playing football.
“You could see as the game went on that he was getting more comfortable,” said Kemp. “He’s a heck of an athlete. The more carries he got, the more confident he became and the faster he got. It’s very exciting to have another threat to go along with Jordan.”
Despite the loss, Kemp said the game against Cochrane was a boost to the Storm’s confidence, mainly in that it shows the players they’re able to come back and win no matter the score or team they’re playing. That confidence is translating onto the scoreboard.
“The offence is playing with a lot of confidence,” Kemp said. “We are fortunate to have the O-line and running back that we have. It doesn’t matter what’s in front of them, they’re going to execute well. They never feel that anything’s out of their reach.”
The Storm will take to the field next against the Calgary Hilltoppers. Game time is 9 a.m. at Shouldice Park’s Encana Field.