Chargers win season openers, Cowboys down the 'Stangs
The Bert Church High School Chargers brought their high-voltage game to open the Rocky View Sports Association as the Chargers jolted the Bow Valley Bobcats 28-8 at Bow Valley High School, Sept. 21.
The Chargers’ season-opener started off with both defences dominating the play. With Chargers leading 3-2 late in the first half, Bow Valley’s Zachary Kibzey made a lights-out, one-handed grab of Scott Haigh’s pass in the end zone. The 15-yard unconverted score made it 8-3 Bow Valley at halftime.
“Did you see that catch?” exclaimed Chargers Head Coach Andrew Kirk of Kibzey’s highlight-reel grab. “You’ve got to give him that one. There are some plays you just can’t defend.”
However, the second half was all Chargers.
Running Back Karl Louder got the ball rolling with a 35-yard touchdown dash three minutes into the third quarter. The missed convert made it 9-8 Chargers, and gave them a lead they would not surrender.
“We started to assert ourselves in the first half of the first quarter,” said Kirk. “But then we started shooting ourselves in the foot with some stupid penalties.
“Then the kids just took it upon themselves to ramp up their intensity and start imposing themselves with some discipline instead of a lack of discipline.”
It was Bow Valley’s third game in six days.
“You’d like to use it as an excuse,” Bobcats Coach Scott Allard said after the game. “But at the end of the day, you’ve got to tell the kids that’s the way football is.
“You’re going to get times where you have lots of game time and times where you’re going to have lots of time off.”
With fatigue comes mistakes, and a Bobcat’s fumble proved to be costly as Bert Church defender Brayden Vandermeer pounced on a loose ball and rumbled 37 yards for another Chargers third-quarter touchdown.
Louder would add the third Chargers’ TD with 43 seconds left in the third quarter. The 65-yard pass-and-run play would pretty much seal the deal with one quarter to go.
“First half was a little shaky, we could have done a lot better,” said Louder. “Just first-game jitters. We definitely got that out right away.
“We’re looking forward to next week.”
Bert Church would add one more major in the fourth, rounding out the scoring.
The Chargers’ next home game is Sept. 28 against the Springbank Phoenix. Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Genesis Place.
George McDougall Mustangs
It came down to the wire for the George McDougall Mustangs and the Chestermere Cowboys, but the Chestermere team bested Airdrie 19-18, Sept. 21.
The Mustangs found themselves up by five points in the last few minutes of the game, but a late drive by the Cowboys gave Chestermere the edge and the win.
“We didn’t play so hot in the first half, but we came out more attentive and active in the second,” said Mustangs Head Coach Brent Legault.
“We didn’t adjust fast enough. We played catch up and made it a really close game, but it came down to whoever had the ball in the end would win and it ended up being in Chestermere’s hands.”
Damon Jonson and Christian Hudson split scoring duties for Airdrie, but Eric Taubert, Chestermere’s senior quarterback, who took control of the game, scored both of his team’s touchdowns. Legault said the Mustangs had trouble keeping track of Taubert and Utley said the Grade 12 veteran has emerged as one of the leaders on the team, albeit a quiet one.
“He likes to lead by example,” Utley said. “He goes hard, he works hard and he’s a playmaker.”
Both George McDougall and Chestermere are now gearing up to face the Cochrane Cobras, the provincial runner-ups.
The Mustangs will host the Cobras Sept. 29 at Genesis Place field at 3 p.m., while the Cowboy will have to wait a week. They will host teams from Strathmore and Cranbrook, B.C. in exhibition games before hosting Cochrane, Oct. 4.
With Cochrane having lost some key players to graduation, Legault is confident the Mustangs have a chance to defeat the reigning Tier I champions. In the league’s tune-up jamboree, the Mustangs lost to the Cobras by a single touchdown.
“It’s a matter of playing our game, doing our job and staying in our position,” he said. “They’re definitely not as dominating this year as they have been in the past. We have to come prepared. They’re very well coached and they’re very good athletes. It’s always an exciting game.”
- With files from Brendan Nagle