Mustangs and Chargers set to square off once again
As the memories of this year’s Airdrie Bowl game on Oct. 5 fade into the rearview mirror, the Bert Church Chargers and George McDougall Mustangs are getting ready to battle each other once again.
The Airdrie high school football teams will be going head-to-head at 12 p.m. on Oct. 19 at East Lake Athletic Field, in a Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) Tier II semi-final contest.
“I think it’s a good thing that we are playing them again so soon, as neither team will have a lot of time to change things,” Chargers Head Coach Andy Kirk said.
“I know that the guys will be pumped up heading into this game, especially since they played well in the Airdrie Bowl.”
In the 10th annual Airdrie Bowl contest on Oct. 5, the Chargers jumped out to a 7-0 lead at halftime before the Mustangs came roaring back with 16 unanswered points in the second half to take a 16-7 win.
“We have been scouting the teams in this league, including Bert Church, throughout the season, so we know what to expect,” Mustangs Head Coach Nolan Rohl said.
“We know that they can’t pass the ball and they are a team that relies on the run, so we need to make sure that our defensive linemen and our linebackers are playing strong once again.”
Both the Mustangs and the Chargers will be looking to bounce back from losses in each of its regular season finales.
On Oct. 9, the Mustangs travelled to Cochrane to give the defending Tier III provincial champion Cobras its toughest test of the season, even though it dropped a 23-0 to fall to 4-1 for the season.
“We played very strong and came out aggressive right off of the bat, but we just made a couple of mistakes out there with our special teams on returns and missed a couple of assignments on defence that proved costly for us,” Rohl said.
“However, we did limit Cochrane to just 23 points, and now the guys know what to expect for later on in the year.”
The Chargers, meanwhile, finished up its regular season with a disappointing 0-4-1 record on Oct. 10, as they were shutout by the Springbank Phoenix in a 43-0 affair in Springbank.
“I thought it was a very lackluster effort by our boys, which was made worse by the fact that it was cold and pouring rain,” Kirk said.
“There was a lack of energy at practice during the week, and it translated into how we played against Springbank.”
Heading into its semi-final encounter with George McDougall, the Chargers game plan is expected to be similar to the approach that the team took in its regular-season contest with its city rivals.
“We will be trying a few things that we haven’t used all year, but the majority of our plays will be the same,” Kirk said.
“At this point of the year, you have to be focused more on what you are doing and less on what the opponent is doing, so we will be focusing on the things that we do well at.”
The Mustangs will also be running a similar game plan to the one it had in the Airdrie Bowl, although the team’s coaching staff will be calling more plays from the sideline than they have in the regular season.
“(Quarterback) Wes (White) has a good mental presence and he knows when to call certain plays, but there will be a lot more coming from the sidelines as to the plays we will be running,” Rohl said.
“We will be getting feedback from our players as they know that is going out there, and that will help us determine the plays that we will run in a certain situation.”
“But we will be leaving that final decision as to when to run what play in the coaches hands,” he added.