Airdrie Raiders advance to CAMFA semi finals
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:13 am
A high-scoring 51-34 victory over the Calgary Bulldogs wasn’t what Airdrie Raiders Head Coach Steve Kemp envisioned when his team took to the field at Shouldice Park in Calgary on May 15.
But at the end of the day, Kemp was happy that his team was able to move onto the Calgary and Area Midget Football Association (CAMFA) Division 1 semi-finals with the victory in the quarterfinals.
“The score was not what I think many people expected, especially since it was a 41-22 lead for us at halftime,” Kemp said. “It’s not very often that you see two teams at this level come out scoring like this, but that’s how things played out today.”
“Offensively, we were rolling right from the start, and we were well balanced both in our passing and running games,” he added. “The defence was a little bit too excited early on, but they settled down and held one of the top-scoring teams in the league to less than 35 points, which was the first time that has happened to the Bulldogs all year.”
One of the offensive leaders for the Raiders was running back Jordan Baldwin, who danced his way around the Bulldogs defence on a number of occasions to help his team increase its lead.
“My offensive line was creating a lot of holes for me, and that allowed me to gain a lot of yards, so all of the credit goes to them,” Baldwin said.”
“All of us were excited to get out there and play today, and I think it showed with how many points we scored,” he added.
“Everyone was on the same page, and we just came in and dominated.”
When it came to how the Raiders defence played, defensive back Deion Holder admitted there was a little bit of nerves in the opening minutes before everyone calmed down.
“Both teams were trading touchdowns in the opening few minutes, so that had us pretty nervous early on as it seemed like nobody was going to be slowed down on either side,” Holder said.
“Once we got into a groove, things became normal for us on defence,” he added. “We caused them to make mistakes, and we allowed our offence to have more chances to score points.”
With the win, the Raiders earned a spot in the CAMFA semi-finals on May 23, where it will take on the Calgary Falcons in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Shouldice Park.
Although the Raiders picked up a 23-0 win over the Falcons in its previous meeting on April 23, Baldwin says the team is making sure not to take its opponents lightly.
“We can apply what we learned against them previously for sure, but we just need to keep focused on what we need to do as a team,” Baldwin said.
“We can’t come in full of confidence just because we had a shutout win against them in the regular season.”
“We just need to be calm and relaxed, but also have the little bit of extra energy that gets us fired up,” he added.