Two touchdown catches from Mason Hart propelled the Bert Church Chargers to victory in its first game of the 2018 high school football season against the Chestermere Lakers, Aug. 30 at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.
A strong offence and resolute defence allowed the Chargers to leave the field as 33-12 victors. According to head coach Joshua Joynson, it was the first time in three years the Chargers opened a Rocky View Sports Association season on a winning note.
“Three years in a row, we’ve been working towards our first win of the year,” he said. “I finally have a coaching staff of two solid years and the players have bought in.”
Hart’s two catches for Bert Church were complemented by touchdowns from Dylan Sorsdahl and Blaise Newberry, as well as two field goals from Josh Fahlman.
The Airdrie team’s offence rushed for 109 yards, while quarterbacks AJ Parker and Tristan Remus-Arvalo threw for a combined 283 yards. The Chargers also picked up one fumble recovery and one interception.
On the other side of the field, Roy Outh scored the Lakers’ first touchdown on a big running play in the first quarter. Dakota Konschuh picked up another TD for the visitors shortly before halftime, following a catch deep in the Chargers’ end zone.
For Bert Church’s senior quarterback AJ Parker, who threw two touchdown passes, winning the first game of the season was an unusual feeling – but a welcome one.
“It’s what we wanted and what we practised for,” he said. “We’re out here to set a standard – that we’re not going to be stepped on, anymore, by the other Airdrie teams.”
Bert Church’s offence made its intentions known four minutes into the game, when sophomore Remus-Arvalo, playing at backup quarterback, found Hart open at the 30-yard line. After catching the ball, the senior slotback danced past a few Chestermere defencemen before making his way into the Lakers’ end zone.
Chestermere answered back immediately, with Outh’s touchdown coming on the next drive. Showing his blistering pace, the senior running back carried the ball more than half the field.
“There were a few mistakes in the beginning [and]a couple penalties, but the halftime speech cut that all out,” Joynson said.
Newberry came to life for the home team on the Chargers’ opening drive of the second quarter. With the home team’s O-line 20 yards out from the Lakers goal line, the Grade 11 wide receiver caught a pass from Parker in the end zone. Though he bobbled the ball a bit, Newberry held on to make the score 13-6.
The touchdowns continued later in the second quarter, when Sorsdahl sprinted past five Lakers defencemen en route to a 55-yard rush.
Konschuh brought one back for Chestermere a few drives later, scoring the visitors’ second TD of the game with a diving catch. Despite the 20-12 score line, the Lakers finished the second quarter strong on offence, keeping most of the play in Bert Church’s half.
The Chargers’ D-line came up big in the second half, however, preventing Chestermere from putting up any more points on the board.
Meanwhile, Hart picked up his second TD catch in the third quarter, while kicker Josh Fahlman scored two field goals for Bert Church – bringing the score to 33-12.
Remus-Arvalo thought he made the score sheet with a diving catch in the end zone with a minute left, but a penalty was called and the play did not count.
The Chargers’ next game will be Sept. 6, against the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.