SEASON’S END - Richard Jans of the Lacombe Bantam Raiders ran the ball up field during a provincial game against the Cardston Cougars in Cardston last Saturday. Lacombe fell to the Cougars 43-22

Lacombe Bantam Raiders end season

The Lacombe Bantam Raiders season is over after a tough 49-22 loss to the Cardston Cougars.

  • Nov. 19, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The Lacombe Bantam Raiders season is over after a tough 49-22 loss to the Cardston Cougars during their first provincial game in Cardston last Saturday night.

According to Head Coach Fred Knip, the Raiders got off to a slow start in the game and just couldn’t recover.

“It was a combination of a perfect storm coming from the east and the west and the north and the south and it hit us,” Knip said.

The main factor in the loss, he said, was that the Raiders just couldn’t find their legs until late in the game, allowing Cardston to score seven touchdowns in three and a half quarters.

“We didn’t have any results. We couldn’t find our legs until late in the fourth quarter. Then we scored three touchdowns in eight minutes but it was too little too late.”

Knip said he believed the four and a half hour bus ride to Cardston early in the morning may have contributed to the Raider’s slow play.

“I think that was bothersome because we left (Lacombe) at eight in the morning and we got there at one. We did stop a couple of times to let the boys run around but they were lethargic when we got off the bus,” he said.

“I think they were out of their rhythm.”

Lacombe didn’t find their legs until late in the fourth quarter when they scored three touchdowns in eight minutes.

“Then boy, then we had their number,” Knip said.

But by that time Cardston had already scored seven touchdowns, a lead that Lacombe just couldn’t overcome.

The other big problem for the Raiders was that the Cougars had done their homework.

Cardston keyed on the Raiders’ two best players quarterback Richard Jans and receiver Simon Gray often double or triple-covering them and making it very hard for them to produce offensively.

”It didn’t matter whether we ran or threw the ball. We tried going up the middle, we tried end runs,” Knip said, adding that it became a game of attrition, one he thought they would have won if not for their slow start.

Lacombe woke up in the fourth though. Jans and Gray both had an excellent fourth quarter and were named Lacombe’s players of the game in spite of the increased coverage that they faced.

“There were some spectacular TSN highlight-reel plays that both players made. Simon Gray, in the fourth quarter, really turned things around for us with a one handed interception,” Knip said. He described the catch as an, “Odell Beckham Jr.-style jump” before Gray came down hard with the ball.

From that point on, it was all Raiders.

“If we had played the first three quarters the way we played the last five minutes, we would have blown them away, but the legs weren’t there.”

“We had an awesome, awesome season.”

The team built on the success that the Bantam football program has had in the past couple of seasons, including five league championships at one level or another and five provincial appearances in the last five years.

This season, the league named four Lacombe players to their League All-Star team. Those four players are Jans and Gray along with teammates Ryker Lunn and Oliver Hansen.

“I think we have a great program and I think it will just continue,” Knip said of Lacombe’s Bantam Football Program, adding he saw a lot of growth from his players throughout the season.

He pointed to one particular moment this season when some of the players asked to address the team.

“In essence, our football team was a family for many of these guys, so a couple of the captains said, ‘Look, this football team’s the only family we have. Let’s try to stay together and win a couple more games.’ And they did.

“For them it was being part of something that was bigger than just themselves. It was part of being a family, part of being a team, part of being a group. Moving forward, when I look back, I see a lot of incredible growth in some of these young men.”

zcormier@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Lacombe Generals march back into the win column against Rosetown

Generals end three game losing streak with 4-1, 6-5 wins over Red Wings

UPDATE: Lacombe, Red Deer snubbed from new ambulance list

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross continues to advocate for added care in Central Alberta

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Central Alberta Woodworkers showcase craft at Lacombe Memorial Centre

Guild is the latest to showcase their work at the LMC’s art exhibit

Man wearing bandanna with knife robs Lacombe Circle K

5’3” white male stole cash, cigarettes early on Dec. 4th

VIDEO: Light Up the Night Santa Klaus Parade brings festive joy to Lacombe

The Tim Horton’s Santa Klaus Parade in Lacombe brought thousands to the streets

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read