The Lacombe Raiders bantam football team took on the Lindsay Thurber Bantam Raiders last week and were able to defeat their opponents 56-30.
Both teams put forth a tremendous effort, and for a while, it looked like Lindsay Thurber would remain in the lead. “To be down 24 points, at 24-nothing at half time, the kids all sort of realized that they weren’t living up to their potential and they did that in their second half,” said Darren Gagnon, co-coach of the Lacombe Raiders.
In the first half of the game, the prospects looked slim.
The Lindsay Thurber Raiders secured three touchdowns by half time that enabled them a lead of 24-0. The Thurber Raiders had a very strong offensive game.
The Lacombe Raiders thought they had brought the score back up with a touchdown, but a flag was thrown and the play was given a penalty, ruling the touchdown illegal.
“I believe in our kids, after the first three games we had, where we won quite handily, were quite over-confident. I think that we have a very young team, an inexperienced team and they thought they were great,” said Gagnon.
“They played a great team today from Lindsay Thurber and all of a sudden they realized they had to keep fighting. It does say a lot about the team and the character that they came back in the second half and played like they can play.”
Although they were down, the Lacombe Raiders were able to make some incredible plays during the first half of the game.
Late in the second quarter, the Lacombe defense held its ground from roughly five yards from their end-zone, and were able to continue to push the Red Deer Raiders back to almost centre field.
The Lacombe defense was working very hard that quarter, and was able to complete several passes. In the third quarter, however, the team refocused and Richard Jans was able to secure a touchdown for Lacombe.
Also in that same quarter, Logan Ellis scored a touchdown after intercepting a catch and running over 50 yards to the end-zone.
Notable players in this quarter also included player Evan Standish, who made some daring catches that surprised and excited the crowd. By the end of the third quarter, the Lacombe Raiders had made an incredible rebound and tied the game 24-24. Gagnon said that he does not think the Raiders have just one or two stars, but is a great team as a whole.
“We have a few players that are above average, but it’s about many, many of them playing together and that’s what makes this team great,” he said.
The greatness continued into the final quarter where a fierce back and forth to secure first downs took place. One player was able to intercept a catch and gain 15 yards which brought Simon Gray the placement he needed to secure another touchdown from the three yard line.
The game looked like it would be close although the Lacombe Raiders were catching up quickly. There was a lot of the ball switching hands as each team pushed for more than a couple downs.
A second incredible run of the side of Lacombe took player number 10 over 50 yards, just as Ellis did earlier in the game.
This play was what secured Lacombe 46-24, although Red Deer quickly brought their score up again to 30.
In the last two minutes of the final quarter, a final play was made by Lacombe that brought the final score to 56-30, with Lacombe coming out on top.
“All the coaches that come out here every day, we all do it together. All the kids show up and we can all be proud that we learned a bit and this will probably make us better,” said Gagnon. He said he was proud to see his team push hard to bring in another winning game.