Rams 24 Raiders 7
It’s been years in the making.
Thirty years, to be exact.
The Lacombe Composite High School Rams hadn’t won a Central Alberta High School Football League championship in three decades, but that all changed Friday.
Ranked number one through the city football league season, the Rams continued their dominance and captured their first league title in 30 years with a 24-7 victory over the Lindsay Thurber Raiders at ME Global Athletic Park.
“It is so good for the kids. As coaches we’re happy and it’s nice. These are memories that these young guys will have forever. We have a coach that was on that ‘92 team that won and nobody has since,” said Rams head coach Brian Ross.
“That’s a couple of thousand football players that we’re able to experience this. For them, it’s really gratifying. For me, I’m exceedingly proud.”
Elliot Wyse, who was a key factor in the Rams rushing attack that kept the Raiders from mounting a comeback, said this was a special group from Day 1.
“I’m so happy that we finally came together in the end. We were struggling a bit through practices with injuries and whatnot. We brought it together and we couldn’t have played any better,” he said.
“I’ve never hoisted a trophy like that before, it’s a whole new feeling.”
Wyse had two touchdowns in the game, including a seven-yard scamper at the start of the fourth quarter the put the Rams up 21-7.
“It was perfect. We had amazing blocks from our O-line along with running backs, it was perfect all around,” Wyse said.
Lacombe opened the scoring on the night, with Adnesse Pannenbecker catching a three-yard TD pass with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
Lindsay Thurber countered with a strong running game but was only able to find the endzone once. That score came on the first play of the second quarter, a beautiful 35-yard touchdown Spencer Juricic.Juricic broke a number of strong runs on the night and kept the Raiders within striking distance until early in the fourth quarter.
Lacombe took a 14-7 lead three minutes into the second half, on Wyse’s first of two touchdown scores. The punch-in was set up by a great catch in double coverage from Rams wideout Gabe Hiebert.
Devin Allarie and Hiebert each had interceptions in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Both the Rams and Raiders will continue their seasons next week in the Football Alberta provincial playoffs.
The Rams will host Our Lady of The Rockies in the Tier II playoffs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at MEGlobal Athletic Park. Lindsay Thurber will take on Grande Prairie Composite Friday in Grande Prairie in the Tier I playoffs.