With first place firmly secured, the Hunting Hills Lightning football team—who are currently ranked second in provincial rankings—looked to make sure they ended their season on a high note against the Notre Dame Cougars.
The first quarter was sloppy, with several turnovers being committed by both squads. The only scoring play of the segment came when Quarterback Brandon Rees connected with wide-out Nathan Lavigne, bringing the score to 6-0 after the ensuring extra point was blocked by the Cougar special teams.
The second quarter played similar to the first, with the ball being unable to stick in the receiver’s hands.
The Cougars would force the Lighting to concede two points in their own end, however, the Lightning would clap back with another Lavigne from Rees score—bringing the score to 13-2.
The Cougars would have the answer with under 15 seconds in the frame, when Rees would drop the ball in the back field—leading the Cougars’ Alex Groenen running back for the touchdown.
The score going into the half was 13-8 Lightning.
“The first half was exactly what we needed,” said Coach Kyle Sedgwick.
“Notre Dame came out and played hard. We needed a good test. We had a turnover at the end of the half that they scored on. No team is going to lay down for you. The first half was not great and we responded in the second.”
The Lightning would start off the second half in a hurry, with Rees handing it off to his running back Logan Clarkson for a 15-yard score.
The Lightning would manage to drive it home for the extra two-points on the ensuring play, bringing the score to 21-8.
Clarkson on the Lightning’s next possession would have a series of big yardage plays, before Rees would run in the final two yards himself for the score—bringing the game to a final score of 28-8 after the ensuring extra point.
Sedgwick was pleased with Clarkson’s first game in blue this season, who played due to the absence of star running back Luc Lukalu.
“He was a Grade 10 last year and was our main tailback,” Sedgwick said. “Luk was out tonight and with (Clarkson) who is a Grade 10, it gives us good balance between quickness and power.”
Meanwhile, The Lacombe Rams and the Lindsay Thurber Raiders played their final playoff warm-up on Friday night.
The second-seed Rams easily disposed of their opponents 35-21. Lacombe had 500 yards total offence and quarterback Johnny Ericson through for 343 yards on 23/30 attempts. Rams wide-out Richard Janz had three catches for 85 yards.
The Lightning will now play their first playoff game this week either Thursday or Friday against Thurber. The Cougars will play their playoff game against Lacombe on the opposite day.