High school roundup PLAYOFFS (AB) [11]: Stakes getting higher as more teams get dropped

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Week 11

Date League Home Away
8-Nov ED3 Fort Saskatchewan ME Lazerte
11-Nov CA1 CFC50 St. Francis 29 CFC50 Henry Wise Wood 11
11-Nov CA2 William Aberhart Bishop Grandin
11-Nov CA3 Lord Beaverbrook Churchill/Bowness


Tier I (School Pop. 1250+)

Regional Semi-finals, November 11


#2 Harry Ainlay Titans 20, #6 Salisbury Sabres 3

#5 Bellerose Bulldogs 42, #8 Centennial Coyotes 14


#1 St. Francis Browns 29, #7 Henry Wise Wood Warriors 11

#4 L.C.I. Rams 28, #3 Notre Dame Pride 21 (OT)

Regional Finals, November 18th

NORTH – #5 Bellerose Bulldogs at #2 Harry Ainlay Titans
1:00 p.m., Clarke Stadium (Edmonton)

Once more into the breach for the Bulldogs.  Despite having their best season ever since the break-up of the St. Albert Storm in 1998, there is one Achilles Heel they just can’t get past so far – the Harry Ainlay Titans.  This game will mark the third time this season these two teams have met with the earlier outcomes eerily similar in twin defeats of the Bulldogs by the Titans, 44-14 on September 22 and 48-14 on November 3.  Still, it is mid-November and the high-octane attack of the Titans might be slowed down by the elements for the Bulldogs to take advantage of.  Or not.  The Titans have showed a resiliency and passion this year they haven’t seen since 2011 which was the last time they advanced past the North Final to the Alberta Bowl where they won an overtime classic over Raymond.  They are young and restless and hoping to hand a hat-trick to the Bulldogs this Saturday.

SOUTH#4 L.C.I. Rams at #1 St. Francis Browns
1:00 p.m., Hellard Field at Shouldice Park (Calgary)

The L.C.I. Rams are officially back.  At least to the levels they’ve known in the past.  For the first ten years of Provincials the Rams made it to the Provincial Final nine times and won six titles (they shared the title in Harry Ainlay in 1985).  Since 1994, it’s been a little light with only three Provincial Final appearances (all losses) and since their last appearance fifteen seasons ago in 2002 they have only made it to the South Final twice (2003 & 2012 – both losses) so this is their first chance in a generation to return to greatness.  Standing in their way is the two-time defending Provincial Tier I Champion St. Francis Browns, which will be no easy trick to defeat especially at home in Calgary.  Featuring a huge line, a running attack that a lot of Universities would envy, plus a lockdown defence the Browns are hungry to get back to a place they’ve become very familiar with – the Alberta Bowl.

Alberta Bowl Provincial Final – MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe)
Saturday, November 25th, 6:00 p.m.

1986 – Salisbury Sabres 1994 – L.C.I Rams 2002 – Bev Facey Falcons 2010 – Raymond Comets
1987 – Harry Ainlay Titans 1995 – St. Francis Browns 2003 – St. Francis Browns 2011 – Harry Ainlay Titans
1988 – L.C.I. Rams 1996 – Raymond Comets 2004 – St. Francis Browns 2012 – Notre Dame Pride
1989 – L.C.I. Rams 1997 – Raymond Comets 2005 – Raymond Comets 2013 – Notre Dame Pride
1990 – L.C.I Rams 1998 – Raymond Comets 2006 – Salisbury Sabres 2014 – Notre Dame Pride
1991 – Henry Wise Wood 1999 – Jasper Place Rebels 2007 – St. Francis Browns 2015 – St. Francis Browns
1992 – L.C.I. Rams 2000 – Strathcona Lords 2008 – Raymond Comets 2016 – St. Francis Browns
1993 – L.C.I. Rams 2001 – Strathcona Lords 2009 – Raymond Comets

Tier II (School Pop. 750-1249)

Regional Semi-finals, November 11

#4 Lloydminster Barons 29, #5 Austin O’Brien Crusaders 28

#1 St. Joseph’s Celtics 44,
#6 Paul Kane Blues 0

#2 Hunting Hills Lightning 46, St. Mary’s Saints 0
#3 Foothills Falcons 54, #7 Medicine Hat Mohawks 15

Regional Finals, November 18th

NORTH – #1 St. Joseph’s Celtics at #4 Lloydminster Barons
12:00 p.m., Armstrong Field (Lloydminster)

The more things change – the more they stay the same.  At least at the Tier II level.  This season will mark the third straight year these two teams have met in the North Tier II Final.  That’s not necessarily good news for the hometown Barons, who have dropped the previous two encounters to the Celtics 53-13 in 2015 and 20-3 in 2016.  The margins may be growing smaller but the Celtics are no walk in the park having ran the board so far with a 12-0 record and haven’t given up a point in three weeks.  In fact since the playoffs started, they have given up a grand total of 6 points.  Still, the Barons showed a ton of resiliency with their last week’s barn-burner win over Austin O’Brien 29-28 which featured three lead changes in the fourth quarter.  They are up for the challenge and at home so at least they’ll have a fighting chance.

SOUTH – #3 Foothills Falcons at #2 Hunting Hills Lightning
4:00 p.m., MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe)

Another déjà vu all over again routine at Tier II as this will be the fifth straight year these two teams have met in Provincials.  Unfortunately for the Lightning it’s been a bit of a recurring nightmare as they have lost all four of the previous meetings (15-0 in 2013, 28-7 in 2014, 45-0 in 2015, and 35-14 in 2016).  Add to that the fact that the Falcons are the two-time defending Provincial Tier II Champions and no one on the team knows what it’s like to lose a game in November, and you have a recipe for a repeat of the same old same old this Saturday.  However, the Lightning are undefeated for a reason and in the playoffs to date have averaged 33 points for an a miniscule 6 points against.

Alberta Bowl Provincial Final – MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe)
Saturday, November 25th, 11:00 a.m.

1986 – Stettler Wildcats 1994 – Lloydminster Barons 2002 – Arch. Jordan Scots 2010 – Catholic Central Cougars
1987 – Cardston Cougars 1995 – Brooks Buffalos 2003 – Arch. Jordan Scots 2011 – Austin O’Brien Crusaders
1988 – Salisbury Sabres 1996 – Cochrane Cobras 2004 – Foothills Falcons 2012 – Austin O’Brien Crusaders
1989 – Archbishop Jordan Scots 1997 – Brooks Buffalos 2005 – St. Mary’s Saints 2013 – Austin O’Brien Crusaders
1990 – Cardston Cougars 1998 – Cochrane Cobras 2006 – Foothills Falcons 2014 – St. Joseph’s Celtics
1991 – Cardston Cougars 1999 – George McDougall 2007 – Notre Dame Pride 2015 – Foothills Falcons
1992 – Cardston Cougars 2000 – Foothills Falcons 2008 – Notre Dame Pride 2016 – Foothills Falcons
1993 – Cardston Cougars 2001 – Med. Hat Mohawks 2009 – Foothills Falcons

Tier III (School Pop. 450-749)

Regional Semi-finals, November 11

#4 St. Albert Skyhawks 25, #7 Peace Wapiti Titans 9
#3 Holy Rosary Raiders 48, #5 Wetaskiwin Sabres 18

#1 Cochrane Cobras 30, #8 Brooks Buffalos 0
#2 Cardston Cougars 57, #6 Sylvan Lake Lakers 7

Regional Finals, November 18th

NORTH – #4 St. Albert Skyhawks at #3 Holy Rosary Raiders
3:00 p.m., Holy Rosary H.S. Field (Lloydminster)

Third year in a row these two teams will meet in this game.  That’s the good news for St. Albert.  The bad news is they have been shut out the previous two including last year’s steam rolling at Clarke Stadium in Edmonton 61-0 in favour of the Raiders.  An up and down season for both teams, this one should be fun.  The Raiders lost their first four games of the year on an exhibition tour vs. teams from higher Tier’s but haven’t lost since including winning their third straight Wheatland Championship.  The Skyhawks put up four wins in the tough Metro Edmonton Division II and made it to the semi-finals.  Well rested and fresh of a win over Peace Wapiti they will try to avenge last year’s bad memory on the road.

SOUTH – #2 Cardston Cougars at #1 Cochrane Cobras
1:00 p.m. Spray Lakes Stadium (Cochrane)

Pound for pound probably the best match-up of the weekend.  If you had to attend only one game – this might be the one you choose.  The legend of Cochrane is known to all and they are winners of four of the last five Tier III Provincial Championships.  The only other team to win during that time span – Cardston.  The last three meetings between these two programs have resulted in epic shootouts with Cardston winning in 2012, 35-28, and Cochrane taking the last two in 2015 and 2016 by identical 49-42 scores.  More of the same is anticipated this Saturday and with the new turf field in Cochrane providing a good playing surface it might be another classic.

Alberta Bowl Provincial Final – MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe)
Friday, November 24th, 7:00 p.m.

1986 – Cochrane Cobras 1994 – Wainwright Commandos 2002 – Cochrane Cobras 2010 – Cardston Cougars
1987 – Cochrane Cobras 1995 – Kate Andrews Spartans 2003 – Cochrane Cobras 2011 – Stettler Wildcats
1988 – Medicine Hat Mohawks 1996 – Sexsmith Sabres 2004 – Cochrane Cobras 2012 – Cochrane Cobras
1989 – Will Sinclair Rebels 1997 – Springbank Phoenix 2005 – Cochrane Cobras 2013 – Cardston Cougars
1990 – Raymond Comets 1998 – McCoy Colts 2006 – Wetaskiwin Sabres 2014 – Cochrane Cobras
1991 – Raymond Comets 1999 – W.R. Myers Rebels 2007 – Cochrane Cobras 2015 – Cochrane Cobras
1992 – Raymond Comets 2000 – W.R. Myers Rebels 2008 – Cochrane Cobras 2016 – Cochrane Cobras
1993 – Bert Church Chargers 2001 – W.R. Myers Rebels 2009 – Brooks Buffalos

Tier IV (School Pop. 449 or less)

Regional Semi-finals, November 11

#8 Cold Lake Royals 38, #4 Sexsmith Sabres 0
#6 Stettler Wildcats 44, #9 Hillside Cougars 14

#1 Willow Creek Cobras 36, #5 Canmore Wolverines 6
#2 W.R. Myers Rebels 28, #3 Rundle College Cobras 14

Regional Finals, November 18th

NORTH – #8 Cold Lake Royals at #4 Stettler Wildcats
7:30 p.m.., MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe) – GAME PLAYED ON FRI., NOV. 17

Ok, so this is the part we don’t get.  Cold Lake comes roaring out of the gates with an exhibition win in on September 8, 34-16 over Stettler no less, and then proceed to lose every regular season game they play and don’t win another game until October 28 in the playoffs over Wainwright for the Wheatland Tier IV berth.  They then sit around for two weeks waiting for their Provincial game then blast Sexsmith 38-0 to get to this game.  Huh?  On the other side are the consistent Wildcats who last year did a bit of hiding in the weeds before exploding in the playoffs going all the way to the Provincial Tier IV Final in the Alberta Bowl (where they lost 22-13 to Bow Valley), and this year are poised to do the same.  Tier IV is hard to read sometimes so it’s really easy to say this is anyone’s game.  Note the Friday starting time due to the large number of games looking to be played on the turf in Lacombe this weekend.

SOUTH – #2 W.R. Myers Rebels at #1 Willow Creek Cobras
1:00 p.m., Cobra Field (Claresholm)

The W.R. Myers Rebels can beat anyone at the Tier IV level this year.  Anyone, that is except for the Willow Creek Cobras.  The small-town juggernaut from Claresholm has defeated the equally impressive Rebels from Taber twice so far, the most recent being two weeks ago 27-13.  Those losses being the only blemished on the Rebels resume.  Is the third time the charm?  Willow Creek is anxious for another shot at the Tier IV title, which has been their personal Waterloo five times previously save for a single title in 2006.  On a grass-ish field in Claresholm, this game will belong to the team that can weather the elements and rise to the occasion.

Alberta Bowl Provincial Final – MEGlobal Athletic Park (Lacombe)
Saturday, November 25th, 2:30 p.m.

1999 – Oilfields Drillers 2005 – Ardrossan Bisons 2011 – Drumheller Titans
2000 – Oilfields Drillers 2006 – Willow Creek Cobras 2012 – Drumheller Titans
2001 – Ardrossan Bisons 2007 – Sylvan Lake Lakers 2013 – Drumheller Titans
2002 – Bow Valley Bobcats 2008 – Ardrossan Bisons 2014 – Holy Rosary Raiders
2003 – Bow Valley Bobcats 2009 – Rundle College Cobras 2015 – Ardrossan Bisons
2004 – Ardrossan Bisons 2010 – Rundle College Cobras 2016 – Bow Valley Bobcats

Source: All game previews courtesy of Football Alberta 


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