GOING STRONG - Pictured here in a file photo, the Central Alberta Buccaneers were back on the field last weekend, taking on the Airdrie Irish and landing a 43-7 win. Buccaneers photo

Buccaneers handle the Irish in Airdrie 43-7

The Buccaneers were back on the football field last weekend, taking on the Airdrie Irish

The Central Alberta Buccaneers were back on the football field last weekend, taking on the Airdrie Irish.

After a bye week and forfeiture, the Bucs were hoping for a full game of hard-hitting football and they received that and a 43-7 win to go along with it.

“It was a good weekend. It was one of the better games we had all year,” Offensive Tackle Vince Roth said.

“Everyone contributed to that. We had some nice touchdowns from our special teams and we got the offence rolling pretty good. Scoring is always nice.”

Roth noted the team was looking for some real game action, after being relegated to mostly practices in the last few weeks.

“It was what we needed. We definitely had some good field time,” he said. “We weren’t on the field for the majority of the game – Airdrie did have some good drives, but our defence shut them down before they could capitalize on it. It was good to get back out there. We practice still, but there is nothing like playing a game.

“You don’t play all out against your teammates. It was nice to get out there and have a good hard-hitting, edgy game.”

Despite the lopsided scoreboard, Roth said the Airdrie Irish have made great strides since they joined the Alberta Football League (AFL) in 2015.

“They have made improvements since last year when we played them for sure,” he said.

“They are a smaller group of guys in terms of their roster, but they have more quality. They brought it all and they didn’t sit back and give up on us, which is nice. It is nice to have competition from the kick-off until the final horn.”

The Bucs, according to Roth, are starting to find the tools they need to excel in their league.

“The O-line is coming together as a unit,” he said. “We are a ragtag group of guys. We have a couple really young guys and then a couple of older fellas like myself. Aside from the odd mental breakdown, we have done a good job of giving Judah (Knip) the time to throw the ball. That has given him time to allow the plays to develop and he is coming along nicely.

“As a whole team, we have noticed that we are bonding a lot better. That plays huge on the field. When your friends off the field, it is a lot easier to watch each other’s backs on the field. We play for each other and not for our personal games. Our biggest strength is our cohesiveness.”

The Bucs now have two very important games against the Calgary Wolfpack and the St. Albert Stars.

The Stars game will likely decide third place in the AFL, the winner receiving home field advantage in the play-offs.

“For the Calgary Wolfpack, we need to practice and we always like to watch some game film in order to incorporate what they do into our practice,” Roth said.

“We are looking forward to hosting them at home. Not to look past Calgary, but the big game will be the Stars game.

“They played the Calgary Gators, who is a team we lost to, and they put on a good battle. They will be our battle for third place in the league and it will be an important game. We aren’t looking past the Wolfpack, but that is the one we have circled on our calendars.”

Roth and his squad are excited to return to the friendly confines of the MEGlobal Athletic Park.

“It is always good to get back in front of our home fans,” he said. “We draw a fairly good crowd for the AFL, so it is nice to play in front of them. We also have one of the best off-field crews in the league. It is fun to play when everything going around the game is fun, too.”

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