It’s that time of year again. After a competitive season of high-impact football action, the Central Alberta High School football final is set to kick of this weekend with the Notre Dame High School Cougars and the Hunting Hills High School Lightning set to clash in a rematch of last year’s final.
Although both teams have already guaranteed trips to their respective provincial matchups, what is shaping up to be a show stopper of a game will see the Cougars (7-1) attempt to get revenge on the Lightning (7-2) after dropping last season’s league final to that same team.
This year, though, things are a little different as it will be Notre Dame, not Hunting, that heads into the matchup as the heavy favourites to claim the title.
While the Lightning are still a strong football team when compared to the rest of the four-team high school league, they aren’t quite the powerhouse they were last year.
The first time that the two teams squared off this season, the Cougars devastated the defending champs 50-0, making use of their dynamite run game to seemingly establish themselves as the team to beat in the Central Alberta High School Football League this season.
That trend continued throughout most of the year as the ‘Dame boys piled up victory after victory, relying on Grade 11 starting quarterback Devin Desormeau to move the ball effectively through the air while their running back tandem of Johannes Smith, Payton LaGrange and Justin Fedun decimated opponents’ defensive lines on the ground.
But Hunting would not be outdone.
That first loss to Notre Dame (barring a closer one to Foothills the following week) was the only game they would drop for the rest of the season.
Starting QB Brandon Rees has been solid under centre for the boys in blue while an offensive core of Eric Thomson, Jordan Lenius and Sympho Nkuela has allowed them to remain an extremely competitive team.
In fact, when the two teams met up for the second and final time of the season last month, it was the Lightning and not the Cougars that came out on top, handing the Cougars their one and only loss this year.
The Central Alberta High School Football League Final will kick off this Friday night at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe. Kickoff on that one is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.