Buccaneers prepare for playoffs

Red Deer team loses final game of season in Edmonton

It’s not the way the Red Deer Buccaneers wanted to end the regular season.

Coming off two consecutive bye weeks because of a schedule change, the Buccaneers looked rusty in a 20-7 loss on Saturday to the Stallions in Edmonton.

Buc’s co-coach and defensive coordinator Tim Burris had his side of the line going, with the Red Deer secondary giving the Stallions just one touchdown pass and a conceded safety as Edmonton took a 9-0 lead into the half.

But offensively, the club struggled in the first half.

Red Deer made it inside the Stallions red zone three times, but three missed field goals left the Buc’s without any points as they prepared for the second half.

In the second half, the Buc’s defense continued to stifle the Edmonton running game, not allowing the Stallions to get anything going on the ground.

The pass defense had some holes in it though, as the Stallions went deep several times, picking up 11 more points in the second half.

Red Deer finally got on the board late in the fourth quarter when Jordan Willie intercepted a Stallions pass and almost returned it all the way for a major.

A couple of plays later, quarterback Josh Achtemichuk broke the goose-egg with a short touchdown pass, giving the Buc’s their only points of the contest.

With the loss, Red Deer finishes the season at 2-5, good for sixth in the Alberta Football League standings.

They will now face the 5-1-1 Grande Prairie Drillers in the AFL quarter-finals, set for this Saturday in Grande Prairie.

In their one meeting this season, the Drillers posted a season opening 35-21 win over the Buc’s.

Star running back Kenton Poelzer suffered a hamstring injury in that game, and has been on the shelf for most of the season because of it, although coaches say he should be ready to go for Saturday’s game.