The Central Alberta Buccaneers made short work of the Airdrie Irish at their home opener, putting the boots to their QEII rival 48-7.
The game was the very first time the Bucs’ played in the friendly confines of the new Setters Place Field, which was recently renovated for the 2019 Canada Games.
The game was never in doubt, after the Bucs’ went up 31-0 in the first quarter, on two touchdowns by Tanner Olstad.
“Coach Devo (Devon Hand) told me to hit it full speed and that is all I was thinking about when I caught it,” Olstad said about the play.
Olstad’s first score was a 90 yard return on the opening kickoff, Josh Blanchard scored a 20 yard touchdown, Preston Bailey caught a 20 yard catch and Olstad scored his second to put the Bucs up 28-0.
“We had Judah starting this week and he was throwing hot stuff. He was giving it to all of our receivers and we were making plays. Our o-line was blocking great,” Olstad said.
The Bucs’ would add a field goal heading into the second quarter, pushing the lead to 31-0.
The Bucs’ would continue the onslaught in the second quarter after Bailey scored his second touchdown of the game on a pass by quarterback Judah Knip, stretching the lead to 38-0.
It would take the rest of the second quarter before Ben Hnatiuk scored an 80 yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in the half, pushing the lead to 45-0.
Going into the second half, clouds were looming and the AFL mercy rule kicked in due to the Bucs’ lead being over 35 points — which meant the remainder of the game would be played in run time.
Despite the time running faster, the game started moving slower with the Bucs’ only managing a 30 yard field 10 minutes into the third quarter.
The Irish would show proof of life late in the fourth quarter on a touchdown by Max Hall, but it wouldn’t make a difference — with the Bucs’ notching the 48-7 win.
“This week we came prepared. We knew what we wanted. Last week we were getting off all the rust. This week, we came with more of a purpose,” Olstad said.
Central Alberta heads into next week’s home game on Saturday against the Lloydminster Vandals with a 1-1 record.