CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - The Lacombe Rams will battle the Hunting Hills Lightning for the Red Deer High School Football Championship at 5 p.m. on Saturday at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

Lightning and Rams footballers gear up for battle

Red Deer and Lacombe football teams set to go head to head for championship title

In a battle that many could have predicted, the Lacombe Rams will square off against the Hunting Hills Lighting for high school football league supremacy.

The first-seeded Lightning come into this weekend’s championship having the most rest after not playing since last Thursday, which may come in handy against Lacombe’s high-octane offensive game.

“It is nice to have a full week of preparation,” Hunting Hills’ Coach Kyle Sedgewick said. “We are trying to cover every scenario we can and we are trying to familiarize ourselves with their systems. We are trying to cover a lot of situational football and that is what this time of year is about. There will be a lot of film study and we are trying to keep practices crisp.”

The Lightning also has the most experience in championship games after playing in the finals for the last eight years. Sedgewick isn’t solely relying on experience to win the day.

“We need to familiarize with their offence,” he said. “They have a lot of weapons and they have been running the ball better. That has created more balance in their offence. They have a good quarterback and skilled receivers but I like the way our defence is playing.

“Our offence has put up quite a few points this year as well, so I am confident in them.”

The second-seeded Rams come into the game with quarterback Johnny Ericson at the top of his league all-star game. Rams’ Coach Jason Petrie believes Lacombe’s high-powered offence along with the improvements on the defensive side of the football will help them against the Lightning.

“It is a big challenge next week but last time we played them was a close game,” he said following their semi-final win over the Notre Dame Cougars. “They are not invincible, I’ll tell you that right now. I’ve watched them play and they are a very good football team. They are fast and execute well but we match up better with them than we do with anyone else in the league.”

Petrie believes that playing a full football game will be key to a positive outcome for the Rams.

“We started slow against them last time we played them and gave them a 21 point lead. They beat us by 21 points, so the game was even from the second quarter through,” he said.

He added, “Execution and the belief that they can do it. That is what is it going to take.”

The Rams battle the Lightning for the opportunity to go to provincials at MEGlobal Athletic Park on Saturday, Nov. 4th at 5 p.m.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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