The Bantam Broncs hosted the Stettler Cougars in their last regular season home game for the 2023 season.
The Broncs last played in Olds where they faced a potent Bulldogs passing game, one the Broncs couldn’t stifle.
Saturday was another test of the team’s resilience and ability to bounce back after facing adversity. Stettler’s last game found them finishing with a tie against Lacombe.
The Bantam Broncs hit the ground running with a consistent and varied offensive drive. They marched the entire field, running inside and outside, as well as attacking in the air.
While they did fall short of scoring on that first drive, the excellent field position set the tone for the entire game; Stettler was unable to penetrate the Broncs’ half of the field throughout the entire match.
The Bronc’s defence was the best it’s been all season. Led by Coaches Michael Davids and Caleb Reed, linebackers were playing downhill, blitzing, and often making tackles past the line of scrimmage.
Defensive linemen were much more consistent, filling their gaps and taking space. As a result of this strong front-six play, the defensive backs had less pressure to cover their receivers, preventing Stettler from making a single reception.
Tyler Hawkings (No. 85) led the defence, playing sideline-to-sideline, seemingly everywhere on the field.
He and Tyzia Bull (No. 7) both scored safeties after tackling Stettler in their own endzone.
No. 14 Parker Baines was tenacious, blowing up blocks and tackling ball-carriers. Cade Prediger (No. 65) was an anchor as defensive end, often beating his block and keeping the Stettler offence contained.
Offensively, the Broncs were explosive in the first half.
The offensive line carried out its blocking assignments consistently and managed to drive Stettler defenders backward; this extra space opened up running lanes.
Chase Altizer (No. 99) took full advantage of this open space, recording huge runs inside and outside on the Stettler D.
While he didn’t score a touchdown this game, he set numerous key blocks that sprung his teammates into the endzone. Truce Beaverbones (No. 4) and Kaiden Jeffrey (No. 6), as usual, were all over the field as the team’s slotback duo.
They scored, blocked, caught passes, and scored (often).
Carson Frank (No. 11) was solid as the team’s QB1.
His consistent passing and smart play-calling allowed the Broncs to have steady offensive pressure.
Hudson Bruns (No. 69) showed how a centre should play: his blocks were clean and legal, but also nasty and to the whistle every play.
On special teams, the Bantams were the model of consistency. Their kicks were accurately placed, defenders stayed in their lanes and viced returners, and the field goal unit was able to split the uprights numerous times (a first this season).
In Canadian football, special teams are pivotal to a team’s success. Strong ST play bodes well for the Bantams’ second half of the season.
The Bantam Broncs played a complete, four-quarter game.
Their high effort and focus, their improvement and downhill play, and their strong bond as a team made them successful. A symptom of that success: 44-0, Broncs.
At halftime, the Peewee Broncs put on a halftime show.
A handful of brave Peewees lined up in front of a crash mat so that their moms (in full gear) could tackle them. The crowd decided on the winning tackle (who won a $40 gift certificate from Boston Pizza; all other participants received a $20 certificate).
The bantam moms will have a chance to tackle their Broncs at this week’s peewee halftime show.
The Bantam Broncs will enjoy a bye week over Thanksgiving weekend. Their younger brothers on the Peewee Broncs host the Rocky Mountain Rebels on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 2:30 p.m.
This is the last home game for the peewees. If you haven’t seen a game yet, make sure you attend!
These kids have worked their tails off all season and deserve to be celebrated by their town. Additionally, the team’s concession, barbecue, commentary, fireworks/smoke/horns, halftime shows, and more are reasons to check out the game. Hope to see you there!