The Central Alberta Buccaneers hosted the Calgary Gators on June 10 in a game that many said would decide the number 2 spot in the AFL.
The Bucs came off a 2-0 win streak while the Gators were reeling off a loss at the hands of the power-house Fort McMurray Monarchs; both teams were looking to find victory in week three.
For much of the first half, both teams traded defensive blows; while both teams’ offenses made yardage, possession was inevitably punted away. It wasn’t until early in the second quarter that the Gators took advantage of a Buccaneers coverage-misstep and made a deep pass into the pirate endzone.
After a couple injuries and some opportunistic Gator play, the Buccaneers found themselves looking up 28-0 going into the second half.
Throughout halftime, the Bucs were able to rally (and get patched up thanks to team athletic trainers). As a result, the pirate defense was as stingy as they were in the first quarter – the Gators wouldn’t score for the rest of the game.
Unfortunately, neither did the Buccaneer offense.
“We need to improve on our execution,” said slotback Corbin Knip. “We need to take care of the ball and we need to make catches.”
Despite the team’s offensive struggles, defensive safety Mark Fay was able to scoop up a Gator fumble and sneak into the endzone for the Bucs sole touchdown of the night.
“The entire defense was a huge strength for us. For how much they were on the field, they played lights out,” praised Knip. The final score was 28-7, Gators.
“They tried to trash talk and get under our skin, but I feel we kept our composure,” said Knip. “If we fix our mental errors, we can absolutely beat them. Without a doubt.”
The Bucs have a bye for week number four. The week off will give the team a chance to heal up and prepare for their biggest game of the regular season.
On June 24, the Fort McMurray Monarchs travel to kickoff against the Bucs. It’s their first matchup since the Monarchs knocked the Bucs out of the championships back in 2016.
For more details on the Central Alberta Buccaneers, check out the team’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.