Pirates go to championship game undefeated

The Central Alberta Buccaneers, for the first time in franchise history, are going to the AFL Championship.

Josh Blanchard of the Buccaneers captures a touchdown pass during the Central Alberta squad’s game against St. Albert Stars on Saturday

The Central Alberta Buccaneers, for the first time in franchise history, are going to the AFL Championship.

After the St. Albert Stars bested the Edmonton Raiders in the quarter-finals (56-0), they were matched up to take on the Bucs in Lacombe (who finished in the first seed overall). In regular season play, the Bucs beat the Stars in convincing fashion (44-8). After some additions to their team, the Stars were looking to avenge that loss and upset the men in red.

Contrary to the Bucs’ play during the regular season, the team got off to a slow start. The offense that had been so potent and deadly was struggling to reach the Stars endzone for much of the first half. Going into the second quarter, the Bucs only lead by 2-0. Eventually, the pirates fell back into their usual rhythm and were able to earn positive yardage. The Stars offense found success too, however, and marched the ball during numerous drives. After a long and hard-hitting game, the final score was 43-24 for the Bucs.

Penalties were a major hindrance during the Stars matchup. “We need to play more disciplined on both sides of the ball,” said Jesse McPhail. “In every game, there’s going to be calls that you can’t control. At the end of the day, it’s still our responsibility to keep those to an absolute minimum. We had trouble doing that yesterday.”

Looking ahead to the AFL Championship, McPhail said “we’ve got the talent and the numbers we need to just stay focused and composed.”

Several Bucs had outstanding performances, including several AFL record-breakers. Josh Blanchard scored 4 receiving touchdowns (a new AFL record), Jamal Henry had multiple receptions and managed to return a Stars punt for a touchdown, and Nick Leonidakis sacked the Stars QB 5 times (a new AFL record).

With the semi-finals victory over the Stars, the Bucs are set to take on the Fort McMurray Monarchs, Aug. 27, 6 p.m., at Lacombe’s MEGlobal Athletic Park. The Monarchs beat the Calgary Gators, 32-20.

Earning the right to play in the AFL Championship is a first for the Buccaneers football club. For long-time veteran, Dave Henderson, this game “means everything. It’s been 15 years of hard work. It truly is an honour to share this game with the other guys, especially the other vets on the team like Baird, Blinky, Fay, Keetch, Lewis, and Tylor. I’m forgetting a few others, but you’ll have to excuse me: I’m old.”

In addition to the on-field success, the “Romance Galore with 24” came to its conclusion. The fundraiser (organized by the Buccaneers and Whisker Rescue) raised money in order to help and rescue stray cats in the Central Alberta. Throughout the season, tickets were sold at each home game; the winning ticket was drawn during Saturday’s halftime. The winner, Krista Lanz of Lacombe, gets to go on a date with #24 Ryan Miller (as well as receive other prizes). Several hundred dollars were raised for the Whisker Rescue.

For more information on the Central Alberta Buccaneers, visit their Facebook page, follow on twitter/Instagram @CABucs, and visit www.cabucss.com.

 

Just Posted

MLA Ron Orr speaks on UCP’s record, global economy

Ponoka and Disctrict Chamber of Commerce monthly lunch meeting

Ponoka Silver Valley 4H Riders visit Nova Scotia

Local 4-H club enjoys the second leg of their club to club exchange

Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society receives sizeable grant

Theatre group presented with $13,476

TRC impressed with first time finals showcase in Ponoka

Huge team roping event brings in big numbers — riders and prize money

Maskwacis now has permanent library

Only one of two in province

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

STARS airlifts two to hospital early Saturday morning

Patients thought to be around 16 and 20 years old

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Most Read