Pirates lose championship game

The Central Alberta Buccaneers 2016 season has come to an end with a 32-23 loss against the Fort McMurray Monarchs.

The Central Alberta Buccaneers 2016 season has come to an end with a 32-23 loss against the Fort McMurray Monarchs.

After a perfect regular season (8-0) and a semi-finals victory over the St. Albert Stars, it was the Bucs championship to lose. In the regular season, the pirate crew edged the Monarchs with a 43-42 victory. Coming into the game, they knew they were in for a battle.

Throughout the rainy first half, the Bucs took command of the game. Their AFL-leading offense marched the ball down field early, relying on the talented core of receivers and pinpoint passing of QB Brandon Leyh. At halftime, the Bucs were in charge 17-11. The Monarchs responded with a strong running game the athletic Monarch runningbacks seemed to slip through gaps and holes in the Bucs defense. In the dying minutes, the Monarchs were able to return an intercepted Buccaneer pass for a touchdown, putting them up 32-23.“

“Fan support was the best I’ve seen in eleven years on the team,” said Bucs veteran Jamie Blinkhorn. There were over 600 people in the stands at the MEGlobal Athletic Park. “I loved how many fans people came to the final and toughed out the rain. No better feeling going in and out of the locker room, high fiving kids as you pass.”

While the team can’t help but feel disappointed with the result of the championship, 2016 has been a highlight year for the Buccaneer franchise. For the first time ever, the Bucs finished the regular season undefeated, as well as competed in their first AFL Championship. Numerous individual AFL records were broken by Buc players: Josh Blanchard set the AFL record for most TDs in a single playoff game (he scored 4), Nick Leonidakis broke the record for number of sacks in a single playoff game (5) as well as the number of tackles for a loss (6), and Tylor Johanesson over took the career record for interceptions (32). The team’s community efforts were greater than ever: to name a few of these efforts, the annual Bucs Day to Tackle Hunger food drive raised 2500 pounds of food for the food bank, the Pink Game against Airdrie raised $1600 for breast cancer research, and the team donated blood en masse on 3 separate occasions. While the Bucs did not win the championship game, they did finish their season as a success.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mourning community holds vigil

Samson Cree Nation comes together for comfort, console each other

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

Central zone has 157 active cases

Update: Possible drowning at Pigeon Lake involved man and woman from Edmonton

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Donations pour in for family of doctor killed in Red Deer attack

Man has been charged in connection to death of Red Deer doctor

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Cuts to environmental monitoring budget In Alberta’s oilsands are viewed as reckless

The 2019-2020 budget saw $58 million dollars being dedicated to environmental monitoring

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Most Read