The Central Alberta Buccaneers’ hopes for some competitive football were dashed by the lack of Parkland Predators to compete against last weekend.
The home Predators were only able to muster 14 able bodies, with one being the designated kicker.
By the end of the first half, the Bucs requested that the Predators forfeit due to the 77-0 score and the fact that the home team couldn’t step on the field without borrowing players from the opposing team.
“We had 14 points before they touched the ball,” Offensive Tackle Vince Roth said. “It is nothing I am overly proud of personally and I think that was the general assessment in the room.
“Midway through the second quarter, we donated them two of our players just to finish the half due to injuries.”
The Bucs were hopeful they could work on their offence after a pair of disappointing games to the Fort McMurray Monarchs and the Calgary Gators.
This game was decidedly not a test of their abilities, according to Roth.
“I wouldn’t call this game football,” he said. “We returned a kick-off for a touch down and then on the ensuing kick-off, our kicker called his own number and kicked himself an onside kick and took it in. There’s no competition there and we may have been playing against pylons.”
The game wasn’t promising from the beginning, with the Predators not booking the field until 6 p.m. – the scheduled kick-off time. This meant that Bucs had to go without their proper warm-up routine.
Roth said many players on the Bucs are wondering how the AFL allowed the expansion Predators to enter the league, with the team already forfeiting against the Monarchs as well
“Everyone wanted to play a game, especially coming off the Canada Day bye week,” he said. “We had two weeks off of football and wanted to get out. We didn’t get that. I have no doubt that the league will have to deal with it in some way. I don’t know what that is going to be since I don’t have a look behind the curtain with the guys at the top of the AFL, but it will need be handled.
“When you look at Fort McMurray, their operation is a little different then some of the other teams being that they have a fairly large home game audience.
“It is the summer entertainment for them, so they are looking at lost revenue if a team forfeits up there.”
Roth said the request to the Preds to forfeit was ultimately due to the risk of injury.
“There was a lot of disappointment and it came down to a vote at half time,” he said.
“We could continue to loan them players to finish out the game or we could ask them to forfeit. Ultimately, with the way the game was going, the majority of the guys opted to go for the forfeit. Nobody was happy about it. We didn’t want to see ourselves get hurt over something that ultimately wasn’t going to matter.”
Despite the frustrating finish in Parkland, Roth doesn’t see issues going forward the rest of the year.
“I expect better out of Airdrie next week,” he said.
“I watched some of their footage and they are in their third year, after being an expansion team in 2015. They are starting to look like a team. They have good leadership and some pretty good coaching. It will be more of a football game next week, so that is something to look forward too.
“The (Calgary) Wolfpack will be another good game the week after, and then we have the (St. Albert) Stars at the end of the month. We are just fine-tuning and there are a few plays which we will keep up our sleeve. Whether we use them against the Stars or save them for playoffs – we will find out.”
Roth added, “We are trying to get some good buy in at practice and get the guys out putting the work in.”