The Central Alberta Buccanneers and the Cold Lake Fighter Jets came into their matchup both looking to lock up first place in the Alberta Football League.
The Buccaneers — tied with the Fighter Jets at 3-0 — unfortunately came into this one slightly behind the 8-ball due to the absence of starting pivot Jarrett Burzuk.
His absence was felt in the first, with the Jets scoring early and often against a stunned Bucs’ defence — leading to a 23-3 halftime lead for Cold Lake. Backup pivot Mustapha Yekini was under pressure from the Jets defence.
“We had a young fella’ in there that we have to get under fire,” Coach Gary LaGrange said. “He is not getting it in practice and he isn’t feeling the pressure. He has a good arm, he is an athlete but he is young. He needs to calm down and execute.”
Dlan Neidermier and Tendayi Jozzy would both score for the Cold Lake, with the Bucs’ only managing to capitalize on a single field goal early in the first quarter.
The Bucs’ came into the second half with the lone bright spot being their defence managing to create three Jets turnovers.
The bright spot wouldn’t shine enough in the second half, with the Jets immediatly running home another touchdown putting the essentially out of reach at 30-3.
The rest of the third quarter would actually be controlled by the Bucs’, but they would be unable to capitalize on their extended possesion time. The score would remain our of reach at 30-3 heading into the final quarter.
“Our defence had to settle down and they did. We had our chances if we would have got our conversions and actually executed some plays,” LaGrange said.
The failure to capitalize late in the third would result in another Fighter Jet touchdown early in the fourth by reciever Jordan Moss, extending the lead to 38-3 after the two-point conversion.
Neither team would manage to ad to their tallies, resulting in the final dissappointing score for the Bucs’. LaGrange credited the Jets for the win.
“We knew they would have a solid run game and they have one pretty good reciever and they picked on our corner. In the third quarter, they didn’t do much. We just gave them the ball in scoring positions,” he said.
The 3-2 second place box now head out on the road to play the Fort McMurray Monarchs on July 6.