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Airdrie Raiders hope to unsaddle Cowboys in CSFA championship game this Friday

The Airdrie Raiders midget boys' football team is heading to the Calgary Spring Football Association (CSFA) Tier 1 championship game this Friday, for the first time since 2014.
The Airdrie Raiders midget boys' football team will contest for the CSFA Division 1 championship on May 27.

The Airdrie Raiders midget boys' football team will play in the Calgary Spring Football Association (CSFA) Division 1 championship game this Friday, for the first time since 2014. 

The Raiders booked their berth in the CSFA final thanks to a 29-0 victory over the Calgary Wildcats in the semi-finals on May 19 at Calgary's Shouldice Athletic Park. Running back Paul Condon and Charles Wiersma each scored two touchdowns apiece, while Airdrie's defence kept the Wildcats away from the end zone to ensure the shutout.

Head coach Steve Kemp called the win over the Wildcats the Raiders' most complete performance of the 2022 season, to date.

“We had a good performance on offence and were well-balanced – which we were looking for – between pass and run, and our defence did what they’ve been doing all year, playing another strong game,” he said. “I thought it was our best four-quarter effort to date, and a great time to have that, in the playoffs.”

The CSFA Division 1 championship game will be a heavyweight showdown on May 27, featuring the league's top two teams this season – the 5-1 Raiders and the 7-0 Calgary Cowboys, who qualified for the title game after beating the Calgary Mavericks 33-15 in the league's other semi-final tilt.

The Cowboys are technically the CSFA's defending champs, having won the Division 1 title in 2019 – the last year a full season was held, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raiders won the league's Division 2 championship that season.

Earlier this spring, the Cowboys handed the Raiders their sole loss of 2022 when they downed the Airdronians 21-7 on April 21. 

“They’re always one of the favourites and have a good program with good coaching staff,” Kemp said of the unbeaten Cowboys. “When we played them this season, they caught us [off guard] early in the game and that’s a hard team to play behind against. They jumped on us early and put us on our heels. We finally settled in, but they have a strong defence.”

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Airdrie will be without the services of Condon this Friday, as the star running back is in Ottawa to play at the CFC Prospects Game. According to Kemp, the Raiders coaches will need to rethink their offensive strategy without the 16-year-old George McDougall Mustang available to play.

“He’s a big part of our offence and one of, in my opinion, the top two backs in the league,” he said. “It’s really hard to replace somebody like that. We’ll have to do things a little differently and it will have to be a full-team effort to pick up some extra touches and carries. It will be spread throughout the team.”

The CSFA championship game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. May 27 at Shouldice Athletic Park. 

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