The Calgary Cowboys' speedy defence proved too much for the Airdrie Storm to contend with on Nov. 6, in the Calgary Peewee Football Association's (CPFA) Division 1 championship game.
The Cowboys shut out the Storm 40-0 to claim the CPFA's Division 1 title at Shouldice Athletic Park in Calgary.
Storm head coach Tyrell Rohl said the difference between the two teams was Cowboys' advantageous speed and size.
“They had four or five guys on defence who we just couldn’t outrun,” he said. “Our boys gave it everything they had, but the tough thing in peewee is that some kids hit puberty a little quicker than the others.
“Even our fast guys…couldn’t outrun them. We were having to do five yards at a time because they were making plays so quickly.”
The result marked the second time the Cowboys shut out the Storm with a one-sided score line in 2021, as they also beat the Airdronians 39-0 during the regular season.
The Cowboys were the dominant team in the CPFA throughout the 2021 campaign, going unbeaten in the regular season with an 8-0 record. They boasted the best offensive and defensive records in the league, outscoring their opponents 335-36. The only team to score on the Cowboys this year were the Calgary Wildcats, according to Rohl.
“That’s a tough team to play – they’re probably one of the best peewee teams I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve coached,” he said.
“They had one guy on offence who we know as Cheetah. That’s what the boys call him, as it’s his nickname from the camps the boys all go to. He was a big, fast, physical running back. If he gets loose, he’s going to go on a run on you, for sure.”
The Storm, meanwhile, ended the regular season in third place with an 6-2 record. Their only defeats came at the hands of the Cowboys and the Colts, whom Airdrie would later get some redemption against in the semi-finals. Airdrie boasted the joint second-best defence in the CPFA, conceding 94 points in their eight regular-season games.
Though they fell just short of winning the Division 1 championship, Rohl said the 2021 campaign was still an overall success for Airdrie's peewee football program. He said the Storm achieved many of the goals the coaches set for the squad before the season began, such as keeping opponents to fewer than 16 points per game on average and throwing for more than 1,000 yards on offence.
“Overall, what a season,” he said. “We had come off a COVID year where we really didn’t play 12-man football, so to be able to get all the guys back in and get back to that style of football was awesome.”
According to Rohl, next year could see an even more competitive Storm take to the field, as more than a dozen members of Airdrie Minor Football's atom team will be making the move up to the peewee age group in 2022.
Rohl said Airdrie's atom football team was frighteningly dominant this year, winning all of their games without conceding a single touchdown and only giving up about 40 yards of offence. In total, he said the atom team scored more than 600 points in 2021.
“We’ve got some incredible talent coming through the program in the next five, six years,” he said.
“Out of the 38 kids we’ll have coming back for peewee, most of these guys will be going into their third, fourth or fifth year [of football], so there will be a lot of veteran players on our peewee team next year, for sure.”