For a consolation game, the Nov. 1 match-up between the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers and George McDougall Mustangs offered plenty of fireworks.
Despite the fact the football teams were playing for little more than pride, the west-Airdrie showdown to determine the fifth- and sixth-place teams in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) didn’t disappoint. The two sides competed to a 28-23 decision in favour of the Mustangs, in a tightly fought battle that saw the lead shift back and forth between the two teams.
Cavaliers regain the lead with a huge 65-yard run from RB Keshawn Glasgow-Davies and an ensuing two-point convert. 4:30 left to play pic.twitter.com/T1fXoHimLE— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) November 1, 2019
There was plenty of drama on the gridiron, including pick-sixes for each team, gasp-inducing turnovers and lung-bursting touchdowns. George McDougall ultimately won it in the final minute with a rushing TD from senior running back Wyatt Anderson, who recorded three majors in his final game wearing a Mustangs jersey.
“It was back and forth the whole time – it was anyone’s game, really,” the 17-year-old said. “We just stirred up some fire in there. Everyone was so passionate.”
The Cavaliers’ points came off of touchdowns from Kai Olsen, Ethan Snow and Keshawn Glasgow-Davies. Despite taking a 23-22 lead into the final five minutes, Croxford’s defence was unable to keep Anderson out of the end zone in the final 60 seconds.
“I feel [the Mustangs] just came out flying and did their jobs properly,” said Ethan Tran, a Grade-12 center for Croxford. “One mistake sets the whole game. Near the end, we could have played a bit better, but what happened, happened. We can’t change the past.”
The Cavaliers had beaten the Mustangs 38-13 during the regular season. According to Anderson, the victory in the consolation game was a dose of revenge.
“We wanted a rematch against them,” he said. “We felt we were a little…ripped off from the last time.”
2019 saw George McDougall rebuilding after the team had finished third in the RVSA in the two previous years. With just seven seniors on the roster, the inexperienced Mustangs struggled in the first half of the season, losing its first four games and conceding more than 200 points.
However, the team rallied back in the second half of the campaign, winning its final two games of the regular season, as well as two of its three playoff games in the RVSA’s “B” pool.
For the Cavaliers, the loss to George McDougall was supposed to mark the end of the season. However, after another team dropped out of the 2019 Tier 3 provincials, Croxford received the invite from Football Alberta to compete in its place. According to Tran, that means the Cavaliers will continue its season Nov. 9, with a battle in Medicine Hat against the Crescent Heights Vikings in the south semi-final.
It will be a tough match-up – Crescent Heights is the fifth-ranked Tier 3 team in the province, having finished second in the Rangeland Football Conference with a 6-3 record.
“I’m super excited, because it’s my senior year, I’m ready to go, and I feel we have a real chance against this team,” Tran said. “We can really come out and show them what we’ve got.”
Airdrie’s other high-school team – the Bert Church Chargers – is competing in the Tier 2 provincial championships. The team will play the first game of its provincial push Nov. 9 against the Hunting Hills Lightning, in Red Deer. The Lightning won its third consecutive Central Alberta Football League title this year, and is currently the fifth-ranked Tier 2 team in Alberta. Bert Church is ranked ninth, having finished second in the RVSA with a 6-2 record this year.