The W.H. Croxford Cavaliers football team lost 11-9 to the visiting Chestermere Lakers Oct. 25, in the “B” pool semi-finals of the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) playoffs.
The loss, which came on a chilly, wind-swept field at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park, means Croxford was unable to defend its 2018 RVSA “B” title.
“The first half didn’t go well for us,” said offensive co-ordinator Steve Kemp. “We struggled with the weather and the elements – the wind was really howling.
“At halftime, our adjustments were about executing – running our plays and doing them correctly.”
The Lakers kept the struggling Cavs out of the end zone in the first half, going into the break with an 8-2 lead. Chestermere’s points came via a touchdown from Grade-10 running back Braidon Risdon and a two-point convert.
The visiting squad increased its lead to 11-2 in the third quarter with a field goal from Aidan Bonnett.
With 12 minutes left in the game, the Cavaliers offence finally found momentum, and made it into the end zone halfway through the fourth quarter with a 10-yard rushing touchdown from Grade-11 athlete Ethan Snow.
“We started executing, feeling good about what we were doing and moving the ball,” Kemp said.
With 30 seconds left, Grade-11 running back Keshawn Glasgow-Davies ran the ball into the Lakers’ red zone before being tackled. Down by two and within 20 yards of the end zone, the Cavaliers needed just a field goal to pull out the win.
But a fumble on first down allowed the Lakers to recover possession and run down the clock.
“We were in position to win the game, and unfortunately, we just made a mistake and turned the ball over,” Kemp said. “We were going to try and get one or two plays and then kick a field goal. But with this wind, it’s a roll of the dice, so we wanted to get a little closer.”
As 2019 was largely a building year for Croxford’s football team, Kemp said he is proud of the players’ development. The team finished the regular season in fourth place, which qualified it for the RVSA “A” playoffs for the first time in program history.
“We had a lot of new-to-football kids,” Kemp said. “They’re learning the sport. That was the biggest thing, because they didn’t know the Xs and Os. They’ve learned a lot and they’re making some smart plays out there.”
With the loss, the Cavaliers will play one more fixture – a consolation game Nov. 1 against the George McDougall Mustangs to determine fifth place in the RVSA. The Mustangs also lost its “B” pool semi-final, 34-6 against the Springbank Phoenix.
Mustangs head coach Chris Glass said the inter-Airdrie battle will be a fitting way to close out the season.
“When you think about being in a consolation game, it’s not where you want to be, but when we found out we were going to play Croxford, the kids were quite excited,” he said. “The game has a lot more meaning than just a consolation game – it’s for pride and it’s a cross-town rival, so we’re excited to play in it.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park.