Friday, September 4, 2015

Canmore Wolverines defeat Senior Mustangs in exhibition game

Mustangs vs Wolverines
J. Davis and C. Davis photos
Josh Davis

On Thursday evening September 3, 2015, Pincher Creek's Senior Mustangs hosted the Canmore Wolverines at Matthew Halton field for an exhibition game, playing strongly in the first three quarters, but ultimately losing to the Wolverines 13-28. The weather was partly cloudy at the 5:00 kickoff, a welcome shift from light showers experienced earlier in the day, and thankfully the field wasn’t slick. It was good weather for football.

J. Davis video

Mustangs Quarterback Kyle Knowlton with the ball 
The Mustangs struggled to gain yardage at the start of the first quarter, ultimately giving possession up with a punt. The Wolverines took advantage of this opportunity, ending up at the 20 yard line on a first down, then gaining another 10 yards. With 6:21 on the clock, the Wolverines made their first touchdown, but missed the kick opportunity bringing the score to 0-6. The Mustangs’ offence made some good plays following this, making it to the 26 yard line before giving up possession with another punt. #7 Zak Waldbauer of the Wolverines caught this punt in the end zone, and ran it all the way to the 23 yard line, proving himself to be fierce opposition for the Mustangs with 1:19 left in the first. The Mustangs defence proved too strong here, and they regained control of the ball with 30 seconds left in the first quarter, running it back to the 45th yard line as the quarter closed, with the Wolverines just slightly ahead. Despite a slow start, the Mustangs defence was looking quite strong this quarter, and at this point it was still anyone’s game.

Mustangs vs Wolverines
The Wolverines started the second quarter by gaining huge yardage, running it to the 25th yard line, but were stopped by the Mustangs, who stepped things up this quarter. The Mustangs regained possession at the 50 yard line.  Mustangs #81 Matthew Duncan then gained 30 yards off of a quick pass and a good run, putting the Mustangs’ #35 Ben Riviere in a great position to score his first touchdown of the game. Following the Mustangs’ successful 1-point conversion, this put the score in their favour, 7-6. With a little over two minutes left in the second, the Wolverines gained some big yardage, but got stalled out by the Mustang’s defence at the 4 yard line, and the quarter ended thereafter. Though one point ahead, the Mustangs had to be feeling nervous about the impressive yardage the Wolverines gained whenever they managed to break the Mustangs’ defensive line.

Mustang Ben Riviere tackles a Wolverine
The third quarter saw the Mustangs fight to keep their lead through solid defensive plays. The Wolverines offense managed to make it to the 9 yard line, only for Mustangs #57 Bruce Crawford to make an excellent defensive jump in the end zone. This was not enough to stop the Wolverines this time, with them making a subsequent touchdown and 2-point conversion, bringing the score to 7-14. A skillful interception by Wolverines #4 Max Ruane cut the Mustangs' possession short with just under six minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Mustangs turned things around however, with #35 Ben Riviere scoring his second touchdown with 4:21 left on the clock. The Mustangs did not make this conversion, and ended the third quarter a single point behind, with the scoreboard showing 13-14.

Wolverine Jackson Howatt with the ball
However, in the final quarter the Mustangs, visibly tired, started to fall behind. With 8:05 remaining in the game, #3 Max Ruane of the Wolverines scored a touchdown, making the score 13-20 after a missed conversion. The Wolverines followed this up with a second touchdown shortly thereafter, with Wolverines #7 Zak Waldbauer making a successful 2-point conversion. The score was then 13-28, and despite the valiant efforts and never-give-up attitude of the Mustangs, there the score stayed until the end of the game.

Mustangs Defensive Coordinator Chris Ney
The Mustangs' new Defensive Coordinator Chris Ney attributed the change in the last quarter to fatigue. “Just fatigue. That was about it. We had a great week of practice the week before,” said Ney.” It happens in football.” Ney was largely complimentary of the Mustangs' effort. “We’ve got a good strong team all around. If we can keep our head in the game, then we’ve got a chance to take it all the way. It’s just keeping our head in the game, and not getting too cocky with it.” Ney also commented on the strong camaraderie between his players. “They play as a unit. They’re a team, they’re a family, and they fight for each other. And that’s what you need for a football club is to fight for each other. You win together, and you lose together, and from losses you often learn more than from wins. They learned a lot today, and so did we as coaches.” Chris Ney called #18 Logan Kaack the MVP among Mustangs, playing both sides of the ball, and keeping Waldbauer neutralized most of the game. “Canmore came in, and played a tough game; tougher than we probably expected them to play. But next time we’ll be ready for them.”

Mustang Logan Kaack with the ball
Coach Alexander with the ball during warm-up
Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Wayne Alexander partially attributed the loss to a lack of focus during practice. “I was disappointed with the practice, and kind of felt the result might be something like this. You can sort of feel it. You can sense that. Last week we really had a great practice week, and then we came out and scored points. But today we were also playing a much better team. Hats off to Canmore, who came in here and left with a victory.” He also commented on the lack of tackling, a couple of fumbles, and a few calls that put them behind. “You lose 30 yards and another 10 yards, and all of a sudden you’re almost half the length of the football field from where you should be. Then you’re no longer in scoring range.” Alexander said it had a lot to do with the psyche. “The mind wasn’t there. The heart was there. The desire was there. But they didn’t practice hard enough, didn’t tackle, and some guys missed a practice or so. It makes a big difference.”

Next game:

The Senior Mustangs are next scheduled to play against Cochrane's Bobcats, another exhibition game, on Friday September 11 in Cochrane, with a 4 pm kickoff time.

The Bantam and Peewee Mustangs need you!  

Both teams are in big need of more players, and more volunteers are always a big help too.
Peewee Coach Jeremy Nelson, President Faith Zachar, Bantam Coach Stan Walker
(ad) The Pincher Creek and District Mustang Football Society invites players from grades 4-10 to register for football this fall. Practices are underway now. Skill is not a requirement, and all equipment is supplied free except for a pad girdle (for hygienic reasons) and shoes. The cost is $250 a season, including busing for the Bantam team. All our coaches are certified for football coaching and all equipment is inspected and certified by Football Alberta. For more information contact Faith Zachar at 403-627-7751 or Dan Crawford at 403-627-7891.

2015 Senior Mustangs Schedule:
  • Friday September 11: Exhibition vs Cochrane Bobcats in Cochrane, 4 pm kickoff
  • Saturday September 19: Exhibition vs High River Mustangs in High River, Noon kickoff
  • Friday September 25: SAHSFL game vs Taber Rebels @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek, 4:30 pm kickoff - first regular season game
  • Friday October 2: SAHSFL game vs Claresholm Cobras @ Claresholm, 7:00 pm kickoff
  • Thursday October 8: SAHSFL game vs Chinook Coyotes @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek, 4:30 pm kickoff
  • Tuesday October 20: Exhibition vs Chestermere Cowboys in Chestermere, 5 pm kickoff
Tentative playoff games determined at season end:
  • Friday October 29 SAHSFL Playoff
  • Saturday November 14 Provincial Quarterfinal
  • Saturday November 21 Provincial Semi-Final
  • Friday/Saturday November 27/28 Provincial Championships
2015 Peewee Mustangs Schedule:
  • Thursday September 10 vs Lethbridge Bulldogs @ Winston Churchill
  • Thursday September 17 vs Cougars @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Thursday September 24 vs Rams Green @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Thursday October 1 vs Rams Gold @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Thursday October 8 vs Pride @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Monday October 12 vs Claresholm @ McMahon Stadium Calgary, 10 am kickoff
  • Thursday October 22 vs Raymond Red @ Raymond
  • Thursday October 29 vs Cardston White @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
2015 Bantam Mustangs Schedule:

(4:30 pm kickoffs)
  • Saturday September 12 vs Coaldale @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Saturday September 19 vs Lethbridge Rams @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek
  • Saturday September 26 vs Cardston @ Cardston
  • Saturday October 3 vs Parkside @ Parkside
  • Saturday October 10 vs Lethbridge Coyotes @ Lethbridge
  • Saturday October 17 vs Medicine Hat Colts @ Halton Field, Pincher Creek

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