The Spruce Grove Bantam Cougars are one win away from completing their ultimate goal.
Spruce Grove defeated the Raymond Comets 59-13 in the Football Alberta Provincial semi-finals to advance to a provincial championship showdown against the Sherwood Park Rams on Saturday at noon in Sherwood Park.
“We have beaten them three times this year, but with that comes familiarity. There’s always that worry… we played those guys in the city finals last week,” said Cougars head coach Rob Page.
The two teams met twice over the course of the Capital District Minor Football Association season, with the Cougars taking both contests in decisive fashion. With both teams coming into the first meeting of the year undefeated, the Cougars handed the Rams a 50-23 loss. The Cougars also won a preseason meeting.
Spruce Grove followed the victory up with a 39-7 win in the CDMFA final. Despite their success in league play, nobody on the Cougars are taking the well coached Rams lightly.
Sherwood Park was the only team to hold a lead over the Cougars, 7-0 in the second quarter of the championship game. A punt return by Josh Page turned the tides and the Cougars claimed victory, but the Rams found out they were capable of slowing their opponents’ potent offence. Still, Page is confident his group has what it takes to get the job done.
“We have fantastic athletes all over the place. I’ve been coaching this same group of kids since I was seven years old, and it was kind of their turn to dominate,” said Page. “I’d like to think we’re a well coached group as well. We focus on the fundamentals and we don’t get complacent.”
Both teams dominated the rest of the CDMFA on a collision course to each other throughout the season, further adding to the drama of a provincial final rematch. Spruce Grove held a point differential of plus 383, as they scored 454 points while allowing 71.
The Rams scored 336 points and allowed 134 for a differential of 202. The next highest point differential in the league was 56. After two intense CDMFA meetings, the two bantam titans will face off one last time, with the provincial title on the line.
“Our guys played well. There were some things we could clean up, we missed a few plays, but we’ll get back to practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and we’ll be ready for that provincial final,” said Page. “I’m really proud of my club. Hopefully we can finish the season off with one more win.”