Years of dreaming big have finally led to a Big Sky high school football championship for the Canmore Wolverines.
Running back George Reed ran for 244 yards and added another 38 through the air, powering the offence with two touchdowns as Canmore defeated the Drumheller Titans 20-7 Friday (Nov. 3) on a snowy badlands field.
“It was huge. It’s a boost for the program. We’ve had moral success and now we have material success,” Reed said. “The guys were excited about it. The whole week, I didn’t bring up the fact it was a championship game. It’s the cherry on top that we beat them.”
The Wolverines executed their game plan to a tee, bottling up the Titans’ offence and pushing the pace early. The Wolverines scored on their two opening drives, and never looked back.
“The game was never in doubt,” Buckley said. “The coaches came up with a solid game plan and worked all week in practice on it. The guys executed it perfectly,” Buckley said.
The Drumheller offence is rife with play action and confusion, which in years past befuddled the Wolverines. This time, Canmore crushed it.
“They like to confuse the defence with motion. We put players in place to be aggressive and not give up the back side. In that weather, we knew they weren’t going to pass,” Buckley said.
More than a foot of snow was on the field. Frigid temperatures allowed the running game to carry the day and Reed feasted on the occasion. He was given the ball a whopping 33 times, ran in his first touchdown and caught his second. Kota Postma had the Wolverines’ third touchdown.
“That was a big time advantage for us. Our best player is our running back, and we had 38 carries. We managed the clock and passed when we needed to,” Buckley said.
The last time the Titans and Wolverines faced off, Canmore’s running game stalled. But this time, Buckley said the offensive line played incredibly well, and gave them plenty of room for quarterback Taevan Birch, who connected on seven of nine passes.
The Wolverines now advance to the provincial semi-finals, where they will play Willow Creek, Saturday (Nov. 11) in Claresholm at 2 p.m. Willow Creek defeated Canmore 30-0 the last time they faced off, however, Buckley said the Wolverines are up to the challenge.
“We were missing six starters the last time we played them and we got pushed around. In this game, we hope we can control that aggression,” Buckley said.
If the Wolverines managed to defeat Willow Creek, they will play again on Nov. 18 for the south final title. A win there would put them in the Tier IV provincial championship game.