The Canmore Wolverines’ final home game of the season was one to remember.
The high school football club devoured the Olds Spartans 57-0 in playoff action at Millennium Field on Saturday (Oct. 28), and now prepare for a Titan of a rival this Friday (Nov. 3).
Frustrated Olds Spartans supporters cried out for their staggered team to tackle Canmore ball handlers while the game was still sort of in reach. In this case, it was running back George Reed – already out of reach for the outmatched defenders – prompting the aggravated yells as he tore down the sideline for his second touchdown on the day.
It was just that kind of day for Olds, which couldn’t get anything going against the clicking offence and defence of the Wolverines.
Reed and Khelden Flatt scored two touchdowns each, while Jarek Rathwell, Noah Genier, Cole Rapaich and Luc Allard had one apiece.
Canmore quarterback Taevan Birch threw for four touchdowns in the victory.
“It was a great game,” said receiver Flatt. “We kind of had a backup on our offensive line, and he held the pocket so Taevan could make those really sweet throws.”
The Wolverines cruised to a 37-0 lead at half time, and the fired up team added another 20 points over the final two quarters.
The monster performance for the hungry Wolverines came after back-to-back losses.
To get the limping boys back on track, it had to start at practice and coach Wade Buckley applied a high-intensity ingredient.
“I realized we had been playing soft and hadn’t been hitting and tackling, but I pulled a 180 and got a little angry and I yelled and I screamed and we started doing hitting drills on Friday, which we never do, and it was a successful change,” said Buckley.
“It would have been nicer if it was a little closer, so we could see how our guys responded to that (playoff) urgency, but you kind of play the cards you’re dealt and move past it.”
The boys responded from the tough practices, though, as the Wolverine defence smothered Olds for the full 48 minutes.
“I just hope we can do the same to Drum’,” said Wolverine Evan Ellis.
The Wolverines travel to the badlands to challenge the Titans for the league final. Should they come away victorious, Canmore will then move on to play in a South-Central semifinal.
“We just have to keep practicing hard and stay in the red zone,” said Flatt. “We play Drum’, so we just play our hearts out.”
The Wolverines have 16 senior players on its roster, like Flatt, wanting to ride this playoff run as deep as possible. It all starts against Drumheller, which Canmore split the season series this year.
Drumheller doesn’t have any special plays, said Buckley, it’s more of an ugly style of football as the Titans pound down the field, a tactic they’ve made effective.
Ellis said the D will aim to hit the Titans low on the gridiron.
“We have to watch where the ball’s going because they do a lot of tricky stuff in the backfield,” he said.