Trojans look to rebound from Highway 13 Cup
CCHS Trojans running back Nick Ioanidis breaks away from a Wetaskiwin Sabres tackle during the Highway 13 Bowl at Wetaskiwin Composite High School on Sept. 8. Wetaskiwin won 20-0. Sarah Swenson/ Wetaskiwin Times
The Camrose Composite High School Trojans are looking to rebound after being shut out in the Highway 13 Cup.
The Trojans will take on the Frank Maddock High School Warriors in their home opener on Friday at Harry Andreassen Field, but know they will have their hands full after falling 20-0 to the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Sabres last Friday.
“They’ve impressed me,” said CCHS head coach Adam Belanger of the Drayton Valley team which moved up to 12-man football just a few years ago. “The last two years I’ve seen them, they run a tight ship and the guys are clicking … I expect them to be even more polished this year, one more year of playing 12-man. They’re going to be a tough test for us.”
To a degree, the score in their opening loss to arch-rival Wetaskiwin was misleading. The Trojans out-gained the Sabres 322-211, including 135 yards to 13 through the air. Their problem came down to capping off drives. Four times the Trojans drove inside the Wetaskiwin 20-yard line and not once did they come away with anything to show for it.
“It’s one of those things where we wanted to get majors,” said Belanger. “Wetaskiwin played tough, I knew they were going to be tough this year … but I was really proud of our guys, especially with how young we are and how we ended up coming together and playing really well.”
The Trojans’ ground attack was particularly effective as Nick Ioanidis picked up 100 yards on the ground and another 15 on a reception. The Grade 12 running back helped stabilize an offence that is still trying to settle on a quarterback. Drew Loosemore looked good until he left with an injury in the second half, but Teryll Sherman picked up the slack in relief.
“(Sherman) didn’t miss a beat, he looked really sharp, threw a nice crisp ball,” said Belanger.
The dagger came in the fourth quarter with Wetaskiwin up 12-0 and CCHS once again inside the red zone. Teryll spotted his receiver open in the end zone, but Sabres defensive back Jake Gusse made a great play on the ball, intercepted it and returned it for a touchdown after.
“He had his receiver open for a touchdown … and Tyrell fired a nice tight spiral and Gusse one-handed it and brought it down and he was off to the races,” said Belanger.
The Trojans kick off against the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
NOTES — The CCHS Trojans football team is launching their annual coupon book fundraiser on Monday. The club’s biggest fundraiser helps keep the sport affordable at the school. They can be purchased from any of the players or by dropping by practice.