Trojans march to victory in final game of season
CCHS Trojans running back Dorian Gibbs returns a punt 100 yards against the West Central Rebels and Kenny Bertagnolli in Camrose on Thursday. CCHS won 16-14 in their final game of the season. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
It didn’t matter the Camrose Composite High School Trojans had no shot at making high school football provincials, they found a way to make their season finale memorable.
The Trojans edged the West Central Rebels 16-14 in the falling snow and minus-11 Celsius temperatures at Harry Andreassen Field in Camrose on Thursday last week.
The win wrapped up fifth place in the Central Alberta High School Football League for the Trojans
“It’s absolutely huge,” said CCHS head coach Adam Belanger. “What we were preaching all week was, that for the Grade 12s was the opportunity to win your last football game. Very few football players win their last game of football … when you go off to provincials, unless you win it all, you end your season on a losing note, which is a tough pill to swallow.”
The Trojans opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 100-yard punt return for a touchdown by Grade 12 running back Dorian Gibbs. In the second quarter, Joshua Moores sacked Rebels quarterback Isaicc Pike in the end zone for a safety. In the second half Brett Biersto put the game away with his first touchdown of the season, punching it in from a few yards out.
The Rebels mounted a late comeback, but ultimately fell short.
“We scored in all facets of the game — special teams, offence and defence — that’s a great way to end it, everyone contributing,” said Belanger.
The carpet of snow and frigid temperatures added an extra layer to the game.
Belanger still remembers playing in a game that was completely impacted by the weather when he was playing high school football for the Wainwright Commandos in 1998.
“One of my most memorable games as a player was an absolute miserable rain and thunderstorm in St. Paul, you could barely tell the colour of the uniform on either side by the time it was done. It was awesome to play in,” he said.
It was a big note for their seven seniors to go out on. The Trojans are saying goodbye to star running back Nick Ioanidis, Gibbs, Trey Gerhardt, Scott Gilroy, Kieran Batke, Edward Hudec and Tynan McCarthy.
They will also have a hole on the sidelines to fill with coach Josh Kofoed and trainer Amy Cherkas heading to Calgary. It will also be a loss for the Camrose Buffaloes team as Kofoed coaches the bantam team.
The key for the Trojans is to find a way to continue to move forward after they took some big steps this season, building slowly through the course of the year. With losing their top two running backs to graduation, the pressure will be on the offensive line to take the next step forward in their development.
“That offensive line is now one year older, one year more experienced, they’ve seen some success and some failures and know what they have to do,” said Belanger. “When you have a real strong offensive line that we’re going to be working on throughout the off-season and that next year of experience, that’s really going to help our running backs so in that way when you get hit, you’re getting hit three yards beyond the line of scrimmage, not three yards behind the line of scrimmage, that makes all the difference in the world.”
NOTES — The Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Royals beat the Heritage Christian Hawks 30-6 in Calgary in their final regular season game to finish 4-3 and ranked No. 8 in Alberta six-man football. They face the No. 2 Breton Cougars in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday in Lacombe.