The Hunting Hills Lightning are back on top.
After being knocked off last year by Notre Dame, the Lightning beat the Lacombe Rams 34-11 on the frozen tundra of MEGlobal Athletic Park Saturday to claim the Central Alberta High School Football League city division title.
It's the Lightning's sixth title win since 2010.
The Rams opened the scoring with an early field goal that came two plays after Hunting Hills fumbled the ball away on a punt return.
Hunting Hills replied on their ensuing drive with a 40 yard touchdown run on a fake punt by Zac Sanderson. The Lightning led 7-3 after the first quarter.
The Lightning pulled ahead 14-3 early in the second quarter when quarterback Brandon Rees snuck into the endzone from the one yard line. The score was set up by a big punt return to the Rams five yard line by Austin Schneider.
The Rams had a glorious chance to get back in the game early in the third quarter when quarterback Johnny Ericson found receiver Richard Jans wide open behind the Lightning secondary, but the ball slipped through Jans’ hands.
The Lightning blew the game open with a pair of touchdowns late in the third quarter by Nathan Lavigne. The first score was on a 13 yard pass from Rees. Then on the ensuing Rams drive, Ericson fumbled the ball and after it skidded nearly 40 yards Lavigne recovered it in the endzone, making it a 27-3 for Hunting Hills.
After the Rams was stuffed at the Lightning five yard line, their defence held Hunting Hills at bay and forced them to concede a safety to make the score 27-5.
Following another Rams turnover from a high snap past Ericson, Lavigne capped off his hat trick with a 12-yard touchdown catch with 4:37 remaining.
The Rams finally found the endzone when Ericson scored on a third down plunge with 1:09 left to play. It was far too late for Lacombe, however, as the Lightning would cruise to victory.
Next up for Hunting Hills is a trip to Calgary to take on St. Mary’s in Tier II Provincial Quarterfinals action.
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