LACOMBE- The Provincial High School Football Finals are being at Athletic Park in Lacombe this Friday and Saturday.
The tenth Alberta Bowl features the top teams from around the province.
The Tier 1 final (School Pop. 1250+) features the #1 ranked St. Francis Browns taking on the #2 ranked Harry Ainlay Titans at Saturday at 6:00 p.m.
It’s nothing new for the Browns to have a ticket for this date as this will be their third consecutive appearance having gone a perfect 2-0 in the Tier I Final of the Alberta Bowl the previous two seasons.
On the other side of the ball is a team people expected to be good, but perhaps a year or two away from greatness at the beginning of the year.
They have proven stars in two-time Team Alberta running back Jonathan Rosery, and monster defensive end Lwal Uguak (who is also on Team Canada U18)
The Titans’ strength is getting their athletes in space and letting them work their magic.
The Browns strength is not letting their opponents get their athletes in space.
It should be interesting to see which strategy works this Saturday.
For Battle of Alberta rights, think of it as Eskimos/Stampeders Part II.
Here is the list of the other games that will be played at Athletic Park this weekend:
TIER II (School Pop. 750-1249)
#3 Foothills Falcons vs. #4 Lloydminster Barons
Sat. Nov. 25 – 11:00 a.m.
One of Alberta’s most consistent programs is now back in the finals.
The Barons were a frequent visitor to the Tier II Final going five times from 1987 to 1999 with their sole win coming in 1994.
However it’s been 18 years, where they have qualified for Provincials in each season save for 2011, without any final appearance – until now.
On the other hand, the Foothills Falcons are quite comfortable in this spot.
They are in the Alberta Bowl finals for the third straight season and eighth time since the Tier numbers were re-jigged in 1999.
TIER III (School Pop. 450-749)
#1 Cochrane Cobras at #3 Holy Rosary Raiders
Fri. Nov. 24 – 7:00 p.m.
Third year in a row these two teams will meet in this game.
That’s the good news for Holy Rosary.
The bad news is they once again will have the most prolific and successful Tier III team in the history of Provincials waiting for them.
Two years ago, it was a tough day at the office for the Raiders as they dropped the final 55-0 to the Cobras.
Last year the Raiders inched a little closer keeping it competitive for most of the game before finally bowing 29-20.
Meanwhile the Cobras have added 10 titles to their record in the past 14 years which makes them pound for pound the most successful team in the Province over that time period.
Time for one more? We’ll find out this weekend.
TIER IV (School Pop. 449 or less)
#1 Willow Creek Cobras vs. #8 Cold Lake Royals
Sat. Nov. 25 – 2:30 p.m.
The two teams making it to the Alberta Bowl at the Tier IV level come in having vastly different seasons.
For the #1 ranked Cobras, after dropping their first exhibition game to Medicine Hat, they have reeled off nine straight victories with an average score of 38-5.
On the other side of the leger is a different story completely.
The Cold Lake Royals won their first exhibition game of the year but when it came to the regular season, they lost every single game they played.
They went 48 days without a win, only recording their second win of the year with a tight playoff win over Wainwright to secure the Tier IV playoff berth.
Last week the Royals pulled out a gutty 28-22 win over last year’s Northern Tier IV Champs from Stettler
#2 Breton Cougars at #1 Rimbey Spartans
Fri. Nov. 24 - 4:00 p.m.
About a decade ago, Corey Colwell had a dream.
He found himself a teacher in Breton and wanted to coach football.
The Saskatchewan native knew of 6-Man football and knew it would be perfect for his small population school.
Now, he just had to find some willing partners and one of the first he found was in Rimbey, another small school who at the time was on life support at the 12-Man level.
Together with two other programs they started the 6-Man movement in Alberta high schools.
Both programs flourished at the new 6-Man level and met up in the first two league finals.
Once they passed 16 teams in the league, 6-Man was added to the Alberta Bowl in 2011.
Unfortunately for Corey's team in Breton it was the others, most notably Rimbey, who made it to the finals.
The Spartans missed out on qualifying for the Alberta Bowl in the inaugural year of 6-Man’s participating but haven’t missed since, qualifying for their sixth straight final.
Now, finally after years of trying the birthplace of 6-Man, Breton, finally gets to the Alberta Bowl to join Rimbey.
6-Man football is nicknamed ‘fast break football’ for a reason.
High scores, and a lot of passing dominate this level of play.
A great way to kick things off at Alberta Bowl 2017 at Lacombe Athletic Park on Friday.
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