Clean sheets aren’t just something that makes most moms happy, they keep high school coaches clicking their heels as well.
Three of four Strathcona County high school football squads remained perfect on the season after last week’s play, as the Sal Comp Sabres, Archbishop Jordan Scots and the Ardrossan Bisons all look like legitimate contenders for titles in their divisions.
The Bev Facey Falcons, in the midst of a major program overhaul, are the sole detractors from the Sherwood success story thus far, still in search of their first victory.
The defending Metro Edmonton League Division 2 Miles Conference champion Archbishop Jordan Scots have been particularly strong to start the current campaign.
The Scots crushed M.E. Lazerte 54-0 on Thursday at Clarke Stadium to improve to 2-0 on the year.
“I thought it was a really good effort on our part,” said Scots head coach Frank Yuzyk. “We were able to get everybody into the game. Our starters came out and set the tone early, which was great to see. We were able to get a lot of our backups in. What I really liked when that happened was that we didn’t have a big drop in intensity. We were able to keep our focus.”
Sean Bleiken led the way with three TDs, followed by Seun Ogundiya with a pair and Loclen Cerra and Tyler Schwartz with one apiece, with a Nathan Nadeau field goal added in for good measure.
The ABJ Scots have now outscored opponents 115-0 through their two contests.
“Our defence has played extremely well this year,” Yuzyk said. “Right now we are really clicking on all three phases. Including our exhibition game, we have had just three points scored on us. The guys are flying to the ball. We had four guys who really stood out on defence in Logan Kuly, Tyler Schwartz, Trey Saretsky and Damian Duru, who is a Grade 10 student who was just a lockdown corner in that game. On offence, we spread the ball around very well, with eight different guys getting touches in the game.”
The Scots host Leduc this Thursday at 5 p.m. at Emerald Hills Stadium in Sherwood Park, located behind ABJ.
One team that could challenge the Scots for the Miles crown this season is Ardrossan. The Bisons, who captured the Division 3 Gilfillan Conference crown last year before moving up a level this time out, are also 2-0 — although they certainly didn’t have an easy time of it in their game against Leduc last Thursday, needing a last-minute miracle to come away with a 19-14 victory.
“We weren’t playing very well and got into a lot of penalty trouble,” said Ardrossan head coach Paul Schwartz. “It was a pretty ugly game, discipline-wise. We were down 14-12, but got the ball back with 45 seconds left and marched it down the field and scored in three plays, getting a 25-yard touchdown run from Kody Prusak. We then intercepted the ball on the next play to ice the game. It was ugly for most of the game, but it came together at the end. I am not sure we deserved to win the way we were playing. We’ll take the way we fought back at the end and hopefully build that as a positive for next week.”
Prusak had the other Bisons TD in the game as well, recovering a fumble in the end zone.
“He is a special player,” Schwartz said. “He didn’t start playing football until he came out to play in Grade 10, two years ago. He has really grown into an outstanding linebacker, probably one of the best in our league. He is a short guy, but he worked out hard all winter and is so strong. He is just a tank out there on offence and defence. He has done everything we have asked. He has been a huge part of our team this year. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
The Bisons host Lillian Osborne on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Emerald Hills.
Meanwhile, in the top Carr Conference, the Sal Sabres are also steamrolling right along, improving to 3-0 with a 65-6 victory over Spruce Grove at Emerald Hills last Friday.
“We started really fast again,” said Sabres head coach Cam Fraser. “We were up quick in the first quarter, 44-0 at the half. Our offence did a very good job going out and scoring on the first play. It really got us off to a good start and our defence went out and got the ball back and we scored right after that. We just got rolling and kept the foot on the gas.”
Recording two TD games were Kolby Hurford, Cole Beaudin, Bennett Sawchuk and Wes Gregersen, with an additional major tacked on by Randy Allen.
Through three games, Sal has outscored opponents 172-13.
“We did a really good job this last game defending their running back,” Fraser said. “We took away most of the running lanes and what they like to do. Our defence has only given up 13 points now, and any time you do that, you are doing a great job. One of the best plays of the game was Randy Allen coming through and blocking a punt and scooping and scoring. It was a great play on special teams.”
The Sabres next take on Jasper Place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Clarke Field.
Bev Facey fell to 0-3 last Friday, but had their most competitive game thus far in a 22-12 loss to Bellerose.
“We actually had a 12-0 lead to start,” said Facey head coach Tanner Stephens. “But we just made a couple mistakes that hurt us and they scored quickly off of it in the second. After that, we just couldn’t get any momentum back from there. We kept it close and we battled hard, but in the end, those mistakes cost us. It is something to learn from. It was nice to see us get in a competitive game and we will keep moving forward and building each week. Colin Mah stepped in at QB with our starter Chris Mallet now out for the year with a broken leg. It was his first game at QB and he played an amazing game. He controlled the tempo and ran the ball really well. It was great to see him build some momentum going forward.”
Scoring for the Falcons were Mason Rice with a TD and Arsh Sekhon with a pair of field goals.
The Falcons have the daunting task of facing the defending champion Harry Ainlay Titans (3-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. at Foote Field.