With a combination of some lengthy offensive plays and some stingy defense, the Rimbey Spartans football team have advanced beyond the first round of playoffs following a 50-36 win over the Drayton Valley Frank Maddock Warriors last Thursday afternoon.
“On offense, our veterans did a really good job for us,” said Head Coach Bill Bramfield. “Our quarterback Logan Grundy basically engineered every drive and five of our touchdowns were scored by our running back Ryan Wiens, who is another Grade 12 student. The two tend to be our most dangerous players.”
Not only was the rushing game producing in a big way, but the Spartan’s passing game was also running on all twelve cylinders including several that were broken open for some significant gains.
“Our passing game is also working,” Bramfield said. “Kyle Stefanyk, one of our receivers had four receptions for at least 20 yards each, so we’ve got a pretty balanced attack with the run inside and outside and our passing was working well too, so we we’re coming from all angles on offense.”
In their only previous meeting this year, Bramfield said the Warriors seemed to be generally the same size as his players, but not this time around. Apparently, the team did some last minute recruiting with a number of their offensive and defensive linemen significantly larger than basically any player on the Spartan’s side of the field.
Luckily for the home team, they have a ferocious defense themselves.
“In six-man football, you can play really well and still give up 36 points. We had Jade Snair, one of our veterans back on defense, also one of our new players Aaron Shukin played our safety position and he had a really big game with lots of big tackles,” the coach said.
With the win, the Spartans will now move on to the semi-finals which means a trip up to Edmonton this Thursday where they’ll face the Millwoods Christian School.
As for what to expect, Bramfield said he didn’t know that much about the first-year team however he was quick to point out that they’ve got a substantial amount of experience in the guy at the helm.
“They’re coached by a guy named Rod Harrod who used to be a special-teams player with the Edmonton Eskimos, so he knows his football,” Bramfield said. ”Even though this is their first year of having an official team, his experience is really helping them and they’re a pretty strong team. They like to roll their quarterback out a lot and are a mostly ‘pass-first’ team.”
Over this past weekend Bramfield said he was working on a defensive scheme geared at stopping the aforementioned ‘pass-first’ strategy and added that he believes Millwoods will have trouble trying to run the ball against the Spartans.
As for his offense, he said he is confident they’ll continue to roll up the points.
“We’ll be ready for them. We’ve got some film from our previous game against them and I think we have a system that can stop them,” Bramfield said. “Our offense is balanced enough that I know we’re going to get our 40-plus points and if our defense can keep them under 30, we’re going to win.
The winner of that game will advance to the championship final.