Spartans crush Cougars, advance to league semifinals

Spartans running back Chase Nicholson turns the corner on a Breton Cougar defender during a first-round playoff game held last Wednesday afternoon in Rimbey. The Spartans showed no mercy for their opponents

Staff reporter

While who emerges at the top of the pack in the Western Alberta Six-Man Football League is yet to be determined, one thing that is certain is that there’ll be a new champion following a rather lopsided victory last Wednesday afternoon when the Rimbey Spartans put the wood to the Breton Cougars to the tune of a 74-13 shellacking.

“We played them earlier in the year and we put up big points, but they clawed back. Anytime you’re playing the two-time defending champs, you’ve got to be careful,” said Spartans head coach Bill Bramfield. “We weren’t expecting that and that could be why our boys played so well in this game. They played hard and didn’t want to give in or give them anything. They played hard from the starting whistle to the end and obviously, the results turned out well for us.”

Due to the high turnover of players that is common in high school football, the Cougars have fallen on hard times this year finishing the regular season in third place in the northern division with a two-win, six-loss record.

The victory by the Spartans last week follows an earlier win over Breton this season by a score of 53-28 and provided a bit of revenge for the Rimbey team, which was defeated by the Cougars in the 2007 league championship game.

As for the latest victory, rather than discussing the play of individuals, Bramfield instead pointed to a total team effort as the key to such a huge win.

“I think in a victory like that, all three facets of the game were handled extremely well. Offensively, we moved the ball at will and only punted it away twice and in every other series we scored, so you can’t ask for much more out of the offense,” Bramfield said. “The defense, in my estimation, only gave up three plays in the whole game where they had positive yardage.

“Unfortunately two of those were 80-plus yard touchdown runs. But our defense forced the turnover of the ball five or six times on downs, they also had two fumble recoveries and a couple of near interception misses, so they played pretty solid and our special teams were solid again as well. All three facets of the game were very good and again, in a victory like that, every one of our players from the starters to those on the bench played a really solid game,” he added.

The Spartans took the next step to the championship this past Monday when they traveled to Edmonton to face the Millwoods Royals who received a bye into the semi-final after Caroline forfeited their game due to the flu bug hitting the team.

The winner of the Spartans-Royals tilt will advance to the league championship game to be held this coming Friday at a location yet to be determined.

As of press time, scores and information from the semi-final game were not available.

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