May 25th, 2024

Comets capture Tier I title


By Dale Woodard on November 30, 2021.

The Raymond Comets are the Football Alberta Tier I provincial champions.

However, they’re already eyeing up their next objective.

The fifth-ranked Comets downed the ninth-ranked Edmonton Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds 45-17 in the gold medal game Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium.

Tied 17-17 with the Thunderbirds in the third quarter, the Comets went up by one touchdown and firmly grabbed control with a short kick they managed to recover for another major on their way to the 2021 Tier I crown.

“They’re really excited,” said Comets defensive coordinator Dale Stevenson. “There are only a couple of outcomes you can get and it’s always nice to end on a high note with a win. I think they’re adding to the legacy of Comets sports and Comets football. So they’re really happy.”

Still, it’s not a laurel the Comets who will return next year are going to rest on as the team looks to make the jump to the newly-created Brian Fryer Division next year, featuring the top-four selected Tier I teams in the province, and going for a title in that division.

“I think the important thing is our kids aren’t satisfied with just that. With the new system they’re doing with the Brian Fryer conference, we’re ecstatic to win the provincial title, but our kids wanted to be in the Brian Fryer as well. A couple of our young leaders have already expressed that a provincial championship is great, but the expectation and goal for next year is higher. It’s good we have some young leaders. We have kids who don’t sound like they want to be complacent, but want to progress into even higher levels of accomplishment.”

On Saturday afternoon in Edmonton, however, the Comets buckled down in time to snap a deadlock in the latter stages of the game and make sure they ended 2021 on a golden note.

“We were up 17-0 about midway through the first quarter,” said Stevenson.

“Ross Sheppard had a pretty good game plan for us on some adjustments and calls they were doing that were causing our offence and our defence a little bit of trouble. They ended up getting two big plays for touchdowns, two 60-yard plays.”

So ended up being pretty close.”

With the score tied at 17-17, the Comets regrouped and grabbed the upper hand, this time not relinquishing it.

“We kind of got our act together and started to execute at a pace that is more of what we as coaches expect and want. When they started to execute the game plan we had put in we started to pull away and took over,” said Stevenson. “They scored on the opening drive of the second half to tie it 17-17. We responded and got a touchdown on our next drive. Then we went for an onside kick and we recovered the onside kick and scored on that as well. That seemed to give us momentum and from there we have it back.”

Raymond’s Ashton Witbeck kicked the short kick and William Shipley pounced on the loose ball to give the Comets possession.

“That seemed to be the turning point,” said Stevenson.

The Comets put up 216 yards rushing and 290 yards passing for 490 yards in net offence.

Brock Barnett had 21 carries for 158 yards rushing, while Houston Ralph had seven carries for 44 yards.

Luka Kauro had six catches for 113 yards and Everson Harker grabbed four catches for 95 yards.

Pyken Easthope had 25 yards on three catches and Houston Ralph grabbed one catch for 55 yards. He also completed 10 of 13 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown.

Barnett threw for five completions on 10 attempts for 135 yards and three touchdowns.

Tanner Morales was one-for-one on field goals, hitting from 20 yards and also chipped in with six converts.

Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter.

The Raymond Comets are the Football Alberta Tier I provincial champions.

However, they’re already eyeing up their next objective.

The fifth-ranked Comets downed the ninth-ranked Edmonton Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds 45-17 in the gold medal game Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium.

Tied 17-17 with the Thunderbirds in the third quarter, the Comets went up by one touchdown and firmly grabbed control with a short kick they managed to recover for another major on their way to the 2021 Tier I crown.

“They’re really excited,” said Comets defensive coordinator Dale Stevenson. “There are only a couple of outcomes you can get and it’s always nice to end on a high note with a win. I think they’re adding to the legacy of Comets sports and Comets football. So they’re really happy.”

Still, it’s not a laurel the Comets who will return next year are going to rest on as the team looks to make the jump to the newly-created Brian Fryer Division next year, featuring the top-four selected Tier I teams in the province, and going for a title in that division.

“I think the important thing is our kids aren’t satisfied with just that. With the new system they’re doing with the Brian Fryer conference, we’re ecstatic to win the provincial title, but our kids wanted to be in the Brian Fryer as well. A couple of our young leaders have already expressed that a provincial championship is great, but the expectation and goal for next year is higher. It’s good we have some young leaders. We have kids who don’t sound like they want to be complacent, but want to progress into even higher levels of accomplishment.”

On Saturday afternoon in Edmonton, however, the Comets buckled down in time to snap a deadlock in the latter stages of the game and make sure they ended 2021 on a golden note.

“We were up 17-0 about midway through the first quarter,” said Stevenson.

“Ross Sheppard had a pretty good game plan for us on some adjustments and calls they were doing that were causing our offence and our defence a little bit of trouble. They ended up getting two big plays for touchdowns, two 60-yard plays.”

So ended up being pretty close.”

With the score tied at 17-17, the Comets regrouped and grabbed the upper hand, this time not relinquishing it.

“We kind of got our act together and started to execute at a pace that is more of what we as coaches expect and want. When they started to execute the game plan we had put in we started to pull away and took over,” said Stevenson. “They scored on the opening drive of the second half to tie it 17-17. We responded and got a touchdown on our next drive. Then we went for an onside kick and we recovered the onside kick and scored on that as well. That seemed to give us momentum and from there we have it back.”

Raymond’s Ashton Witbeck kicked the short kick and William Shipley pounced on the loose ball to give the Comets possession.

“That seemed to be the turning point,” said Stevenson.

The Comets put up 216 yards rushing and 290 yards passing for 490 yards in net offence.

Brock Barnett had 21 carries for 158 yards rushing, while Houston Ralph had seven carries for 44 yards.

Luka Kauro had six catches for 113 yards and Everson Harker grabbed four catches for 95 yards.

Pyken Easthope had 25 yards on three catches and Houston Ralph grabbed one catch for 55 yards. He also completed 10 of 13 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown.

Barnett threw for five completions on 10 attempts for 135 yards and three touchdowns.

Tanner Morales was one-for-one on field goals, hitting from 20 yards and also chipped in with six converts.

Follow @@DWoodardHerald on Twitter

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