Central Alberta Buccaneers tame Wolfpack in home opener


Buccaneer 36

Wolf Pack 14

The Central Alberta Buccaneers have had a great start to the Alberta Football League (AFL) season.

On Saturday night, the Bucs defeated the Calgary Wolfpack 36-14 in front of their home fans at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe.

Head coach Geoff Rambaut said the team performed well on both sides of the pitch.

“We played really well for the numbers we have,” he said.

“The only thing we could use is more people in our squad. That requires our guys to play at a very physical level throughout the game without using substitutes.”

With the current roster at almost 30 players, they would like to get that number to at least 45, but will accept any help they can get.

Luckily for the Buccaneers, it didn't seem to affect them much on Saturday.

“We have a young group of guys so it’s great to get a win so early,” added Rambaut.

“The defense played well in the second half, but I felt like they bailed us out in the first half before our offense could get going.”

The first touchdown of the game resulted from a pass from quarterback Tylor Johannesson to receiver Brett Bylsma.

Central Alberta did not score another touchdown until late in the second quarter, when Johannesson and running back Dave Symons got involved in a dive in the end zone with 20 seconds left in the first half.

“That was his first touchdown of his career,” Rambaut said.

“He's new to football, but he made a nice catch up the middle… It may be his first-ever catch in a game, but it's good that he's set the bar high for himself.”

In the second half, the Wolf Pack scored on their first drive of the third quarter, cutting into the Buccaneers' lead.

However, Calgary missed the extra point and the Buccaneers led 15-6.

Later in the third quarter, Johannesson scored a rushing touchdown in the red zone to extend the lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Johannesson and Bylsma scored another touchdown by passing.

Bylsma actually played quarterback for the Buccaneers the last two years, while Johannesson played receiver. The role reversal between the two seemed to create great chemistry early on.

“Our QB from last year scored two receiving touchdowns today, that was really cool to see,” Rambaut said.

In addition, the Buccaneers scored another touchdown with an onside kick, sealing the deal.

The Buccaneers will next play against the Airdrie Irish on June 8 at 2 p.m. at Shouldice Park in Calgary.

They will then return home to face the Edmonton Elite on June 15 at 6 p.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park.

“We know there are some top teams in this league, but after that the table is pretty open,” he added.

“I think a performance like that gives our team a lot of confidence… We've made a lot of progress in the last month and that's great for us.”

“The competition will only get tougher from now on, but it looks like we are moving in the right direction.”