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November 29, 2022 November 29, 2022

Comets set for Brian Fryer quarterfinal Saturday in Raymond

Posted on November 16, 2022 by admin

By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News

Saturday, Comet Stadium in Raymond is going to be the place to be. 
The Comets will take on Calgary’s St. Francis Browns at 3 p.m. in the Brian Fryer Division quarterfinals. 
It is a huge game for a Raymond program that has been on a torrid pace, thanks to a staunch defence and an efficient offence. 
Last Thursday, that crushing Raymond defence was again front and centre in a 15-0 win over the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams, as the Comets earned another Tier 1 zone banner. 
This time, however, the game was much tighter than the previous 50-0 Raymond victory.  
Talan Ralph ran for a nine-yard TD about halfway through third quarter to open the scoring and put Rymond up 7-0.  
Brock Barnett added a three-yard TD run with four mins left in fourth quarter. A two-point convert, on a Talan Ralph pass to Pyken Easthope, made it 15-0, and that’s how the game stayed in a contest that was much more competitive this time around. 
LCI was very aggressive,” said Raymond assistant coach Matt Baines. “They played tough defence and did a good job of making things difficult for us.” 
Raymond made life difficult on themselves as well. 
”The penalties were huge,” said Baines. “I think we had more total penalty yards against us than LCI had for yards of total offence. I can’t explain why we got all those penalties. We play the same football every week.” 
The laundry on the field did not deter the Raymond defence, however, as the Comets smothered the LCO offence. 
”We held LCI to four first downs and then didn’t cross our 45-yard line,” said Baines. “Our defence just attached them all game and didn’t let down. Our defensive line was able to win the line of scrimmage against them again. That was a huge factor for our win.” 
Now, the No. 2 Comets prepare for St. Francis, No. 7 ranked team in Alberta. There was a possibility of another LCI-Raymond showdown but instead, the schedule makers have the No. 6 Rams at the No. 3 Ernest Manning Griffins. 
”As far as who we play next week, we didn’t really have a preference,” said Baines. “If they gave us LCI, then we would do our best to beat them. Having St. Francis is something different for sure. We feel they are a better team than LCI, so we will need to be on top of our game to get the win.” 
Saturday represents another step in the road towards Alberta’s top football prize, but it’s a game Baines added his team must be ready for.  
”We expect St Francis to be very good. They were in the mix for the Calgary City Championship this year. We know they will be disciplined and that they will have a good mix of pass and run. We expect them to be well prepared and well coached.” 
The atmosphere in Raymond should be electric, as the weather forecast calls for warmer conditions for a contest between two provincial heavyweights.  
”We hope our fans come out and support the boys on Saturday,” said Baines. “Our bantam team plays in the Tier 1 Provincial Semifinal at 11 a.m. at Comet Stadium and then fans can go home for lunch and warm up and then come back to watch us at 3 p.m. There is no facility in Alberta that will look as good and have as nice of a playing surface as Comet Stadium will this Saturday. It should be a great day.” 
The winner of Saturday afternoon’s game will take on the winner of Earnest Manning and LCI, and according to Baines, however things go on Saturday and beyond, Raymond’s defence will play a key role going forward. 
”Our starting defence hasn’t been scored on since Sept. 15. That’s the key to this long winning streak. We take a lot of pride defensively and we look to show that this Saturday. The team is healthy. We are ready to make a run.”

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