Cochrane, ranked first in Tier 3, in town this Friday
By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
The Raymond Comets fell to 1-2 on the season with a tough 24-14 loss last week to St. Francis.
With the loss, Raymond is ranked fifth in the Tier 1 standings provincially, as St. Francis is ranked first.
According to coach Matt Baines, the Comets put in a solid effort against the top-ranked team in Alberta, as St. Francis used a strong first half to upend Raymond.
“I don’t think we will face a top team all year that doesn’t have a size advantage over us,” said Baines. “They are a hard team to defend. Our boys fought hard.”
Raymond trailed 3-0 at end of first quarter and went down 10-0 in the second frame, as St. Francis scored a major with about seven minutes left in the second quarter.
With four minutes left in the second quarter, St. Francis struck again to go up 17-0. That could have deflated the Comets, but Raymond responded on its next drive.
“We got the ball back with three minutes left in the second quarter and drove the field, and Ty Mazutinec threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Boston Harker to make it a 17-7 game at halftime,” said Baines.
That momentum was short lived, however, as St. Francis held Raymond’s offence off the scoreboard in the third quarter. The Calgary team then put another touchdown on the board early in the fourth quarter, and added a punt single, to make it a 24-7 game.
Raymond wouldn’t go quietly, as Mazutinec connected with Drake Still on a 47-yard touchdown pass to make it a 24-14 game.
The 10-point loss could be traced back to a pivotal few moments in the first half, according to Baines.
“I think at the end of the second quarter when they scored two quick touchdowns gave them breathing room that it was hard for us to recover from. We made some key mistakes that they took advantage of to turn the 3-0 lead into a 17-0 lead within about three or four minutes.”
Raymond has gone through a murderers’ row of opponents to kick off 2019.
“We knew going in we had a real tough schedule,” said Baines. “We expected that we would need to be at our best to win and we haven’t been at our best. We just went toe to toe with the number one team in the province and were in the game. We are confident going forward that when we are at our best we can complete better with the top teams.”
The Comets will need a strong effort on Friday, as the top ranked Tier 3 team in Alberta, the Cochrane Cobras, head to Raymond for a 7 p.m. game. Cochrane is coming off a 51-0 win over George McDougall.
“Cochrane is currently undefeated with two lopsided victories under their belt,” said Baines, who added the Cobras offence will pose a different challenge. “They have lots of offensive firepower. They will throw the ball more than anyone we have played so far. Should be an exciting game.”