By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
The Raymond Comets are back in the win column after a big 28-16 win last Thursday over the Medicine Hat High Hawks.
Victory did not come easy, however, as the Hawks opened the scoring in the second quarter to make it 7-0. The visitors kicked a single on a punt through the end zone to make it 8-0 before the home side responded.
Brock Barnett of the Comets scored on a six-yard TD run with one minute left in the first half to get Raymond on the board. The two-point convert failed, as the halftime score held at 8-6.
It didn’t take long for Raymond to strike again in the second half, as Barnett scored on an amazing 62-yard TD run in the third quarter. Once again, however, the two-point convert failed, to keep the score 12-8 Raymond.
In the fourth quarter, Comets kicker Tanner Morales was good on a 45-yard field goal to make it a 15-8 game. Morales struck twice more from 32 yards and 18 yards to put the Comets up 21-8.
Medicine Hat made it a game with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to cut Raymond’s lead to 21-16.
That was as close as the Hawks would get, as a six-yard TD run by Raymond’s Pyken Easthope made it a 28-16 game.
“It was a great night for our team,” said Comets assistant coach Matt Baines. “We felt the players came out and were excited and executed well. We had a big crowd and when you’re playing well, the crowd is loud and when the crowd is loud, the players feed off it pretty good.”
For Raymond, the key of defence included shutting down Medicine Hat’s running game.
“They definitely had a solid running game,” said Baines. “We were proud of how a lot of our younger players stepped up and made plays on defence.”
Offensively, Baines added Raymond simply focused on the little things.
“I think the biggest thing offensively is we limited our turnovers and made less mistakes on assignments.”
The win came after a 37-0 loss the previous week against St. Francis. It was a contest where the Comets did not play as cleanly.
“It was more of us just not taking care of what we can control,” said Baines. “Penalties and mental mistakes cost us again.”
The big Calgary team was solid on both sides of the ball, and limited any opportunities the Comets had.
“They are solid defensively,” said Baines. “It was hard to establish any sort of a consistent offence, running or passing. They are just very good on defence.”
St. Francis wrapped up a brutal stretch of games for Raymond, where the small southern Alberta town opened its schedule against some of the biggest and best teams Alberta had to offer. Despite the tough slate of games, Baines added the Comets still had plenty left in the tank for Medicine Hat, the second-ranked Tier 2 team in the province.
“These boys have a lot of energy. I wouldn’t say it’s wearing us down. It’s probably creating more adversity for us by starting our season against four of the top five teams in the province but you can still learn things and get better in those games.”
Raymond has earned a well-deserved break this week.
“We are into our bye week next weekend so it gives us a chance to rest up and hopefully get some of our injured players back,” said Baines, who added the team is back in action on Oct. 23 with a road trip to Okotoks to play Holy Trinity Academy, the seventh-ranked team in Tier 2.
Raymond, 2-4 on the season, is now ranked eighth in Tier 1.