By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
The Raymond Comets got back into the win column last week with a 24-7 win at home over Cochrane.
It was an impressive win over a provincial powerhouse.
“Cochrane is currently ranked No. 1 in Tier 3 in Alberta,” said Raymond coach Matt Baines. “They have quite the impressive Tier 3 resume, as they have won 15 or 16 of the last 25 provincial titles. They are the team to beat in Tier 3. Even though there is definitely a difference between the Tier 1 and Tier 3 teams, Cochrane is a quality team. We had to play well to beat them.”
The coach added his defence has a step up its game to adjust to Cochrane’s unique style of play, which typically include a high-octane air attack.
“We prepared well in practice. We feel our defense is as good against the pass as we are against the run.”
Ty Mazutinec capped Raymond’s opening drive with a 14 yard TD run, as Chase Heggie kicked a 29-yard field goal to put the Comets up 10-0 late first quarter.
In the second quarter, Cochrane kicked two field goals to make the score 10-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Cochrane scored a single point off a missed field goal to make the score 10-7 heading into the fourth. That’s when the game took a turn in Raymond’s favour.
Early fourth quarter, Mazutinec hit Payson Hill for an 82 yard catch-and-run TD to make the score 17-7. After a huge 70-yard catch and run by Boston Harker, Raymond scored again, as Mazutinec scored on a 12 yard TD run to make the score 24-7.
Izaak Long was a beast on defense for the Comets with eight tackles and two QB sacks. Chase Heggie added seven tackles.
Baines was pleased with the team’s overall effort.
“We came up a bit short against Notre Dame and St. Francis. We were hungry for a win and got it against a quality opponent like Cochrane. It’s good for the confidence going into our league play.”
Speaking of league play, that all begins Friday, as Raymond will battle Lethbridge Collegiate Institute in a 7:30 p.m. game at the University of Lethbridge.
“Eliminate the mistakes and don’t take bad penalties,” said Baines, as to what the keys will be against the Rams. “Play with confidence. Do your job and stay aggressive and hungry all game.”
A tough schedule up to this point has left Raymond extremely battle tested.
“We have learned a lot about who we are,” said Baines. “We have gone toe to toe with the best teams in the province. LCI will be a big test for us. We feel these earlier games have gotten us ready to play in a game like this against LCI.”
With that in mind, Baines added a good week of practice should translate to results on the weekend.
“We don’t change our routine too much but just tend to focus more on the little things. We need everyone where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. We try and prep for any and all situations. Being sharp and hyped in practice tends to translate into our Friday-night game.”