The Oscars traveled to Grande Prairie for the second week in a row, but this time for a game against St Joe's. We were close to leaving on schedule, and we were close to getting into the change rooms, we were even close to starting the game on time but had to wait for the referees to show up (they're on a first name basis with the St Joe's QB, more on that later)
We had a good week of practice and even had a few new kids show up, it was close to a full roster all week! We had our game plan in place early and everybody got lots of reps. The plays we were expecting to run were looking good and then the kick off happened and Josh Kue caught the ball in the air and was off. He managed to get by about 4 players, and was close to the 40 yard line. He had gotten to the outside and was close to breaking it and then the game changed. He wasn't tackled as much as he was wiped down by the back of the shirt and landed with his full weight on his shoulder. Nothing illegal, just bad luck. Our first play was going to be deep to Josh to help open up the middle, unfortunately with Travis Fox going down with a concussion the week before we had no speed left. On the sidelines we were scrambling to figure out a new game plan because Josh was going to be it. Our first offensive effort sputtered and when St Joe's got the ball they were able to march right down the field for a score. The odd thing about the drive was that we had a chance to tackle them for a loss, a no gain, and a minimal gain on every play and missed. Every play they ran we missed 3 - 4 tackles, it was a really strange site. Our second offensive series went exaclty like our first, as did our second defensive series and most of the rest of the game went the same way to end up 53-0.
We prepared for them and had a good idea what they were going to do, and at halftime when the coaches were going to make adjustments the players fired back saying they knew what was going to happen too, but just couldn't get it done. At this point we took the opportunity to play some of our younger players to give some seniors a rest, and 4 bright spots were Brett Hunt (younger brother of a first year stand out player Brandon Hunt) at running back who gained several first downs on the ground, Juan Valencia at safety made some tough tackles, Nikko Miller at corner made some good pass defences, and Mike Volgaris at DB who took on the lead blocker time and again and made several huge hits.
Several times in the game our D-line was close to a sack but the St Joe's QB is deceptive. He even had the referee calling "balls away" on 2 different pump fakes. This deceptiveness cost us big on one play when Darren Tompkins went in for a sack and the referee said "balls away" before it even left the QB's fingers. He hit him just as the ball was released because it fell short of the Line of Scrimmage, however because the referee said "balls away" he thinks anything after that is a penalty, which if I was pressed I would have to agree with. The 2 things I disagree with are that he is saying anything in the first place. He's a referee not a coach. Yes, he's supposed to be responsible for the safety for all the players on the field but he has to let them play with in the rules of the game, and if a defender is in the motion of hitting the QB before he releases the ball its legal. And the penalty he gave was objectionable conduct. At the most this should have been a late hit on the QB, but objectionable conduct is a bigger yardage and could get the player kicked out because it implies intent to injure.
It just wasn't ment to be on this day. The effort was better, the attitude was better the anticipation just wasn't there. And to finish off the perfect day, one kid puked on the bus ride home. To like the smell of Taylor air has probably never been a thought in anyones head in the history of the world before but we were all scrambling to open windows and take deep breaths. His nickname is now 'Barf'.