Pillage by committee in Grande Prarie


After an extensive first period with three possession changes, the Central Alberta Buccaneers came out on top of a 44-14 victory in Grande Prairie.

The Central Alberta Buccaneers had a big road trip to kick-off their 2017 season. After the long wait since 2016, the Bucs were itching to take the field in Grande Prairie against their long-time rivals, the Drillers.

The first game of the season is “always the most nerve-wracking one,” said Bucs’ slotback Jesse McPhail. “You never really know how good [the team is] or how other teams stack up until you see the results after the first week.” Regardless of either teams’ ability, the Bucs knew they were heading into a battle on Saturday. “Grande Prairie is always a hard-hitting team.”

In the very long first quarter (that lasted an hour and a half), the lead changed hands three times. After the Buc defence had made a big red-zone stop on their own 30-yard line, the pirate offence marched the ball downfield with some deft passing and running until they hit the Drillers endzone. The teams traded scores until the game sat 14-13, Drillers, at the start of the second quarter. After a timeout, the Bucs rallied, collected themselves, and began to execute; their defence shut down the Drillers for the rest of the game, and the Buccaneer offence drove possession, running all over the field and completing short, precise passes.

The Bucs travelled with a small roster, taking the field with 31 dressed players. The short-staffed Bucs excelled partly due to their small roster. “Guys stepped up. We needed everyone to ball out, and everybody did,” said team captain, Mark Fay. “Absolutely everyone on our roster left it all on the field. Every Buc played his heart out, and it showed on the field and the scoreboard.”

The Bucs hope to continue their success via committee into Week 2 on Saturday, June 3, when they host the Lloydminster Vandals (1-0). Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Lacombe MEGlobal Athletic Park. Concession will be open and FunHaus will be on the field on gameday with a bouncy castle for the children (free admittance).

Todd Lewis
Community Relations
Central Alberta Buccaneers