Bucs sail past Vandals


The Central Alberta Buccaneers sailed past the Lloydminster Vandals in their 2017 Alberta Football League season home opener this on Saturday, June 3.

Todd Lewis – Central Alberta Buccaneers Community Representative – Monday, June 5, 2017

The Central Alberta Buccaneers hosted the Lloydminster Vandals on Saturday, kicking off their first home game of the 2017 Alberta Football League season.

The Vandals were riding high after a convincing 66-0 blowout against the 2017 expansion team, the Parkland Predators, who travelled with 13 players. The Bucs, coming off a big win as well, having opened the season on the road with a 44-14 win over the Grande Prairie Drillers.

After recovering the opening kick, the Bucs marched down the field and scored in one minute and thirty-one seconds. Buccaneer QB Judah Knip was surgical with his passing, finding four different receivers en route to the Vandals endzone. After that initial drive, the Bucs held the momentum for the rest of the game, moving the ball offensively and shutting down the Vandals defensively. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Vandals found the Buc endzone – they managed to complete a series of deep passes, earning them a couple of late-game scores.

“The Vandals were sportsman – there was no quit in them, even when the score got ugly,” said Riley St. Denis, lineman. Despite last ditch Vandal efforts, the Bucs finished the game with a 58-14 victory.

Receivers Jesse McPhail and Axsivier Lawrence each scored three receiving touchdowns with 207 and 139 yards respectively. Head coach Fred Knip praised both receivers’ performance, saying, “Jesse had sticky fingers all game and caught everything thrown to him. Axsivier was a bull and always got extra yards when he shouldn’t have been able to.”

Corbin Knip, slotback, said of his QB brother Judah “anytime a quarterback throws for seven touchdowns in a game (for 353 yards), he’s going to be a standout player. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother.”

The entire pirate offence combined for a total of 581 yards, not too shabby for Week 2.

Looking forward to Week 3, the Bucs host the talented Calgary Gators. While the Gators finished third in 2016, they are poised to finish in the top two in 2017; their primary barrier to that goal is the Bucs. This weekend will be the biggest test the Bucs have faced so far in 2017.

“It’s going to be the hardest hitting game yet,” said Buccaneer DB Tyson Dichrow. “They have a large pool in which to draw talent. We will need to play to every whistle, play from kickoff to finish, and protect our quarterback,” said offensive lineman Dave Young.

MEGlobal Athletic Park had over 300 spectators in the stands for the Vandals game, and the Bucs are hoping to see even more on June 10. Gate open at 6 pm, kids get in free.