Stars don’t align for Vandals

Taylor Weaver – Lloydminster Meridian Booster – Monday, July 25, 2016

The Lloydminster Vandals, playing out of the Alberta Football League (AFL), took to the field on Saturday afternoon, as they played host to the St. Albert Stars, but it was the Stars who walked away with a 44-10 win.

The Stars, who are currently tied for second with the Fort McMurray Monarchs in the AFL standings, hold a 5-2 record, where the Monarchs are sitting pretty at a 5-1.

The Vandals are carrying a 2-5 record, with their last regular-season game scheduled on August 6 against the Calgary Gators in reptilian territory.

If the Vandals plan on securing a playoff spot this season, a couple of things have to happen in their favour.

First off, the team needs to defeat the Gators next weekend, but the Calgary Wolfpack (1-7) also need to defeat the Grande Prairie Drillers (2-4) on their home field that same day, to lock the Vandals into sixth overall in the league’s standings.

Vandals head coach Glen Dembicki noted the team had a good start to the season with roughly 40 guys coming out to play each weekend, but that number continues to get smaller, forcing linemen to play on both sides of the ball, causing fatigue early into the game.

“We were up 10-0 well into the second quarter, but we just weren’t able to keep up there,” Dembicki said of Saturday’s loss. “Having lower numbers at this point in the season is definitely a reason why we’re not doing as well.

“We’re playing games with 22 or 24 guys, which is why we’re having a bit of trouble.”

Going into next weekend’s game against the Gators, Dembicki commented the key to having a good afternoon on the field boils down to a few good days of practice, and bringing as many guys on the road as possible.

“As far as game planning on planning plays, it’s just about running the plays you have and get everyone out to practice, and give it your best shot at winning.

If all goes well for the Vandals this weekend and the Wolfpack defeat the Drillers, the Vandals will find themselves right back in Calgary the following weekend for quarter final action.