History repeats itself
By Carl Carter
The Lloydminster Vandals were hoping to buck a long losing streak on Saturday, but instead fell victim to the Calgary Wolfpack once again. The Vandals had never beaten the beaten the Wolfpack heading into Saturday's game at Armstrong Field, and that didn't change as Calgary scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take the 41–28 victory.
"I think there was a little adversity there that we've never come across over the last couple years," said cornerback Matt Loveseth. "We've had a couple deep benches the last couple years and in this one it kind of bit us in the butt in the fourth quarter, so it's just something we're just going to have to work through."
The Vandals were missing two receivers during Saturday's game, but the team's offence was still able to move the ball. The team couldn't cash in when it mattered most, however, as the Vandals only scored one touchdown in the second half, and none in the fourth quarter.
"We only had two of our regular (receivers) but he (quarterback Jared Valleau) still found a way to get them the ball, and they moved it and they did well," said Loveseth. "Even our running backs who were banged up and barely played this game, they moved the ball and did what they could for us."
The Vandals' defence stood strong against one of the highest–scoring teams in the league, and even earned a couple interceptions – including Loveseth who returned his pick for a major.The Vandals' offence knows it has to play better, however, and especially if they meet the Wolfpack in the playoffs. "We definitely didn't play our best game, and they just came out and beat us straight out I think," said receiver Jordan Preibe.
"The breaks just started to go the other way and we just didn't capitalize on the chances we had, and that's just the way it goes sometimes."
With the win the Wolfpack stays on top of the AFL standings with a 4–0 record. The loss was the Vandals' first of the season, and it drops the team to third in the league with a 3–1 record. The AFL takes a break this week for Canada Day, but the Vandals have a tough schedule down the stretch.
The team has no more home games, and the team still has a date with the second–place Grande Prairie Drillers to end the regular season – a game that could determine home–field advantage in the playoffs. "We were really geared up for this game and it's going to sting for a little bit, but now we got a couple of easy games and then a big game up in Grande Prairie, so we've got to be ready," said Loveseth. "We're going to have to travel well, we can't let anything slide and we're going to have to build and build and build all the way to that Grande Prairie game. That's going to be a big one."
There are no games in the AFL this weekend, but the Vandals will return to action on July 9 when the team heads to Edmonton to take on the Renegades.