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Finishing off on a positive note
Spartans high school football team finishes regular season with win
Thursday October 24, 2002
The Spartans, who have never beaten the Hawks, got touchdowns from Jared Robillard, Mark Leboldus and Darcey Martens en route to the win over the once powerful Hawks.
Despite a depleted Hawks roster, the Spartans were very happy with the win.
"It was a huge game for us," said Robillard after the win. "It basically ends the embarrassment - Hanna has beat us every time, usually 48-0, so this is the first game that we actually beat them.
"We started the offence early and it gave us momentum."
The Spartans, who finished the regular season with a 3-2 record, got on the board first when Robillard scored a touchdown with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter.
Leboldus then scored a 60 yard run for a 14-0 lead before Hanna got on the board with a touchdown (unsuccessful convert).
In the third quarter, quarterback-kicker Luis Gudiel added a field goal before Martens added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Hanna added a touchdown to round out the scoring, but were once again unsuccessful on the convert.
"Our offence (scoring early) was the key to the game," said Gudiel. "We had to make sure we worked them early."
According to head coach Brett Bastable, the win was hard-earned.
"It was a tough game, which we expected from Hanna," said Bastable. "They're having a bad year but they never roll over and play dead.
"I'm happy to see we got some touchdowns and quite frankly we could have had more.
"All of our guys stepped up and they played their roles, which is good to see.
"This was probably our best team game we had all season.
"By actually beating Hanna, it is a huge emotional thing for the guys who never beat them."
The Spartans, who will now travel to Canmore on Oct. 26 for their first playoff game, believe that the win over Hanna will give them some confidence.
"I think that we're evenly matched against Canmore," added Robillard. "We need to come out early and get some points so we can carry the momentum.
"The last game against them (in the regular season) we didn't do that and we lost.
"We need to work on our offence and defence this week and we have to be ready for them.
"They have good running backs who are quick and they use the sweep effectively.
"We need to contain that."
Spartans win South Championship
Strathmore Spartans bantam football team plays solid football game
en route to South Championship
Thursday October 24, 2002
The Spartans, who finished the regular season with an impressive 5-1 record, scored all their points in the first half en route to the win over Stettler, who entered the contest with a 4-2 regular season record.
After Stettler was called back on a touchdown, the Spartans took a 7-0 lead when Smith found the end zone at the 7:29 mark of the first quarter.
Warrack then added a field goal to give the Spartans a 10-0 lead before Silbernagel scored on a three yard rush to give the Spartans a 16-0 lead (convert was missed).
"We did a good job," said Spartans head coach Rob Musselman after the playoff win. "It was a pretty evenly matched game that was fun to watch.
"Our defence stood up today and did an amazing job - they didn't allow a point until the fourth quarter.
"Our defence has been amazing the entire season (allowing only 29 goals against in six games.)
"(Stettler) started marching the ball really well in the fourth quarter with the sweep...we started collapsing in because the corner and the halfbacks were expecting them to come up the middle.
"I got a little nervous when they started that march, but not terribly."
After a pair of games in the regular season against each other filled with extra-circular activities, both teams played solid, hard-hitting football.
The Spartans defeated Stettler 53-0 on Sept. 28 at the high school before suffering their only loss of the season Oct. 5 at the hands of the Cougars, 22-13.
However, Musselman said that the Cougars improved drastically between their three games.
"They've stepped up their game so much since the beginning of the year," said Musselman. "They're a well-coached team and they're a bunch of fighters...they are definitely going to be a force next year.
"This was a good, clean game by both teams...both teams played really well. Both teams played football.
"As we said to our boys during the week, everything to this point meant nothing if we didn't win this game.
"It was either we win or we go home."
The Cougars, who scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 7:28 remaining, threatened once again late in the game.
However, Chad Brownlee caught an interception with 2:25 left.
"I just saw the ball coming and I got in front of it," said Brownlee of the huge interception. "If they got that, it could have changed the game and they possibly could of won.
"They started pushing at the end but we played as hard as we can."
According to Smith, who had six touchdowns during the regular season, the Spartans early offence proved to be the difference.
"We had a good running game and a good passing game," said Smith. "We got our points early and that gave us momentum.
"They started to pick it up late in the game but we stepped it up."
"It was a clean game by both teams," added Silbernagel. "The referees did a good job calling a clean game."
Life on the Road
Strathmore Spartans high school football team to begin playoffs on road
Thursday October 17, 2002
The Spartans fell 44-26 to Canmore (3-1), who moved into second place with the win. The Spartans dropped to third with a season record of (2-2).
"We played them pretty tight in the first half," said Spartans head coach Brett Bastable.
"We were only down 23-13 and then we had a breakdown in the second half where they scored three touchdowns in like five minutes.
"That kind of ruined it for us - we tried to fight back but we buried ourselves a little too deep at that point.
"We showed a lot of heart in attempting to comeback."
The Spartans will now host Hanna at the high school on Oct. 19 in the final regular season game. However, because of the way the regular season was scheduled, it is only their second home game.
Despite the fact that the game is essentially meaningless, Bastable is expecting a hard-fought game.
"Hanna is a tough team," said the coach. "Their problem now is that they just don't have the bodies to go around.
"I expect them to come out hard and fast. We need to get up on them quick and keep them down and wait until we run them out of gas.
"If we let them get up and get aggressive, then they will stay that way the whole game.
"If we get up on them quickly and get them down, then we can just beat them up for the rest of the game.
"That is what we have to be aiming for here."
The way things played out on the weekend, it is inevitable that the Spartans will now have to travel to Canmore on Oct. 26 for their first playoff game.
Bastable hopes to use the recent loss as motivation for the big game.
"What we're looking at right now is a probable third place finish and a playoff game in Canmore," said Bastable. "They didn't do anything that we didn't expect but they just executed better than us.
"We now have to play our game when we go down there."
In other football action, the Strathmore Spartans bantam football team clinched a playoff spot on Oct. 8 with a 13-0 win over Drumheller at McMahon Stadium.
The team then travelled to Drumheller on Oct. 12 where they once again won, 19-16, clinching first place in the south division.
The team, who finished the season with a 5-1 record, will more-than-likely host Stettler on Oct. 19 at the high school in the south division final. Game time is tentatively set for 1 p.m.
The Spartans defeated Stettler 53-0 earlier in the season before losing 22-13 to Stettler on Oct. 5. Coach Musselman hopes to use the team's only loss as motivation.
"It's going to be a tough game," said Spartans head coach Rob Musselman of the upcoming game against Stettler. "It's going to be in-your-face football.
"I know that they got better between our last games and I expect them to be hungry again.
"They are the only team to beat us, so we have some motivation."
Strathmore Spartans Bantam football team falls to Stettler in penalty filled game
Thursday October 10, 2002
The Spartans, who defeated Stettler 53-0 on Sept. 28 at the Strathmore high school, lost to the same team 22-13 in Stettler
"We had a big problem with the officials, only two of them showed up," said assistant coach Ryan Grey. "They then got some high school student or something like that to be a lines judge - we're trying to figure out if that's allowed in a league game or not because he isn't a licenced official.
"We had about 45 penalties...I'm exaggerating, but we had at least 20 and they had two the whole game.
"Drumheller beat them 41-0 at home and they lost by 10 points when they went there, so something is a little suspicious."
According to Grey, the Spartans didn't play up to their usual level of play in the first half. However, after trailing by six at halftime, the Spartans turned it up a notch in the second half.
"In the second half, we dominated the whole time," said Grey. "We were in their red zone a couple of times, but penalties brought us back.
"Then when they had the ball, penalties brought them closer to our end.
"For our team, which only has a couple of penalties a game, it's hard to believe that we had so many facemasks and holding calls and they had nothing."
The game, according to the assistant, was a learning experience for the team.
"It was kind of good for the players because they learned to lose too," said Grey of the previously undefeated Spartans. "Now they know what it feels like to lose and hopefully they use it to their advantage.
"We learned to keep our cool during this last game."
The Spartans will now face Drumheller on Oct. 8 at McMahon Stadium (results not available at press time) and again on Oct. 12 at Drumheller.
Despite the loss, the Spartans are still sitting well with a 3-1 record on the season.
"I think these next two games are important," said Grey. "We play the same team twice in a matter of days, so it's a new experience for us too.
"Drumheller is the second best team in the league, so it is a good test for us."
In other football news, the Strathmore Spartans high school team will travel to Camrose this weekend before they host Hanna on Oct. 19 in the final game of the regular season.
Both Canmore and Strathmore are fighting for second place in the league, along with another team, with a 2-1 record.
Spartans head coach Brett Bastable believes this weekend game against Canmore will determine their playoff fate.
"The game is critical because it will go a long way to settling second to fourth place in the division," said Bastable. "I'm sure that we will play Canmore in the playoffs, so this game determines where that game would be played.
"This game is clearly the most important to our season right now. If we lose this game, we put ourselves in a bad situation.
"If we win, we more than likely host them Oct. 26 in the playoff game."
Spartans look for perfection
Strathmore Spartans bantam football team defeats Hanna to remain undefeated
Thursday October 03, 2002
However, the Strathmore Spartans bantam team is so close, it's scary.
The team defeated Hanna 47-0 at the high school on Sept. 28 to remain 3-0 on the season.
The Spartans, who have outscored their opposition 145-0 this season, have been dominant.
"We're not stopping here...we're going into Stettler next week and we'll take them too," Spartans head coach Rob Mussleman said with confidence.
"At the beginning of the season we said we're going to take the league and the playoffs.
"We developed the passing game today - it wasn't windy, so we could do that.
"Our quarterback, Tommy MacDonnell , has a great game. He's calling a great game - he calls it himself - he did it last weekend against Stettler and this weekend he picked apart Hanna.
"I don't mind running up the score either...it keeps other teams afraid of us."
The Spartans, who never scored in the first quarter, did most of their offensive damage in the second and fourth quarters, led by MacDonnell.
"I would say things went pretty good," smiled the quarterback. "Everything is clicking for us right now - everything is going perfect.
"I just want to do my best and get everybody involved in the game. We need to work on our consistency a bit to make sure we're ready for every game."
Wide receiver Josh Lord, who had a touchdown in the win, was grateful to MacDonnell.
"I caught most of the passes that came my way," said Lord. "We were confident going into this game and we did our job.
"Like our coach says, we can be confident but not cocky."
The Spartans, who entered the game with 10 rushing touchdowns, will now travel to, as mentioned, Stettler on Oct. 5 (11 a.m.).
From there, the team will play a 'home' game at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Oct. 8 (8 p.m.) against Drumheller before they travel to Drumheller on Oct. 12 (1 p.m.) for their final game of the regular season.
Musselman, despite the heavy week of action, is looking forward to proving his team is for real.
"The league is going to come down to Drumheller and us," said the coach. "We have a more explosive offence and they have a solid defence, so it should be fun.
"It going to be a tough week of football, but I'm looking forward to it."
Defensive end and offensive tackle, Kelly Corbett, agrees with his coach.
"Our only goal in these last games is to win," said Corbett "I just want us to do good and win the league championship."