Bengals enter playoffs on a high
Football: Big Rock closes regular season with first win
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
Winning cures everything in football.
The Big Rock Bengals completed an emotional 180 at the optimum time, picking up the first victory in team history in their Calgary Area Midget Football Association regular season finale by downing the Cochrane Lions 42-27 on Thursday.
“The whole demeanour changed when we got about halfway through the fourth quarter and they knew there was a possibility we were going to win,” said Bengals head coach Bruce Marlow. “They were on top of the world.
“It makes a big difference. First-year club, you can end the season on a high and go into the playoffs.”
The Bengals coach challenged his offence to put points on the board against a Lions outfit very capable of doing the same. And the message was heeded by the black-and-green.
“I guessed before the game even started that we would be in a 45 to 30 game to beat these guys because they’re a real good team offensively,” Marlow said. “The kids lit it up pretty good on offence.
“All year long we’ve been close, but for a first year club and having the least amount of players our kids have pulled through quite a few times. It’s just they couldn’t take it when we got to the third quarter most games because they were just so tired.”
Not on this evening.
Leading the offensive charge was the two-pronged running attack of tailback Brenden Hansen and slotback Daylon Creason.
“Brenden was just miraculous... he was getting three or four more yards by running into guys,” Marlow said. “All of our guys were there so that made a huge difference.
“You look at the points and say ‘well the defence didn’t play that well’, but the defence did.”
Behind centre, Grade 9 quarterback and Okotokian Blake Klotz filled in admirably for primary starter Peter Zajdel.
“He’s just a young kid, he’s our future for what we need to do,” Marlow said. “We just needed to make sure we got through this game and we did.”
The win gave the Bengals (1-5) a bye through round one as the sixth seed in the Parkinson Division and sets up a second-round Division 2 playoff date with the Calgary Hilltoppers on May 22.
“We’re the only team in the league that gets a bye so that worked out nicely,” Marlow said. “The Hilltoppers have got a great running back and a great middle linebacker. They had two wins, we had one win.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing as long as you make it into the playoffs.”
The winner advances to the Division II championship one week later.
Kick-off for the Bengals’ first playoff game in franchise history is 7 p.m. at Shouldice Park in NW Calgary.