Though they weren't the first team to put points up on the scoreboard, the Cochrane High Cobras football team showed the Bow Valley Bobcats who's still boss in town on Sept. 16, coasting to a 54-3 victory over their local rivals.
The Bobcats came out with a long-distance field goal on just their second snap of the game to take a 3-0 lead and bring Bow Valley fans to their feet, but the Cobras responded with an offensive flurry. Led by touchdowns from Ethan Clazie, Jaxson Rego, and Chase Hunter, Cochrane jumped out to a 35-3 lead midway through the second quarter and didn't look back from there.
“They came out, completed that long pass, and that field-goal kicker – wow, it was quite the kick,” said Cobras head coach Rob McNab, of the Bobcats' opening field goal. “I don’t know if it ‘woke us up.’ That kid is a good player. They threw the ball up, he caught it. Those things are going to happen in a game at any given time. We didn’t have the ball yet, but it was good for [Bow Valley].”
Bow Valley head coach Dustin Paul said the Bobcats came into the game behind the eight-ball right from the get-go, as their starting quarterback was injured at the last minute.
"That didn't help the situation much, but starting the way we did helped a lot," he said. "[Cochrane] was throwing out a whole bunch of stuff we didn't have the chance to see on film. That can be expected anytime Cochrane High and Bow Valley play. There are going to be plays that neither team has seen yet.
Despite being undefeated thus far, Cochrane is only second in the RVSA standings with a 3-0 record. The W.H. Croxford Cobras are currently leading the way with a 4-0 record.
The Cobras' next regular-season opponent will be the George McDougall Mustangs Sept. 23. After that, Cochrane will face the struggling Springbank Phoenix (who, after two losses, are still seeking their first league win this year) and the Cavaliers to cap off the regular season.
From there, it will be time to focus on the RVSA playoffs – but McNab said it's still too early to start thinking about that.
“What we do, honestly, is go week to week. I know it’s a bit of a cliché saying, but that’s what we do,” he said. “We had a meeting last night and we’re focused on George Mac. We’ll get through that game and then obviously we’ll focus on Springbank after that. Our long-term goal is to get where we want to be, but you have to take those steps in the right process.”
The Cobras will certainly have a bone to pick with George McDougall, who handed the Cochranites their first loss against RVSA opposition since 2014 last year.
McNab admitted he's aware of the recent successes both the Mustangs and the Cavaliers have enjoyed this season. The two Airdrie teams are both listed on Football Alberta's top 10 provincial rankings for Tier II teams. The Cavaliers are unbeaten, and while the Mustangs are only 1-1 in the regular season so far, the Airdrie squad has beaten teams from both Grande Prairie and Strathmore in exhibition games.
“I’ve watched some film on George Mac because that’s our next opponent but haven’t really watched Croxford yet, but good on them,” McNab said. “They have a good, dedicated group of young coaches and I think they’re heading in the right direction. They’ve got some good athletes and I noticed on both those teams, they have some nice size. They have some big athletic kids.”
Bobcats prep for Lakers
As for Bow Valley, the Bobcats will look to regroup in their upcoming battle on the road against the Chestermere Lakers Sept. 23.
Paul said even though their result was lopsided against Cochrane last week, and though the Bobcats are still seeking their first win of 2022, the team has a good chance of reversing their fortunes this Friday.
"I think we'll definitely put on a pretty good show and I really think our game on Friday is a winnable game," he said. "It just comes down to execution – whoever executes better, at the end of the day, is going to be who wins the game."
For local high-school football scores, schedules, and other info, visit rvsa.rockyview.ab.ca