The Cochrane High Cobras will compete in the Alberta Schools' Athletic Association (ASAA) provincial final after claiming a victory against Medicine Hat's Crescent Heights Vikings in the Tier III South final Nov. 20.
In their second blowout home game of the South provincial playoffs, the Cobras scored 42-0 with five out of six touchdowns from Grade 12 running back Shaun Clazie, securing their place in the ASAA final against the North zone's Lloydminster Holy Rosary Raiders in Edmonton next weekend.
Cobras co-head coach Robbie McNab said they are taking games in stride and have not been looking too far ahead, but with the final only a week away, things are heating up.
The Holy Rosary Raiders made a similar statement defeating St. Albert's Sturgeon Spirits 43-0 in the northern final.
"We hadn't thought about it a lot until right this second," McNab said. "It's getting real, it's gonna be a tough one. They're a very, very good football team up there. The record we have against them is in our favour right now but it's gonna be a good match up."
The Cobras are looking to earn their seventh consecutive win at provincials, where they have competed against the Raiders in the last five out of six games.
In the last 15 years, excluding 2020, the Cobras have played in 13 provincial finals. They lost only twice in that timeframe - once to Westaskiwin in 2006 and to Stettler in 2011.
It has been about two years since the Raiders and the Cobras have had the chance to meet on the gridiron with COVID-19 cancelling the entire 2020 season. McNab said that the players and coaches are grinding it out at practice so they are ready for anything.
"The biggest thing you try to do is just compete in practice a lot, to be ready for that competition and any situation... I think the guys and coaches, we see what the end result can be and that's where we want to be."
The team has kept a tight grip on their top ranking in the Tier this year, losing only one game in the regular season by a single point to the George McDougall Mustangs in Airdrie.
Grade 10 offensive and defensive lineman Mateo Andrews said he feels fortunate to be part of a team that has made its mark over the years.
"It feels great," he said. "And we're really lucky to be playing."
The Cobras will face the Raiders for the provincial championship at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26 at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, according to the ASAA playoff schedule.