COCHRANE— Friday night’s battle of Cochrane football saw the Cochrane Cobras dominate the Bow Valley Bobcats in a 54-1 landslide win at Spray Lake Sawmills Legacy Field Sept. 10.
The game was called with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter when Bow Valley threw in the towel early. Within the first quarter, a player for the Bobcats suffered a minor injury, which halted the game until an ambulance could arrive.
Both teams are in a development phase with many new players joining and others returning after taking a long hiatus due to the pandemic. Cochrane Cobras co-head coach Robbie McNab believes the players have good chemistry despite being off the field for a while.
“We definitely have a lot of new players,” McNab said. “There’s also a core group of kids that have been together since probably they were in peewee football and now they’re the 12th graders so they’ve been together a long time.”
The Cobras are currently in first-place in tier 3 Alberta high school football. They faced off against the Bert Church Chargers Sept. 3 in their season opener, taking home the win with a final score of 50-21.
Although they won their first game, McNabb said the players were racking up penalties which was something they managed to avoid this time around.
“Our flow was good,” he said. “We seemed to settle down with our assignments a little better. I think mentally they’re figuring out what we’re doing. That first game they were making some mental mistakes and were causing penalties. This week, they eliminated that mental block on some of the assignments and did a good job executing. This week was day and night from last week.”
Some players were able to nab their first touchdown of the season or as a Cobra. Running back Shaun Clazie had an impressive performance racking up three touchdowns by the second quarter of the game.
McNab said one of the biggest highlights of Friday night’s game was the atmosphere set by the community who showed up to support high school football.
“It was just people and kids and barbecue,” he said. “I mean there were tailgates — it was just a fantastic atmosphere which played right into what the kids are doing. That’s the mentality of the United States, these small towns on Friday nights are the place to be, you go to the football game.”
Principal of Bow Valley High School Jim Reilly shared this sentiment and said he was trying to do the math to figure out the last time he’d been to a match between the two teams.
“The stands were full,” he said. “It’s funny, there’s two teams and I think there’s a friendly rivalry between them, but at the end of the day, these are just kids in the same town. My favourite part of the whole game to be honest with you, was at the end when the kids were hanging out on the field and they were talking to each other, just kids being kids playing together in the same town and having fun.”
Reilly said the Bobcats have been rebuilding the team for the last couple of years so he’s proud of the performance that was put on by the players.
“The score for me was secondary,” he said. “Seeing our guys standing up and playing hard out there, holding their own, I thought it was pretty encouraging,” he said.
The Bow Valley Bobcats visit the Springbank Phoenix for their next game on Saturday (Sept. 18) at 1 p.m. The Cobras will face off against the Lakers at Chestermere High School Friday (Sept. 24) at 7 p.m.