South Peace News
The High Prairie Outlaws tasted victory for the first time in their third season in the Peace Country Bantam Football League as they blasted the Grande Prairie Raiders 64-0 on the road Oct. 20.
“We finally did it,” head coach Tom Duchesneau says.
“I am so proud of everyone on the team, they all put in 100 per cent effort and were very focused throughout the entire game.”
The win clinched sixth place in the seven-team league to advance High Prairie to its first playoff game when they visited the third-place Grande Prairie Norsemen on Oct 24.
“The first win for the Outlaws was a big one for the team and also for the High Prairie football program,” says Duches- neau, who announced at the start of the season that it would be his final with the Outlaws after three years.
The future of local football may have appeared in question with no previous wins by the Outlaws or from the high school High Prairie Renegades, who ceased operations for the season Oct. 4. The Renegades were winless in four seasons in the Mighty Peace Football Conference.
On the field, the Outlaws took charge early and controlled the game.
“We scored on our first drive and never looked back,” Duches- neau says.
Austin Kerekanich scored four touchdowns and five two-point converts to lead the attack.
Raiden Duchesneau and quarterback Jace Supernault carried the ball for two majors each and Ethan Haussler added one touchdown.
High Prairie led 30-0 after the first quarter and 44-0 at halftime in a battle of the bottom two teams.
Up next, the Outlaws lost 34-14 in the playoff game to the Norsemen who beat High Prairie 20-8 in the second game of the season Sept. 8.
Kerekanich scored in the second quarter before Drae L’Hirondelle ran an interception into the end zone as the Outlaws led 14-13 at the half.
“Everyone, including the coaches, was a little nervous at the start of the game and we found ourselves down 13-0 early,” Duchesneau says.
“We settled in and had a great second quarter.”
The Norsemen rebounded and took charge the second half, which deflated the Outlaws, the coach says.
“Our players were pretty upset with themselves and obviously were not very happy with the outcome of the game, which shows how much they cared and how hard they worked throughout the game,” Duchesneau says.
He adds the players represented the community well with the results and efforts of the final games.
“They need to hold their heads high and be proud of their accomplishments this year,” Duchesneau says.
“The team made great improvement and proven that High Prairie has many great athletes who can come together and play with the best teams in the league.”
Ending the season on a high note, the Outlaws show a positive future for local football, he says. Most of the players are eligible to play for the Renegades next season.
“As the players and coaches gain more experience, I am confident that we will continue to improve and put High Prairie on the map as a great football town,” Duchesneau says.
“We had such a great group of players this year, everyone was very dedicated and very respectful to their teammates and coaches.
“It was such a great experience for myself and the other coaches to work with them and be part of their success this year.”
He adds the community was a key partner in the program.
“We really appreciated all the community support and encouragement this season,” Duchesneau says.
After their first win and playoff game in history, the Outlaws finished with a record of 1-5 in the regular season that showed improved and respectful scores on the field.
Overall, the Outlaws were outscored 133-112 in the regular season, an average of 22-19.