Ravens squeek out win in season opener

Bantam football returned to Cold Lake, when the Ravens took the field September 7 against the Vegreville Panthers.

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After a year hiatus, Bantam football returned to Cold Lake on Saturday afternoon, September 7, when the Ravens came out with a come from behind 45-40 win over the Vegreville Panthers.

A solid crowd at Tom Varughese Memorial Field saw the visiting Panthers and the Ravens trade momentum early, but Harrison Thir’s second jaunt over the goal line with four minutes left in the first quarter gave the Ravens a 12-6 lead.

Mitchell Swansburg found Thir yet again early in the second, and the crowd saw the home team up 22-6.

But the Panthers made some adjustments in the second quarter.  They fought back, strung some drives together, and made it 22-14.  Some costly mistakes from the Ravens then allowed Vegreville to tie it at 22.

Coach Mark Bergquist said it’s to be expected the first game of the season, and nothing that can’t be corrected.

“It’s people not understanding where they’re supposed to be lining up, not understanding how things are happening… It’s typical the first week of any season.  You’re always going to have those mental errors.”

Still, he noted it was a good learning experience for the players.  “They made it hard on us, they were a really good team, for playing their first ever game.”

He said a strong offence is going to start with the QB position, a spot on the field he’s confident in.  “He’s our throwing quarterback,” he said of Swansburg, who’s actually just coming back from a broken foot suffered while playing basketball over the summer.

Bergquist noted though that Thir can also be used in that position, and as a running styled QB, gives the Ravens some depth  and Mitchell both playing quarterback.

“Liam Thomkinson is another big key to our offence.  He’s our power runner, he does a lot of the dirty work,” he said, adding it gives his staff all the core elements to build around in developing a strong team.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.  Hopefully we’ll get a couple new players, now that school’s started.  We’re really light on players.  If we can get up over 30, we’ll have some backups.”

“We’ve got a good nucleus of players with some really good athletes that can lead us.  We just have to build around that.  We just need some depth.”

Boys and girls in Grades 7 to 9 that are looking to get to hit the gridiron can visit Cold Lake Minor Football on Facebook, or call Bergquist at 780-217-5239.

 

 

 

 

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