TABER – The payback the Canmore Wolverines wanted to dish out last weekend will have to wait after the WR Myers Rebels knocked the local football team out of the playoffs again.
The Wolverines’ season ended after a 35-22 loss on Saturday (Nov. 12) in Taber during the first round of the Tier 4 southern Alberta playoffs. Last year, the Rebels were also responsible for putting an end to the Wolverines post-season ambitions.
But despite the loss, head coach Spencer Rose said there is a positive outlook coming out of this season and he told the team to “hold your heads high.”
“We competed until the last whistle,” said Rose. “From where we were at the start of this season and had trouble scoring, to the point where we wound up here, we put up three touchdowns against a pretty good team and a pretty good defence.”
Running into the end zone for Canmore were Bryton Kapitza, Sam Oshanyk, and Kai Perron.
In the first quarter, the Rebels went up 14-0, but the Wolverines cut the lead to six going into the second quarter after a kick-off return touchdown by Kapitza, and subsequent two-point conversion.
Midway through the second, the Wolverines took a 16-14 lead after quarterback Nico Hornyansky connected with a deep touchdown pass to receiver Oshanyk. Before half, the Rebels regained the lead, going up 21-16.
"I thought it was probably the best first half of football we played all year," said slot receiver Silas Legault. "We went into the locker room knowing these guys were going to come back out pissed because they were losing to us and we knew we had to keep up the intensity for the full game."
In second half, the Rebels came out swinging and utilized their running attack on the Wolverines, adding two touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters. Toward the end of regulation, the Wolverines marched down the field and all-star running back Perron punched in the team’s final touchdown.
Following the game, Rose praised safety Alex Scurfield and lineman Keithan Simeon, who returned from injuries for the playoffs.
As the campaign ended, Rose added it has been difficult to say goodbye to the graduating class. Rose took over as head coach in 2019 when the seniors were in Grade 9s, coaching them from the start of their high school careers to the end.
Legault, a Grade 12 player, said after the game he and the seniors were talking when "coach Spence" came over to them.
"He said he's still coaching us here because he truly loves the game of football and the connection he makes with the players that come through," Legault said. "I really didn't see it from his perspective before that and I understand why he keeps coming out despite not since 2018 really making a deep run in the playoffs."
Rose said it was an "absolute pleasure" to coach the young men.
“That’s the one part of coaching that never gets easier is every year saying goodbye to the group of seniors especially tough," he said.
The Rebels face the Drumheller Titans in the Southern Alberta finals.