CANMORE – The Canmore Wolverines are done with “moral victories” this season.
A late second half surge from the local high school football team wasn't enough, as the Wolverines lost its third game of the season, 20-15, to the Strathmore Spartans on Friday (Sept. 20) at Millennium Field.
Albert Reed and Alfie Phillips scored the Wolverines’ two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
#Canmore Wolverine Albert Reed runs in a 4th quarter TD against the #Strathmore Spartans, but it wasn’t enough, as the Wolverines lose 20-15 and fall to 1-3. @WolverinesCan @FootballAlberta #football pic.twitter.com/JW3j741owO— Jordan Small (@jordiesmall) September 21, 2019
Penalties have troubled the Wolverines this season and against the Spartans was no different. A bad fourth quarter penalty, resulting in a 75-yard punt return from Phillips to be called back, was a contributing factor in the loss.
It was the fourth time this season that Phillips had one of his touchdowns called back due to a penalty on the play.
“It gets frustrating, but I look at it this way, everyone makes mistakes and you look at it as learning opportunities,” Phillips said. “Even though it’s been a bit of consistency on mistakes, but I look forward to try and score more and get all our team’s players in there.”
With one win at Olds, the Wolverines are winless at home this season (0-3). The called-back touchdown could have been the difference in the five-point game, said Wolverines head coach, Spencer Rose, who acknowledged the team has discipline problems.
“It’s something that’s been dogging us for a few years,” Rose said. “We have a bit of a discipline issue that’s getting corrected.”
After getting “slapped around” in the first half and finding themselves in a 20 point hole, which included two “deflating touchdowns” in the second quarter’s final minute, the Wolverines came out in the second half with a “fire under their asses."
Led by a “monster” runner and focal point of the Wolverines offence, Reed’s determination to push for extra yards on carries helped inspire the Wolverines’ second half turnaround.
“We got a truck back there at running back,” Rose said of Reed. “Albert’s a guy who runs hard and he’s a guy we want to feed.”
With Reed and Phillips making plays and the Wolverines offence “starting to gel,” the final 24 minutes were owned by the Wolverines, but the team's penalties finally caught up to them.
Though the Wolverines fell short, Rose was fired up after the game and said the second half effort spoke to the team’s character.
“They played hard and showed a lot of heart and a lot pride,” Rose said. “I just told them, ‘fantastic moral victory right now, but this is the last moral victory of the season. I want victories going forward.' "
On Saturday (Sept. 28), it’s a rematch of last year’s southern Alberta’s championship when the Wolverines travel to Taber to battle the W.R. Myers Rebels (1-2).
Last November, the Wolverines won a tense game against the Rebels to advance to the provincial finals, where they slayed the St. Paul Lions.