Historic win for PK football
Senior team celebrates first victory as Blues whip O'Leary 45-0
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 06:00 am
Clarke Park – The Paul Kane Blues kicked off their second season of football with the senior team’s first victory in school history.
Felix Schmidt and Tyler Turner caught two touchdown passes apiece from Grade 11 quarterback Cory Knott in Thursday’s 45-0 throttling of the O’Leary Spartans in the season opener in the metro Edmonton league’s Carr conference.
“We didn’t even win a game last year so this means a lot for the school and the program. It’s just unbelievable,” Schmidt said. “You’ve really got to thank the coaching staff for this win. They’re great.”
The diminutive Grade 12 receiver is one of three returning players from the 0-6 Blues who celebrated the historic accomplishment.
“We’re really excited for them and the school. It’s very satisfying,” said head coach Rob Strecker. “We’ve got the monkey off our back and the season can start now.”
The majority of the Blues played junior last year for the metro league’s premier conference champions.
“To be part of the first senior win is awesome. It means so much to all the guys,” said Knott, the Grant Yuzyk Award winner as the most valuable junior player in metro last year. “I’m so proud of the guys. It’s really exciting for us for the rest of the season.
The Blues dominated a disorganized O’Leary squad that would have a hard time beating Paul Kane’s junior team.
“We basically did everything. They couldn’t stop us,” Schmidt said.
The Blues scored more points in the first quarter (20), than last year’s anemic offence mustered in six losses (18).
The defence didn’t allow a first down until the Spartans ran for 13 yards to the Paul Kane 54 with 4:37 left in the first half and the Blues up by 34 points.
“The guys really wanted it. It was exciting to see,” Strecker said. “Our defence played extremely well. They set the tempo at the beginning of the game. The offence was clicking on all cylinders, especially at the beginning. Towards the end we started to try some new things. We inserted some new people and sort of changed some things up.”
The Blues drove the opening kickoff 66 yards, culminating with a seven-yard TD run by Greg Flemming on third down and two. The seven play, 4:14 minute drive was highlighted by Schmidt’s 21-yard reception and bootlegs by Knott for gains of 17 and eight yards for first downs.
“It felt really good to get going like that to start the game,” Knott said. “We’ve been working hard the last few weeks and it all came together.”
On the first play from scrimmage by the Spartans, they fumbled the ball and Liam Sutherland recovered it at the O’Leary 32. Four plays later at the nine, Knott lobbed the ball to a wide-open Schmidt in the endzone.
Two plays earlier, Knott teamed up with Tyler Turner for a 22-yard first down strike.
The third time on offence the Blues marched 42 yards to paydirt. Knott’s 24-yard pass to Turner set up Schmidt’s 13-yard TD grab by on third down and five out of the jumbo short yardage formation.
Isaac Kong’s second convert of the game made it 20-0 with 30.2 left in the opening quarter.
Early in the second quarter Kong split the uprights from 23 yards, but a flag against the Spartans put the ball at the two. Flemming’s one-yard plunge added to the lead.
On the convert attempt, a high snap forced Turner, the holder, to roll out to his left and while pressured found Flemming in the endzone for two points.
On the following kickoff, the Spartans bobbled the ball and Johnny Goldup fell on it at the 25. On third down, Kong’s field goal attempt was unsuccessful.
With 6:30 remaining until halftime, Knott hit Schmidt with a short pass and the elusive jitterbug danced his way into the endzone. However, a penalty wiped out the 18-yard TD.
The Blues responded with a 25-yard TD catch by Turner, who reeled in Knott’s pass in front of the posts before trotting over the goal line to make it 34-0.
Knott, 16, was replaced by Schmidt at quarterback after throwing a bullet to a streaking Turner for an impressive 56-yard TD completion with 6.4 seconds left in the third quarter. Kong’s convert left the Spartans trailing by 41.
In the fourth quarter Scott Turner’s 45-yard punt return for a TD was called back because of blocking infractions.
The Blues closed out the scoring with Kong’s 20-yard field goal and Schmidt’s quick-kick punt single.
Schmidt, 17, also lined up at cornerback in the win and had two interceptions slip through his hands.
Despite the overwhelming margin of victory, Strecker cautioned the Blues are still a long ways away from challenging for a semifinal playoff spot. The Blues coughed up the ball twice on running plays, there were issues with special teams and the backups struggled filling in for the starters.
“Some of the guys need to learn the offence a little bit. They’re just not clear on what to do and that’s on us as coaches. We’ve got to make sure everyone understands what they’re supposed to do,” Strecker said.
The next game for the Blues is Thursday against the Bellerose Bulldogs (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. at Riel Recreation Park.
“If we make the same mistakes we made tonight we’re going to get crushed,” said Strecker, who avoided the post-game celebratory Gatorade bath by out-running a pair of players determined to soak their coach. “We have a lot of things to fix up and rectify for next week or it won’t be such a happy ending as it was tonight.”