Blues peaking for playoffs
Metro Edmonton junior football champions aim to repeat
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 06:00 am
The Paul Kane Blues are feeling the heat to duplicate last year’s championship season in metro Edmonton junior football.
“Is there pressure? Definitely,” said Theo Block, a Grade 11 slotback and defensive halfback. “Every winning team wants to repeat and there is expectations from the rest of the league that we’ll be good too.”
Block believes the Blues are peaking towards a repeat after their third win in four games in Tuesday’s 50-6 dominating performance against the St. Albert Hawks at Riel Recreation Park.
“We’re going to get there in time. We’ll get to the top right when the playoffs get here,” he said.
The victory nailed down a spot in the Nov. 1 premier semifinals.
“It’s a good confidence builder too, especially since they’re city rivals. After we lost to Bellerose (32-7) it’s good to know we’re not the lowest team,” Block said.
The Sept. 18 setback to the Bellerose Bulldogs (4-0) marked the first loss in league play by the Blues in the junior program’s two-year history.
Both teams are expected to cross paths in the Nov. 8 final.
The Blues are tied with the St. Joseph Saints (4-1) in the league standings after handing the Hawks their fourth loss of the year and the 10th since the 2010 regular season
“Any win is a good win,” Block said.
The Blues racked up 50 unanswered points after the Hawks opened the scoring with a one-yard run on second down. The touchdown was set up by a punt return to the one.
“It started off kind of bad for us and then it was uphill from there,” Block said. “It started off two and out and then we had a bad kick cover and then our goal line stand didn’t work.”
On the next series, quarterback Shaydon Philip hit Block for a 43-yard TD.
Three plays later, John Pharis returned a punt 70 yards into the endzone.
Four plays after the TD, the Blues blocked a punt and took possession at the Hawks’ eight and Philip scrambled in for the major.
On the first play of the second quarter, Block reeled in a 35-yard TD pass from Philip. It was only the third day of experience with the offensive unit for Block.
“It was a fun game,” said the first-year Paul Kane player.
The fifth Paul Kane score was a five-yard burst by Kieran Porter for his fourth TD in two games.
The next series by the Blues took only one play as Philip teamed up with Fawad Qadiri on a 45-yard TD pass.
A missed convert made it 41-6 at the half.
The rest of the game was played with running time. The Blues played their backups and kept the ball on the ground, mainly between the tackles.
The Hawks gave up a safety after recovering a Paul Kane fumble inside the 10 and the last TD by the Blues was a nine-yard pass by Philip to Michael Ludwig.
The Blues are back on the field Tuesday against the Austin O’Brien Crusaders (1-3). Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Clarke Park.
The Hawks also line up Tuesday against the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. at the Riel turf field.