Stars in final
St. Albert plays Calgary Gators for Alberta Football League title
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Stars are one win away from going to the national final as the Alberta Football League champions after Sunday’s playoff triumph in Lacombe.
Craig Carr, a former Canadian Football League running back, rushed for 78 yards on 15 carries and James Quigley caught two passes for 102 yards in the 15-3 semifinal win over the Central Alberta Buccaneers.
Quarterback Troy Pappas scored two touchdowns on runs of three and two yards and was 8-for-15 in passing for 174 yards.
The Stars were unsuccessful on three field-goal attempts but picked up a single point off one of the misses.
“We had good ball control and didn’t have any offensive turnovers,” Pappas said.
The Stars picked off four passes, led by linebacker Terrik Carter’s 46-yard return to the Bucs’ 12-yard line.
Linebacker Keith Matchem, the AFL’s leading tackler, cornerback Richard Daniels and halfback Devaughan Harper also recorded interceptions.
Defensive end Aaron McComish gave the Bucs fits with eight tackles and three sacks.
“Our defensive scheme, led by Michael Bryski, was unbreakable,” Pappas said.
In league play the Bucs finished second at 5-1 and the Stars tied for third at 3-3.
On the road the Stars beat the Bucs 29-27 in exhibition play and lost 46-14 in the regular season.
The 5-3 Stars will challenge the 8-0 Calgary Gators for the AFL title Saturday. Kickoff is 4:30 p.m. at Genesis Place in Airdrie.
The AFL champions will travel to play the Sault Ste. Marie Steelers or the Montreal Transit of the National Football Conference for the Canadian crown. The date for the big game had not been confirmed at press time.
In the last game before the playoffs the Gators defeated the Stars 17-12 in Calgary. The Stars fell behind early at 14-0. Mike Goldring kicked a 45-yard field goal with six seconds left in the first half to put the Stars on the board.
In the second half, Erik Kyler pulled off one of his three pick-six of the season. On the two-point conversion, Pappas hit Goldring in the back of the endzone.
On the ensuing kick off Goldring booted the ball through the endzone for the single to make it 14-12.
After the Gators added a field goal to go up by five, the Stars marched the ball into Calgary territory with time winding down. On third down at the 12 with 46 seconds to play, the Stars were unable to gain the first down to end the game.