The Battle of St. Albert between the Bellerose Bulldogs and Paul Kane Blues kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. at Riel Recreation Park.
Last year, the Blues prevailed 6-3 with a pair of field goals by Rosario Cammarata in the pouring rain and nasty wind.
It was the first showdown between the Paul Kane and Bellerose senior teams since 2012, a 26-6 win for the Bulldogs in the second year for the Paul Kane football program after serving as a feeder school for the St. Albert High Skyhawks’ football team.
The Carr conference division one teams huddled up Friday in the metro Edmonton league but scores were unavailable at press time
The Bulldogs (1-3) hosted the Jasper Place Rebels (2-2) and the Blues (1-2) tackled the Austin O’Brien Crusaders (2-1) at Clarke Park.
The Bulldogs and Rebels are unranked in Tier I (1,250-plus students).
The top six out of seven Tier I teams in the Carr standings qualify for the Championship Saturday playoffs Nov. 5 to determine the three metro teams for the Nov. 12 provincial north semifinals in Edmonton.
The Bulldogs were coming off a 27-12 loss to AOB in St. Albert.
It was 14-4 AOB at halftime despite almost 250 yards of offence for the Bulldogs while controlling the clock. AOB basically ran only two plays in the first quarter and they were a 106-yard touchdown run and a fumble.
The second lengthy drive of the quarter for the Bulldogs ended with a 15-yard Ben VanLeeuwen field goal to trail 7-3.
Midway through the second quarter, on third and one from midfield, an audible by the AOB quarterback out of run formation resulted in a quick slant pass to the slotback for the TD.
The Bulldogs also missed two field goals and settled for a single before halftime.
Three times the Bulldogs were inside the AOB 10 in the first half but could only muster four points.
The opening half featured a balanced attack, with Brett Yost and Colton Meronyk leading the rushing attack and big grabs by Travis Heggart.
In the third quarter, another long run by AOB’s main running back made it 20-4.
With three minutes left in the game the Bulldogs finally capitalized on offence, as quarterback Quade Kozak connected with slotback Logan McCullough for an 11-yard TD strike. Kozak also ran in the two-point conversion. Leading up to the TD was a 38-yard completion by Kozak to Cordel Callioux, who played for the junior Blues last year.
AOB replied with another rushing TD after Meronyk fumbled away the ball on a bone-jarring hit.
Kozak finished 13-for-25 passing for 171 yards and Callioux was 7-for-9 for 58 yards. The 229 yards in the air is more than the Bulldogs had in their three previous games combined.
Heggart was the top receiver with six catches for 68 yards and Yost had four grabs out of the backfield for 43 yards.
Yost also gained 63 yards on 10 carries and Meronyk collected 60 yards on nine handoffs.
Chase Larose racked up 10 tackles to lead the defence.
AOB is ranked seventh in Tier II (750 to 1,249 students) and the outcome against the unranked Blues should determine which team plays the St. Joseph’s Celtics of Grande Prairie of the Mighty Peace league and the region seven Wheatland/Fort McMurray rep in the Nov. 12 provincial north semifinals in Edmonton. AOB and the Blues are the only Tier II teams in the Carr.
St. Albert’s bantam and peewee teams grace the gridiron today in the Capital District Minor Football Association.
Kick-off times for the bantams at the Millwoods Turf Field are 12:30 p.m. between the senior varsity 49ers (3-0) and Edmonton Mustangs (1-2) and 3 p.m. between the junior varsity Fury (0-3) and Millwoods Grizzlies (2-1).
In peewee action, the senior varsity Riders (2-1) huddle up at Millwoods against the Mustangs (3-0) at 10 a.m. in the Bright Division and the junior varsity Colts (1-2) travel to Camrose to play the Buffaloes (3-0) at 12:30 p.m. in the Fryer Division.
The next junior game for the Paul Kane Blues is Tuesday against the Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds.
Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Clarke Park.
Shep is 0-2 and the Blues are 1-1 in the metro Edmonton pool B standings after this week’s 44-6 decision against the O’Leary Spartans (0-2) at Clarke Park.
On the horizon is the junior Battle of St. Albert between the Blues and the four-time defending division one champion Bellerose Bulldogs (2-0) Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in St. Albert.