Metro Edmonton high school football kicks off Thursday with the Battle of St. Albert between the Paul Kane Blues and St. Albert High Skyhawks.
The Miles division two season opener starts at 5 p.m. at Riel Recreation Park. Admission is $5.
Last year the Blues administered one of the worst beatings in the history of St. Albert high school football while torching the Skyhawks for 11 touchdowns and 700 yards of total offence in the 78-14 bombardment.
In previous showdowns the Skyhawks were victorious 14-10 in 2012 and 15-0 in 2011 in the first Battle of St. Albert between the crosstown rivals after Paul Kane served as a feeder program for the St. Albert Catholic High School’s junior and senior teams.
The Blues are coming off a memorable 10-1 campaign as Miles champions and Tier II (750 to 1,249 students) north finalists. The only loss was 32-0 to the Carr division one Austin O’Brien Crusaders with a Tier II provincial berth at stake.
The Blues were ranked second in Tier II going into the north playoffs.
The Skyhawks finished 4-4 as Miles quarter-finalists and in Tier III (449 or less students) they were ranked 10th provincially.
The Bellerose Bulldogs roar into action Friday against the Jasper Place Rebels in metro Edmonton high school football.
Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Johnny Bright Park.
The Carr division one lid-lifter is also part of the Jasper Place High School homecoming festivities.
Last year the Bulldogs were 4-5 overall after knocking off the Rebels 23-21 in the quarter-finals before losing the semifinal 14-0 to the Salisbury Sabres, the eventual Carr champions.
The only St. Albert team in the division one was ranked ninth in Tier I (1,250-plus students) after the Carr playoffs.
The Bulldogs’ roster includes players from Sturgeon Composite High School.
In exhibition action last weekend the Bulldogs travelled to California to play the Arrowhead Christian Academy Eagles in Redlands and lost 32-7 under American 11-man rules.
The Bulldogs led 7-0 after the first quarter on Morgan Sherban’s touchdown pass to Eric Calkins and Nick Cowan kicked the conversion. At halftime the Bulldogs trailed 20-7.
Sherban (2013 division three MVP with the Gilfillan champion Fort Saskatchewan Sting) and Trace Stuht (2013 junior MVP in pool B for the undefeated metro Edmonton division one champion Bulldogs) split time at quarterback. Seth Waselenchuk was the top receiver for the Bulldogs with six catches for 50 yards.
Saturday the Bellerose Bulldogs host a six-team junior jamboree at Riel Recreation Park.
The controlled scrimmages start at 3 p.m. between the Bulldogs, undefeated the last two years as the metro Edmonton junior division one champions, Paul Kane Blues, Bev Facey Falcons and the St. Francis Browns and Henry Wise Wood Warriors of Calgary.
League play starts Tuesday for the Blues and St. Albert Hawks at the Riel turf field. In pool B the Blues tackle the St. Joseph Saints at 5 p.m. and Hawks host the Memorial Marauders at 7:30 p.m.
Last year the Blues finished 4-2 as division one quarter-finalists and the Hawks were 1-6 as division two semifinalists.
The Bulldogs also huddle up Tuesday in exhibition action against Bev Facey at 7:30 p.m. at Sherwood Park. The pool B opener is Sept. 16 against the Hawks at 6 p.m. in St. Albert.
The Bulldogs finished 7-0 last year after defeating the Jasper Place Rebels 21-17 in a thrilling division one final.
Last week the Blues hosted a lineup of Grade 10 and 11 players from the senior Leduc Tigers in a controlled scrimmage with special teams and won 42-28. The halftime score was 35-14.
Jesse Lessard took the opening kickoff 60 yards and three plays later Keaton Zaychkowsky, a bantam standout with the 2013 St. Albert Fury (Tier I Capital District playoff finalists and provincial semifinalists) walked into the endzone untouched from seven yards out.
Before halftime the Blues scored four more times on an 11-yard run by fullback Jamison Enger, TD passes by Anthony Beaulieu to Matt Schaaf (40 yards) and Joey Strakowitz (34 yards) and a nifty 40-yard run by Zaychkowsky while deking out half of the Leduc defence on his way into the endzone.
The second half was more defensive orientated as Roberto Parrotta and Damon Strembiski pulled off big plays in the secondary.
Enger switched to quarterback and hit Alden Young for a TD to close out the scoring.