A hot toe stuck out like a sore thumb in Wheatland Football League action at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School on Oct. 8.
Lloydminster Barons kicker Mitch Andony scored all of his team’s points in a notable effort, despite losing 32-12 to the visiting Holy Rosary Raiders.
The win at Armstrong Field gives the Raiders a perfect 6-0 record and dropped the Barons to 4-2.
Raiders’ coach Vince Orieux gave a nod to Andony’s kicking prowess at half time, but he spoke first about what gave his team a 20-9 lead at the break.
“Hard work. Kids are battling out there and winning some of the small battles on the line,” said Orieux. “That’s going to get us a long way.”
As for Andony’s hot toe, Orieux said, “Mitch is doing a lot of work. He always does a lot of work. He’s a good athlete.”
The game was played under perfect conditions for kickers with no wind and clear sunny skies.
The Raiders opened the scoring in the first quarter with a short run over the goal line by Quinn McPherson for a touchdown. The point after attempt failed to keep the score 6-0.
Andony responded for the Barons in the opening quarter with his first of four field goalsÂ to make it 6-3 but that’s as close as the Barons got. They ran into penalty troubles and sloppy play in the early going.
Raiders quarterback Tommy Yanchuck scored a TD early in the second quarter to up the ante to 12-3. Yanchuck followed that up by calling his own number for a draw play for another TD to make it 18-3. A two-point conversion by Garret Kryzanowski put the Raiders at 20-3 before Andony’s second field goal shaved the score to 20-6.
With just seconds remaining in the quarter, Andony’s toe connected for his third field goal to bring the score to 20-9 for the Raiders.
Barons coach Aaron Harper was unfazed with his team falling behind at the half and knew what his team needed to do to right the ship in the second half.
“We’re right in this thing. We just need to take care of penalties and take care of turnovers and we’re going to be fine,” he said.
“Our guys are playing hard and playing well. They are a very good team. We just have to clean a few things up and we’re going to be OK.”
The Raiders’ Justin Millar dashed those plans early in third quarter converting a pass from Yanchuck for a TD. The two point conversion try failed, to make the score 26-9 for the visitors with about one minute left in the quarter.
It was a nightmare start to the fourth quarter for the Barons with an interception by Raider Justin Millar that led to another TD by Yanchuck who carried over for the six points making the game 32-9 and out of reach for the opposition.
Andony made it 32-12 with his final field goal for the Barons.
Raiders’ coach Orieux attributes the victory to execution and some luck.
“Our kids got off on both sides of the ball. We had a game play and we stuck with it - couple of bigs plays - a lucky catch there that a kid hung on to and an interception down to the one-yard line,” he said.
“There are two or three plays that make a difference and that’s all it is. When you get two close teams it’s going to be a couple of lucky breaks.”
The Barons’ next game will take place Oct. 17 at Amrstong Field against the Bonnyville Voyageurs in quarter-final action. As for the Raiders’ next opponent coach Orieux said, “We have a bye, then we play the winner of these guys and (Bonnyville) in the semifinal. We play on the 23rd against whoever.”