Football Playoffs, Game of the Week - Written by Kram Staff on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 23:32 - 0 Comments
Pride March on to Div. I Final
The Notre Dame Pride continued their habit of making the game of football look easy during Tuesday night’s semi-final victory over the Bishop O’Byrne Bobcats.
And let’s face it, nobody is surprised that they moved past the Bobcats to earn another trip to the division one final. Some people may not even be surprised at the lopsided numbers on the scoreboard that showed the Pride winning the game 59-0. That’s just the 2012 Pride being the 2012 Pride.
The truth is, the Pride haven’t been surprising anyone since this football season kicked off. Their unbelievable steamroll through Calgary’s top division of high school football became a predicable weekly butt-kicking over whichever opponent happened to be lining up on the other side of the pigskin.
The Pride will move on to face the Henry Wise Wood Warriors, who defeated the St. Francis Browns in a gritty and physical 21-13 victory.
To the Bobcat’s credit, they never laid down and waived the white flag in surrender. They fought bravely right up until the last play of the game despite clearly being outmatched in talent and experience.
They can also take pride in holding the Pride to only three points in the second half. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to make up for the Pride’s 56 points in the first half.
If the Pride would have struggled out of the gate it would have been understandable considering they hadn’t play a meaningful football game since October 19th thanks to a default victory over the Western Canada Redmen in the last week of the season.
The extended break left Pride head coach Dave Diluzio unsure of how his team’s start in an important playoff game.
Needless to say, he was please by the effort his soldiers put forth.
“It was almost surreal because we haven’t played for such a long time,” explained Diluzio. “We were doing things in practice over the last couple of weeks where we had kids run in and off and play in different groups because we haven’t played in such a long time.”
“I think with some groups of kids it would be a bad thing but with this group of kids, we just practiced and kept going, implemented some new things and really looked at what we were doing on both sides of the ball. It kind of gave us a chance to work on getting better on those things.”
“Obviously we’re very happy how we played the first half today and the reality is that we know on Saturday we’ll have St. Francis or Henry Wise Wood and they’re going to be ready for us and we’re going to have to play our best football.”
In a reversal of the lengthy prep time for Tuesday night’s semifinal matchup, Diluzio and his coaching staff will have just a couple of games to prepare for the Warriors, a team that always seems to play their best football when the games matter most.
“The neat thing is you don’t really have a lot of time to prepare because we can’t do too much tomorrow because we just played a game then it’s Saturday so there will be a lot of burning the midnight oil tonight and tomorrow,” said Diluzio.
“Wise Wood is so athletic, they have guys that can run everywhere.”
As for the Bobcats, they knew coming into this season that they were unlikely to defend the title they won last year. After fielding a stacked lineup last season they knew that this season would be a transition year. Their squad was made up mainly of first-year seniors. The good news for them is that their players received some real-time education on what it takes to win.
“In the last little while we’ve been blessed enough to have kids that play in Midget, playing seven months out of the year and you’ve got a roster full of starters,” said Bobcats head coach Derek MacCready. “This year was a little bit different in that regard, so we tried to grow some athletes, tried to grow a game and for the most part we were able to do that.”
MacCready also recognizes a good football team when he sees it, and he’s thoroughly impressed by the calibre of football currently being played by the Pride.
“It had a lot to do with the fact that that football team over there is probably the best football team in the Province, they’ve proved that, but they’re probably the best football team to come out of Calgary in a long time,” said MacCready. “They are really, really good, and for me it’s a kudos to Dave Diluzio.”
“We knocked them off last year and he goes out and raises the bar. That’s the impressive part for me as a coach, is knowing that I have to compete against teams that just keep raising the bar. That’s what you want, you want to be a better and better coach, you want to be better and better teams, we’ve got that going in Calgary. St. Francis is a great example, Wise Wood is a great example and we’re a good example in that we were able to raise the bar for them last year. There are some really good football teams here in Calgary right now.”
The best football is yet to come. The Pride and the Warriors square off Saturday evening at 4pm at Shouldice.