Drillers still drilling for win

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The Grande Prairie Drillers dropped a 25-0 decision to the St. Albert Stars in Alberta Football League action at CKC Field on Saturday night.

With the loss the Drillers drop to 0-4 on the season. The team has scored only 23 points in their four games. 
“We started off well, we were in it, and it’s the usual, we didn’t execute and we just shot ourselves in the foot,” said Drillers head coach John Park.
And what Park said was no more evident than in the fourth quarter.
The Drillers were down 19-0 to start the final stanza, but had two excellent opportunities to narrow the gap on the deficit.
The club had the rock inside the Stars’ 30-yard line on two separate occasions and failed to get points both times.
The possession that put a lid on the teams’ enthusiasm started at the Stars’ 33-yard line with 14:03 remaining in the game, eventually stalling out when they turned the ball over on downs at the two after a third down quarterback keeper by Rylee Peters was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
One possession later, the Drillers had the ball at the visitors’ 30-yard line, but an incomplete pass, a sack and a blocked field goal stalled the drive. 
The game was put on ice soon after the blocked field-goal when Stars quarterback Troy Pappas found paydirt on a 26-yard pass that made the score 25-0 with 4:26 left in the fourth. 
The Drillers also had the ball inside the Stars’ 30-yard line twice in the first half, but a turnover on downs and a blocked field goal left them sorely wanting.
“The big thing is those little plays really affect the team,” Park said. “ For us to be in the redzone and not executing multiple times, that brings down the whole unit.”
When the field gets compressed Drillers offensive co-ordinator Trace Griko tends to run the ball more because the passing windows are narrow and running is a better option. The club was shorthanded early on and it cost them late.
“We had seven linemen to start and two went down with injuries so we were down to five linemen,” Griko said. “It’s hot and it wears on the line, especially when it get inside the 20-yard line and you want to run the ball and the defence knows it.”
For the second game running Rylee Peters got the start behind centre and he was one of the bright spots on offence. 
His scrambling ability was a major factor.
On the second series of the second quarter, Peters gained 55-yards on two run plays. The drive eventually stalled on the Stars’ 39-yard line after a third and three run play was stuffed.
And with 5:09 left in the second, Peters took the team on a nine-play, most of the yardage coming on a scramble-run for big yards, combined with a 15-yard personal foul penalty that prevented Peters from scoring. That drive eventually stalled at the St. Albert 18-yard line after a fumble.
“Peters was going to be our quarterback going into the season but he had some stuff come up and he told us he wasn’t going to play so it was Jordon (Fersch who was set to take the reins of the offence),” Griko said. “Peters came back week three and said he’d figured out his personal life and he was ready to go and we slotted him in there.”
Peters seems especially adept at the short-pass, read-option kind of game. It seems to suit his style, especially when he gets to the edge and he has the option to run or pass.
But the Drillers can’t overuse their No. 1 option, even though the offence needs more options.
“You want to be able to utilize him but you don’t want to get him to get hurt,” Griko said. … He gets out of bounds when he needs to, for the most part.  There was a couple of times where I wished he had got down quicker but we’ll look at the film and go over that. He’s just trying to make a play.”