Grande Prairie Broncos earn dominating win over High Prairie Outlaws

Anton Grassl of the Grande Prairie Broncos lumbers down the left sideline in Mighty Peace Bantam Football League action at CKC Field on Tuesday night. The locals picked up a 71-0 win over the High Prairie Outlaws. The Broncs finish the regular season on Saturday afternoon against the Wembley Bulldogs. Gordon Anderson / Daily Herald Tribune

Share Adjust Comment Print

When a team wins a game so one-sided, it’s hard to decide what stands out the most for the victor and not the vanquished.

The Grande Prairie Broncos picked up a 71-0 win over the High Prairie Outlaws in Mighty Peace Bantam Football League action at CKC Field on Tuesday night.

The Broncos finish off the regular season on Saturday against the Wembley Bulldogs.
The offence, especially the running duo of Anton Grassl and James Switzer, was one bright aspects on a night where a number of players did a number of good things, according to Head Coach Anthony Wall.

“The overall team effort (was good as) we got meaningful reps for all the players, on offence and defence,” Wall said. “It was good to see all the players contributing is big.”

No doubt it was also nice to see the ground game out-muscle and out-hustle a willing, though short-handed club from High Prairie.

“I thought (the Outlaws) did a good job of stuffing our run in the middle. We have good team speed and we’re able to attack the edges,” Wall said.

“In bantam football, that’s the killer, it you get to the sideline, you can usually score and that happened frequently with Grassl and Switzer.”

Ponies protect

Perhaps the first defeat of the season—a 14-10 setback to the Sexsmith Shamrocks on Oct. 5— is something to rally around, to push the defence onto greater heights. But things aren’t so bad in the Broncs house, as the club has surrendered only four touchdowns in six games.

“In the game against Sexsmith (the defence) played tentative and wasn’t aggressive,” Broncos Defensive Co-ordinator Trevor Prichard said. “In this game (against the Outlaws), we cleaned up a lot of things and we added some new packages and they executed them well and we had play makers all over the place.”

As the game waned on and the starters collected more down time, the sweet sound of smashing plastic continued long after the outcome was in doubt. A pack mentality was encouraged for 48 minutes.

They didn’t need to be coached.

“What I saw (on Tuesday) was excellent execution, flying (around to the ball) and great tackling,” Prichard said. “It was one guy bringing down the ball carrier, but at the same time, there was four or five guys always supporting. We had three or four turnovers and set the offence inside the redzone on a consistent basis. I think we gave up three first downs the entire game. I saw a great job from the defence, as a whole.”

Awards package

Broncos defensive end Kelton Bond grabbed the Heart and Hustle Award, as the team cheered him on in the endzone in the aftermath of the win.

“(Bond) was playing fast and fighting off holds, which is what we want (the players) to do,” Wall said. “If somebody has a hold of a jersey, you have to power through so the ref can see it but it also gets you back in the play. There were plays where he got knocked to the ground, got up and chased the ball from behind. Those are purely hustle plays we love to see.”

The 13-year-old football rookie at St. Joseph Catholic High School wasn’t exactly sure what the award meant to him. The DE probably had to go home and chew on it for a bit. But he did make clear he appreciated the coaching staff taking a notice in his effort.

“I went out there and did my best, tried my hardest,” Bond said. “It makes me feel good that the coaches have seen me (and like the way I played).”

Bond is in his first year of competitive football and Wall likes what they defender brings to the field on a daily basis.

“He’s a new football player and he’s just coming into his own now, playing at a high level,” Wall said, while noting Bond has grown by “leaps and bounds every week.” “He’s got a real nose for the football, pursuing the football, and that’s what we love to see from the defensive ends. To have that kind of aggression and nose for the ball is rare for a new player like that.”

Nathan Barreth grabbed the game ball for the Broncos.

“He was a force on defence,” Wall said of Barreth. “He’s a first year Bronco. It’s great watching him grow. His aggression level has been picking up, his form tackling has been getting better and better and he put that to good use (on Tuesday) as he was one of our team leaders in tackling.”

Comments