The Grande Prairie Norsemen defeated the Grande Prairie Raiders 46-14 in Peace Country Bantam Football League (PCBFL) action at CKC Field on Saturday morning.
Mission accomplished for the Norsemen, who picked up their second win of the season. Check that, mission more than accomplished noted head coach Kory Gravengard.
“We set out to have some goals for our offence and defence and that’s what we were focusing on,” Gravengard said. “I’m proud of the players because we went out and accomplished those goals. It was a slow start, we had to make adjustments and I think we did all right. That made us successful on the field, which I’m also all right with.”
The Norsemen struggled in the first quarter to get any rhythm going on offence, of course a turnover on the opening drive didn’t help matters either, but the 12-man unit floored the throttle in the second quarter, building up a 20-0 lead at half time.
Norsemen signal caller Liam Kroeger threw three touchdown passes to turn the game into a one-sided affair.
“We’ve had some personnel changes due to injuries and [stuff like that],” Gravengard said. “We ended up implementing a new offence this week and we had to get that sorted out. Once we going, I think we were productive on the field.”
Fraser Aebly and Linden Rakeshaw had two touchdowns each for the Norsemen while Kaden Gravengard, Levi Barnsdale and Liam Glenn got the others.
Signal caller Draiton Goodhope found Tyler Guy for both Raiders’ touchdowns.
Any team with multiple options on offence is a team that’s going to move the ball successfully.
The end result on Saturday morning was great field position, which the Norsemen had throughout the game, and multiple trips to the endzone. Seven touchdowns on a chilly day more than proves the point.
“We were able to spread the ball around the ball and run the ball successfully,” Gravengard said. “We were also able to get the ball to a few receivers, and, at the end of the day, that’s what will make us successful in the long term … We still have to work on that, both as a coaching staff and players, but we’re a younger team and I’m looking forward to that working [itself out].”
Kroeger himself had a day not soon forgotten, throwing for five touchdowns.
“I think he’s happy and I’m happy [about it],” Gravengard said. “We’re not going to be critical because there’s always stuff to work on. The thing that makes me the most happy is he understands the success and he understands there is stuff to work on. Everybody was excited for it.”
“[Our receivers] did a great job,” Kroeger added, being much too humble considering somebody has to place the ball in an area where it can be caught. “They caught the ball and did what they had to do [to make plays].”
And the coach knows they have a keeper in the No. 15 silks of the Norsemen.
“For a young [player] like that to be multi-talented, it’s great. I don’t want to make his head too big, but we’re proud of him and how he’s developed,” Gravengard said. “I’ve coached him since peewee and to watch him develop [is great], but he’s still got some [more] developing to do.”
The club has very little time to savour the win because they are right back it Wednesday night at CKC Field when they take on the Wembley Bulldogs. Game time is 6 p.m.
“It’s good, especially coming off a successful game, that compact week is not necessarily as bad as you might think,” Gravengard said. “They are high spirited, they’re still feeling the buzz [of the win]. It feels good to play that much football in a short time.”
“It feels great [to get the win] and it give us a lot of confidence going into the game on Wednesday,” Kroeger added.