Colts, Hilltops to square off for top spot
- October 04, 2012
Jeff MacKinnon Media coordinator
The Moment of Truth Part 1 has arrived.
Moment of Truth Part 2 may play out later in the month, site to be determined this weekend.
The Calgary Colts will host the Saskatoon Hilltops Sunday at 1 p.m. at McMahon Stadium with the regular season title in the Prairie Football Conference on the line. Home field advantage through the playoffs goes with that.
The Colts enter the contest unbeaten at 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Junior Football League since defeating the Hilltops in Saskatoon on the opening weekend of the season, Aug. 12. The Hilltops ran through the rest of their games and are 6-1 and ranked third in the country.
“The players are excited about the challenge and so are the coaches,” said Colts head coach John Stevens.
“The way we look at this is we worked hard in the off-season and worked hard during the season to have the opportunity to play in games like this.”
The PFC semifinals will be played in Calgary and Saskatoon Oct. 14.
The Edmonton Wildcats and Regina Thunder meet Sunday in Regina to determine third and fourth place. Both enter the final weekend at 4-3. There’s not much at stake there other than shaving a couple of hours off the drive to the semifinals, since knocking off the Colts and Hilltops won’t be easy.
The scene for this weekend was set in Saskatoon when Colts’ kicker Marshal Broom nailed a 42-yard field goal in the final minute to give the Colts at 23-20 victory, their first over the Hilltops in seven years.
Naturally, the loss didn’t sit well with the Hilltops.
“I want to let (the Colts) know that we weren’t pleased with our last performance and we are the team that has improved the most,” Hilltops head coach Tom Sargeant told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this week.
“That should be reflected on the scoreboard.”
Since the whole season has played out aside from this one game, both teams have plenty of videotape of their opponent to study. So, there will be no surprises.
“The Hilltops might not try to trick you, but they try to ‘out physical’ you and ‘out execute’ you and they’ve been doing that well for a number of years. I don’t think they are going to change for us,” said Stevens.
Leading the Colts into the game is starting quarterback Derek Cooper, who is coming off an impressive statistical effort in last Sunday’s victory over the Edmonton Huskies. Cooper completed 20 of 26 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns. The effort earned him PFC offensive player of the week honours for Week 8.
Cooper says the Colts respect Hilltops, but that is all.
“We appreciate and respect the type of opponent they are, but by no means are we going to turtle,” he said. “We’re going to come out fighting. We badly want the road to the PFC title to come through Calgary.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game can be purchased in advance at http://coltshilltops.zoobis.com/. They are also available at the east entrance to McMahon Stadium prior to kickoff.