Colts rookie Cole named PFC defensive player of the week
- September 20, 2012
Jeff MacKinnon Media coordinator
Spencer Cole was thrown right into the fire in his first start for the Calgary Colts.
He was asked to help stop the Prairie Football Conference’s top rushing offence, owned by the Edmonton Wildcats and led by running back Jordan Samoil.
“It was kind of intimidating coming into it, but we had a game plan where we all had to take care of our assignments,” said Cole.
“He had to take his cuts and break it wide. We tried to make it as hard on him as possible.”
Samoil got his yardage — 161 — but Cole and the Colts got their fifth straight win (31-23) to remain unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Junior Football League heading into this Saturday’s game at Winnipeg Stadium against the winless Rifles (noon Mountain time.).
Cole was named PFC defensive player of the week on Thursday.
Cole’s statistics from his debut were impressive: five tackles, seven assists and a forced fumble. He fit in nicely with veteran linebackers Zach McEachern, who plays in the middle, and captain Stephen Dereniwski, who prowls from the right side.
“(Stephen) is fantastic. He’s very knowledgeable. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the field or off the field, he always knows the answers and definitely helps you out,” said Cole.
Cole (pictured left) is a rookie out of Bishop O’Byrne high school, which won the Calgary high school Division 1 title last fall. Cole just turned 18 on Sept. 14 and landed his first start because of injuries to Matt Pander and Keven Blencowe.
“(Spencer’s) got some things to work on, of course, but he showed some good stuff,” said head coach John Stevens, who is also the team’s defensive coordinator.
Stevens was not completely happy with his defence last Sunday. They surrendered 271 yards on the ground, but managed to hold the fort when the Wildcats threatened and limited Edmonton, then ranked No. 4 in Canada, to just a single Samoil touchdown forcing the Wildcats to kick five field goals.
“We still need to be more consistent against the run,” Stevens said.
“I thought our defensive backs for the most part came up and showed some improvement. Our focus this week is to be better against the run.”
The Rifles feature the PFC’s top receiver in Brett Carter, who has 30 catches for 529 yards and a 17.63 per-catch average. Carter has been on the receiving end of half of the Rifles’ 61 completions this season.
Martin Hovi is the second leading rusher in the league behind Samoil. Hovi has 442 yards and a 6.23 per-run average.
Stevens always cautions against taking opponents lightly, even though this week they are facing a foe that has surrendered a league-high 193 points, or 39 per game.
“I think Winnipeg plays better than their record indicates,” Stevens said. “We know that Winnipeg Stadium is a tough place to play. We have to be ready.”
The Colts will fly to Winnipeg Saturday morning. They will be back on the road Saturday, Sept. 29 to face the Edmonton Huskies then return to McMahon Stadium for their final home game of the regular season Oct. 7 against the Saskatoon Hilltops.