Unbeaten Colts hosting winless Huskies
- September 07, 2012
Jeff MacKinnon Media co-ordinator
You’ve an got unbeaten team, ranked No. 1 in the country, hosting a winless squad looking to climb back into the playoff chase.
It’s a 3-0 Calgary Colts squad trying to hold onto their advantage in the Prairie Football Conference against an 0-3 Edmonton Huskies Sunday, Sept. 9 at McMahon Stadium at 2 p.m.
“When you go into a game like this you try to throw records out the door and just focus on executing,” says Colts quarterback Derek Cooper.
“If we do that things will go well on Sunday.”
The Colts are coming off a bye week and a gritty 28-18 win on the road against the Edmonton Wildcats on Aug. 26. Coach John Stevens gave them the Labour Day weekend off before resuming practice Tuesday night and getting into full equipment for the first time since the break on Wednesday.
The break gave a key member of the Colts offence — wideout Jimmy Ralph — a chance to heal from an undisclosed injury that kept him out of the Wildcats’ contest. Ralph has proven to be the favourite target of Cooper this season and had a big eight-catch, 150-yard afternoon in his last outing Aug. 19 when the Colts exploded for 52 points against the Regina Thunder.
Cooper himself is getting rave reviews from Stevens in his first season as a starting QB. Cooper is third among starting QBs in the PFC with a 90.0 rating. He’s 52 of 82 in passing attempts for a 63.4 percentage, which is right where Stevens wants him to be.
“The most important thing is the wins,” Cooper says deflecting talk of statistics. “There’s always room for improvement. There’s satisfaction with the wins, but if for one second there’s complacency or complete satisfaction, then you’re going to have a problem.”
In the Huskies the Colts face a squad that has scored only 35 points in three games while surrendering 114. The Colts have put 112 points on the board.
Ignore the numbers, say the Colts.
“Every Sunday you still have to come out and play,” says defensive back Jermaine Gabriel (pictured), the PFC’s defensive player of the week from Week 2.
“It’s the 0-3 teams that come out the hungriest. We still have to come out with everything we’ve got.”
Stevens cautions against reading too much into past results. Part of his job is to keep the Colts from believing an easy victory is in the offing.
“I think (the Huskies) are much better than their record,” he says.
“They played the Saskatoon Hilltops and the score was only 10-3 at halftime. We are not overlooking anyone. Really, the games are a lot closer than sometimes the score indicates. The Huskies have had a tough schedule to start with.”
The Colts can’t afford to take anyone lightly because they are being chased by a pack of teams eager to push them off the top of both the PFC and the Canadian Junior Football League rankings. The Hilltops, Wildcats and Thunder are all just one game back at 2-1.
The Colts will remain at home following Sunday’s game to play the Wildcats at McMahon Stadium Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. before going on the road to face the Winnipeg Rifles (Sept. 23) and Huskies again (Sept. 29).