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Storm streaks into playoffs

The St. Albert Storm are blowing teams away on the football field.

The St. Albert Storm are blowing teams away on the football field.

The second straight shutout and third win in a row by the injury-riddled line-up of Grade 9, 10 and 11 players was Wednesday’s 14-0 tilt against the Sherwood Park Wolverines at Foote Field.

The midget spring league schedule wraps up Sunday and the Storm will finish no worse than fourth in the seven-team standings. The top two teams compete for tier I title and the next two teams huddle up for tier II honours. Last year the Storm finished 3-4 overall as tier III champions.

“It was an important win for us to keep the momentum going into the playoffs,” said Chad Hill, head coach of the 3-2-1 Storm.

However, as with all the Storm’s victories this season, it came with a price. Late in the first quarter, running back Grayson Baker suffered an ankle sprain and is doubtful for the playoffs. He was joined on a long injury list by offensive lineman Brandon Schwanke (knee) and running back Nathan Pytel (ankle).

Baker was on fire in the first quarter as the Wolverines (1-4) keyed on all-purpose back Devin Kondro, which opened things up for the rest of the backfield. Baker had four carries for 48 yards, plus a long catch and run before going down at the one-yard line with his injury. Tayler White capped off the drive with the quarterback sneak. Adam Anderson, fresh off an ankle injury, converted the touchdown.

In the second quarter the Wolverines started to move the ball but defensive back Galen Pon came up huge with a leaping interception. It was Pon’s first game since hurting his shoulder in week one.

In the second half it was the Spencer Duff show. With improved blocking by the offensive line, Duff made some nifty moves and finished his runs hard. He also scored from 12 yards out late in the third quarter and Anderson kicked the convert. Duff finished the game with 90 yards on the ground.

Through the air, White had success going to Kondro (four receptions) and a variety of receivers, including John Goldup for a key 40-yard pick up and first down in a second and long situation.

The defence was led by Joe Ur, who also started on the offensive line. The relentless linebacker came up with numerous pressures and recorded three sacks.

Ian Morrison and Adam Sturgess also provided pressure on passing plays and added to their sack totals for the season.

After a full game of rugby with the Bellerose Bulldogs, Kieran Fraser anchored the defence at middle linebacker. He had the big task of shutting down U18 Team Alberta running back Franklin Marion and played with a ton of heart.

Jeff Hansen

About the Author: Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.
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