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Knights rolling heading into stretch drive

Football: Holy Trinity Academy on four-game win streak
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Quarterback Ryan Petersen, seen in action versus the Foothills Falcons earlier this season, and the Holy Trinity Academy Knights improved to 4-2 with a convincing win over Catholic Central last week. (Brent Calver/Western Wheel File Photo)

The Knights are on a roll entering a challenging slate of home games.

Holy Trinity Academy improved to 4-2 with its fourth straight win in high school football action by knocking off the host Catholic Central Cougars by a 53-7 count on Oct. 7 in Lethbridge.

“We just keep getting better every week,” said Knights head coach Matt Hassett. “We started at the beginning of the season with a young team and we had to get it out of our head that we’re not 2019 (the Knights provincial championship team).

“And we’re a team that’s young, talented and just has to work hard to keep getting better each week.”

Since dropping its first two games of the season, the Knights have won four straight. HTA has only given up 14 points total in its past three games while putting up 101 points over that timeframe.

“It’s just fewer mistakes, we’re not taking as many penalties and guys know the plays a little bit better,” the coach added. “So we get fewer mistakes up front, good blocks and everyone is just doing their job a little better than they were the first few weeks.”

On the defensive side of the coin, the defensive line has played a big role in the team’s ascendency with tackles Ted Tell and David Gutierrez-Jimenez making an impact, the coach said.

“The D-line for the most part is pretty young and we’ve had some guys step up,” Hassett said. “It’s just guys getting better at football, getting used to the grind, especially up-front on the line.”

The victory over the Cougars saw quarterback Ryan Petersen run in for a touchdown with rangy wide receiver Chris McLarty adding a pair of majors along with scores from Michael Eagle Bear and Marshall Hartwell at halfback.

“I think offence has picked it up a lot since the beginning of the season, especially,” said Eagle Bear, a Grade 12 slotback. “We’ve really found our groove and we’re excited heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

“And we’ll see what we can do.”

This week the Knights, ranked 7th in Tier II, tackle the fourth ranked Cardston Cougars at home, a 5 p.m. kick-off on Oct. 15 with the Raymond Comets making a rare visit to Okotoks the following week.

The Cougars should represent a stiff test to the streaking Knights.

“They’re like Cardston always is, really athletic, physical, they’ve got like 30 guys and a lot of guys going both ways,” Hassett added. “They just do a lot of different stuff so,
defensively anyway, it’s hard to match up against them.

“Just really good athletes and a ton of respect for them. In 2019, they were our toughest game in the provincial run and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The pair of home games are the first for the Knights since its mid-September victory over the Hunting Hills Lightning.

“It will be a really tough, physical game (with Cardston), it’s exciting having them come up from there,” Eagle Bear said. “I know they’re a really good program, I know a lot of the good guys and it’s good to play some tough competition.

“We’ve had a really tough schedule, especially at the beginning of the year with Medicine Hat and St. Joe’s, those two really good programs really helped prepare us for the rest of the year and coming into these games we know it’s not going to be easy, but we know what it takes to play a tough program.”

Also on the out-of-town scoreboard, the Foothills Falcons dropped to 0-6 with a 55-6 loss on the road to Cardston on Oct. 8.

The Composite Falcons are home to the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams on Oct. 15, a 7:30 p.m. kick-off in Okotoks. Foothills then welcomes the All Saints Legends on Oct. 22.


Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact rgreer@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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