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Chopper Hippe gains a few yards for the Raiders while Brock Rogers, #84, and Eli Klassen block. Jamie Harkins/Meridian Booster
The Holy Rosary High School Raiders football team is showing continued improvement with each passing week.
The Raiders (3-1) used an early push and late defensive stand to beat the Cold Lake High School Royals 42-15 at the Raider Bowl on Thursday.
The Wheatland Football League crossover win betters the 33-22 victory the Raiders notched against the Royals (0-4) in Cold Lake two weeks earlier.
“We came out flying this game,” said Raiders defensive back Eli Klassen.
“We played a lot better to start off. We scored on our first drive. All in all we played a lot better game.”
Raiders back Chopper Hippe notched his team’s opening drive touchdown at the 2:56 mark of the first quarter by hauling in a short Dante Tabacu pass before running 15 yards through a flurry of attempted tackles to the end zone.
Receiver McKye Brown scored the Raiders second major about four minutes later with a long pass and run play down the sideline.
A conceded safety late in the first quarter brought the score to 14-2 before Hippe picked up another major 18 seconds into the second frame by finding a hole in the Royals defensive line and running 70 yards down the middle of the field for the touchdown.
Raiders running back Nash Etson found the house about four-and-a-half minutes later on a seven-yard drive through traffic.
Tabacu then threw to Brock Rogers in the end zone while scrambling out of the pocket at the 7:50 mark of the second quarter before taking matters into his own hands with a minute-and-a-half remaining on a punch-in from the one.
Raider Alan Ofianewski was good on all six of his first half convert attempts despite kicking against the strong blowing wind in the first quarter and with it in the second.
“The wind didn’t really matter,” said Ofianewski.
“I was trying to do my thing and stay with the team. I just kicked it and didn’t pay attention where the wind blows.”
The Royals fought back in the third quarter with the Raiders first-year players seeing time on the field.
Running back Dominc Ayers proved the first beneficiary with a zigzag run into the end zone from the Raiders 10-yard line 6:28 into the second half with Royals quarterback Braeden Wicht connecting with Aiden Harrison about six minutes later for the 42-15 score.
Ofianewski said the team’s third win of the season and the continued improvement they’ve shown this year will motivate them to keep the push going through the Wheatland Football League playoffs later this month.
He said their record allows them a bye through the quarterfinals next weekend, but they’ll keep up the work in practice before taking the field against an expected Bonnyville High School Voyageurs squad in the semifinals.
“Our plan against Bonnyville is the same thing as here,” added Klassen.
“Get on them early. They got a shorter bench than we do, but we just want to fire early and put some points on the board and maybe some defensive points. We’re going to fly both ways.”