Cobras get 2023 season off to a running start

By Tim Bryson Co-coach, WCCHS Cobras football team
The Willow Creek Composite High School Cobras football team got its 2023 season off to a fast start last Saturday at the “snake pit” with a 43-6 win over the HJ Cody Lakers from Sylvan Lake.
With an extra long fall camp resulting from not scheduling a game before Labour Day, the Cobras were able to put in extra work on conditioning, offensive execution and special teams, and the work paid off.
The Cobras started quickly, scoring on their first possessions to take a 22-0 lead in the first quarter. A 60- yard touchdown run by Austin Perry, a 40-yard touchdown pass from Jaxon Auld to Hayden McClung and a 16-yard touchdown run by Zak Wright got the Cobras out of the blocks quickly.
The second quarter saw the pace of the game slow down, as the Cobras offence sputtered and the defence had difficulty with pass coverage. However, the offence got one last drive going before the half, driving 60 yards in seven plays, with Austin Perry scoring his second major, this time from 40 yards out.
The third quarter saw the Cobras settle down on defence and score once more, this time with Perry running in from 24 yards out. Even though the Lakers scored, the defence was much more responsible in their assignments. The Cobras finished off the scoring on a 69- touchdown run by Zak Wright, who was filling in for Auld as quarterback by that time.
Despite the hiccups that are common with the first game, there were a lot of positives to point to. The run game churned out 289 yards on 22 carries, while Jaxon Auld threw for 106 yards and a touchdown in his first full-time action at quarterback. While the defence gave up the occasional big play, especially late in the game, they registered three quarterback sacks, had four other tackles for losses, forced three fumbles and had an interception (by Wright). On 16 of the Lakers’ 25 carries, the defence held our opponents to three yards or less.
While the win was extremely satisfying, the road gets much harder this week, as last year’s Tier-3 provincial finalists, the Strathmore Spartans, come to town. The two teams played each other at a scrimmage jamboree in June, and the Spartans gave the Cobras fits with their hurry up offence and multiple formations. While the Cobras were missing a lot of key pieces that day and generally slept through that scrimmage, this is a very formidable opponent. Game time is this Friday, at 6 p.m, at the Snake Pit.
Coach’s notes: We appreciate the sports society for putting on the barbecue and raffle for the Stamps’ jersey. A really special presentation happened at half-time, when long-time Cobra (at all levels) announcer Julia Moore was honoured with a leather Cobras Jacket. Julia, along with Casey Penner and Mike “Maddog” Madsen continue to do awesome work as the booth crew for Cobras’ games.

Quarterback Jaxon Auld (#4) of the Willow Creek Composite High School Cobras football team, rolls out to pass in a game in Claresholm on Saturday, Sept. 9. Photo by Rob Vogt