The Golden Bears 17-year-old receiver Landon Lajuenesse gets dragged to the turf in Monday afternoon's game versus Aberdeen. The Golden Bears lost in a landslide, 50-6. Herald photo by Gary Pearson
--PRINCE ALBERT-- The Golden Bears were battered and bruised in their home opener Monday, but displayed increasing fighting spirit in the latter stages of the lopsided defeat.
Aberdeen looked the stronger team from the outset, eventually smothering the Golden Bears in every facet of the game, with a resounding 50-6 result.
Only six players have returned to the Golden Bears squad, resulting in a task made exponentially more difficult.
âAberdeen is a far more experienced team (than Birch Hills), they knew what they were doing from the start as far as their execution,â said Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI)/St. Louis Golden Bears head coach Graham McGregor, whose reign as the team's head coach dates back to the clubâs inception seven years ago.âWe just had a tough time.â
Aberdeen, with Dylan Fehr and Lewis Wutzke in dominant form - controlled the pace of the game, dazzling with numerous gargantuan runs.
âI think we played pretty good,â said 17-year-old Wutzke, whose four-touchdown performance propelled his team to victory. âWe moved the ball really good. We had a few bad plays, but that happens.â
The first major came from a wild Aberdeen snap 3:27 into the game, which Fehr scooped from the turf, and in improbable fashion, slalomed over 50 yards, putting the visitors ahead.
Forming a formidable partnership, Fehr and Wutzke were a force to be reckoned with.
âWe are on the same wavelength,â said Wutzke about his friend and quarterback, Fehr. âWe both started in Grade 9 and his first year as quarterback was in Grade 10, so, yeah, weâve been together for a while.â
The Golden Bears, after beating Birch Hills 45-32 last week, appeared sluggish and somewhat frazzled from the outset on Monday.
But after being down 34-0 at the half, the home squad fought tooth and nail, losing the second stanza 16-6. Landon Lajuenesse was a bright spot in an otherwise dim day for the home side. The receiver had seven receptions for 139 yards and galloped for a 70-plus-yard touchdown reception for the Golden Bears lone major of the afternoon.
He was proud, however, of his teamâs second half response.
âWe started playing as a team,â said the 17-year-old, who hails from Bellevue.
He added to his touchdown tally for the season, which now sits at three after a two-touchdown performance in the opening fixture away to Birch Hills.
PACI and St. Louis have combined forces this year to form a single unit.
McGregor said six players from St. Louis have cracked the squad thus far.
âThey seem to be fitting right in,â he said. âThe PACI guys realize that the St. Louis guys give us some added depth and give us an opportunity to do a few more things.â
The Golden Bears continue to strive for a playoff spot and a top-four finish on Thursday, Sept. 22 in a difficult away matchup versus Rosthern.