The Airdrie Raiders Men’s Midget Football Team will travel to the Calgary Spring Football Association (CSFA) Tier 1 Championship Game this Friday for the first time since 2014.
The Airdrie Raiders men’s midget football team will take part in the Calgary Spring Football Association (CSFA) Division 1 championship game this Friday, for the first time since 2014.
The Raiders advanced to the CSFA Finals with a 29-0 victory over the Calgary Wildcats in the semifinals on May 19 at Shouldice Athletic Park in Calgary. Running back Paul Condon and Charles Wiersma each scored two touchdowns apiece, while Airdrie’s defense held the Wildcats away from the end zone to secure the shutout.
Head coach Steve Kemp called the win over the Wildcats the Raiders’ most complete performance of the 2022 season to date.
“We had a good performance on offense and were well balanced – which is what we were looking for – between passing and running, and our defense did what it has done all year, playing another solid game,” said he declared. “I thought it was our best four-quarter effort yet, and a good time to have it, in the playoffs.”
The CSFA Division 1 championship game will be a heavyweight showdown on May 27, featuring the league’s two best teams this season – the Raiders 5-1 and the Calgary Cowboys 7-0, who advanced to the title game after defeating the Calgary Mavericks 33-15 in the league’s other semi-final.
The Cowboys are technically the defending CSFA champions, having won the Division 1 title in 2019 – last year a full season was held, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raiders won the league’s Division 2 championship that season.
Earlier this spring, the Cowboys handed the Raiders their only loss of 2022 when they beat the Airdronians 21-7 on April 21.
“They’re still one of the favorites and have a good program with a good coaching staff,” Kemp said of the undefeated Cowboys. “When we played them this season, they caught up with us [off guard] early in the game and they’re a tough team to play behind. They jumped on us very early and put us on our heels. We finally settled, but they have a solid defense.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, Airdrie will be without the services of Condon this Friday, while the star running back is in Ottawa to play in the CFC Prospects game. According to Kemp, Raiders coaches will have to rethink their offensive strategy without 16-year-old George McDougall Mustang available to play.
“He’s a big part of our attack and one of the two best defenders in the league, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s really difficult to replace someone like that. We will have to do things a little differently and it will take a whole team effort to pick up some extra touches and carry. It will be distributed throughout the team.
The CFSA Championship game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on May 27 at Shouldice Athletic Park.