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Central Alberta Buccaneers keep playoff hopes alive with win over Cowboys

IAN GUSTAFSON - Jul. 16, 2022 10:35 p.m. - LOCAL SPORTS - SPORTS

The Central Alberta Buccaneers playoff hopes were kept alive Saturday night after they defeated the Peace Country Cowboys 34-6.

With their first win of the season, the Bucs improve to 1-4 with one game remaining in the regular season next week at Great Chief Park.

If the Buccaneers beat the league-best Cold Lake Fighter Jets next Saturday, July 23 at 6 p.m., the Bucs will surpass the Cowboys in the standings and earn a playoff spot. If the Buccaneers lose and the Cowboys win next week, Central Alberta will be out but if they both win the Buccaneers own the tiebreaker.

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance the Buccaneers answered the call on both sides of the ball with the offence exploding for over 30 points. Quarterback Brett Bylsma threw three touchdowns in the game including one to Henry Ovallos and two to receiver Matt Merkley.

“We really came together today, it was good,” Bylsma said. “I felt good and protected.”

Receiver Dan Johnson had a rushing touchdown in a reverse play and on the defensive side of the ball linebacker, Ryan Miller took an interception back for a touchdown.

The rookie quarterback from Sylvan Lake said this season with the Buccaneers has been a good time.

“I love bonding with all these guys and I’m really learning a lot. Hopefully, go somewhere after this year,” he added.

Last year Bylsma was playing football at Ecole HJ Cody High School in Sylvan Lake. After he got no other offers from schools to play college football, Bylsma took his talents to his hometown team the Buccaneers once he decided to keep playing the game.

Even though he hasn’t heard from any schools yet he hopes to keep his dream alive but is happy to be playing with the Buccaneers. Bylsma got into football after watching his brother play and has been playing ever since.

“The players, everything that’s going on on the field, all the bonding with the people you meet, it’s amazing,” Bylsma added.

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