Bandits Fall Short to Top Seeded Mustangs

Bantam Bandits lose in Lloyd 40-19

Head Coach of the Bonnyville Bantam Bandits, Mickey Fagnan says he would have liked to see his team play the full four quarters at Saturday’s match in Lloydminister. The Bandits took on the top team in the league, the Mustangs and only showed up for half, says the coach.

“It wasn’t the Bandits I know. They only showed up for half the game, the last half.” Fagnan says the bus trip was a contributing factor but couldn’t be fully to blame, as the Bandits came out with a touchdown on the first play. “After that we had a first-half breakdown,” explains the coach, “where everything you’ve been teaching, tackling to blocking, was in one ear and out the other. We failed to execute and those are the two things that we teach; if you can tackle and you can block, then you can win. We didn’t do either in the first half.”

“It’s one of those things, you can prepare all you want but you have to be able to execute on the field,” the Bandits were down 34-7 at the end of the first half, says the coach. Although the first half was not what Fagnan wanted to see out of his squad, he did state that they came back strong in the second half. “We came back really strong, there was a lot of positive energy in the second. We take every game one half at a time, they won the first half, we won the second.” At the end of the game the score was 40- 19 in favour of the Mustangs, who are yet to lose a game this season.

The Bandits suffered some injuries to key players during the game and had another two players not dress. The coach can’t comment on the recovery time for the injured players, only commenting that there were no concussions involved in any of the injuries. Hopeful to have another crack at the Mustangs in the post-season; Fagnan is ready to move on. “I don’t really dwell; we lose, we lose. We probably learn a lot more from when we lose than when we will. We’ll adjust and move on. I’m not burdened by the loss.”

Practice time this week will be spent cleaning up the game play and ensuring that mistakes or penalties don’t cost the team the game. The Bandits will start their second string lines in Cold Lake on Saturday when they take on the Royals. Fagnan says these are their top rivals and the whole team is looking forward to some action and seeing the field.