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Comets fall in Brian Fryer final to upstart Ernest Manning Griffins

Posted on November 30, 2023 by admin

By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News

As the dust cleared, the Raymond Comets settled for second place in the province in the top tier of Alberta football.

After a dominating performance in the regular season, and in the semifinal round of the Brian Fryer Division playoffs, the Comets let a first-half lead slip away against Calgary’s Ernest Manning High School, and eventually fell to defeat, in a game that was long on drama.

On Saturday night in the Fryer championship game, Raymond took a 17-6 lead into the half against Manning at Red Deer’s Setters Place at Great Chief Park.

But it was a lead the Comets could not hold, as the Griffins stormed back with 22 second-half points to score a 28-24 upset victory.

The loss capped off a season where the Comets easily won the zone banner by beating the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams, and th en earned a first-round bye in the Brian Fryer playoffs.

Raymond cruised past Calgary’s St. Francis Browns, in a 36-0 semifinal blowout, to earn a berth in Saturday’s ASAA Alberta Bowl final.

Manning’s dream season ended with a win against a Raymond team that didn’t have an opportunity to play many of the top teams in Alberta throughout the regular season, and instead had to head south to play numerous games against opponents in the United States.

In the end, when the Comets did get the opportunity to face the big-city programs in Alberta, Raymond pulled away in every game, with the exception of the Fryer championship contest.

The loss in Alberta’s top division in 2023 comes after the Comets made history last year with a 34-15 win last year over Edmonton’s Harry Ainlay Titans, the team that was ranked No. 1 in 2022. A potential rematch this year did not materialize, as Ainlay was upset by Manning 28-10 in the semifinals.

In 2021, Raymond added to the school’s trophy case with a 45-17 victory over the Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds in the ASAA Tier 1 championship game.

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