LANGLEY — Welcome to our final B.C. High School Football Report of the 2018 regular season.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s three games:
W.J. MOUAT 25 at WEST VANCOUVER 6
WEST VANCOUVER — The W.J. Mouat Hawks are going back to the AAA post-season, and in doing so, they will face their program’s former longtime architect.
Abbotsford’s Hawks (7-1, 7-1) topped the host West Vancouver Highlanders (5-4, 5-3) on Saturday to claim the conference’s second-and-final playoff berth, and that has added up to a matchup against the Notre Dame Jugglers, coached by former Mouat guru Denis Kelly.
Mouat’s Ebiye Okoko-Chomseng rushed nine times for 120 yards, including first-quarter touchdown scampers of 35 and 17 yards.
Nathan Hausermann took the opening kick-off of the second half 80 yards for a touchdown, and also rushed 11 times for 57 yards and a score.
“It was not our best performance, which was a direct result of the week of practice we had,” said Hawks’ head coach Travis Bell. “We were challenged this week with injuries, flu, and other reasons for missed practices, and we were limited with how we were able to prepare. That being said, the boys played well enough today to get the job done and clinch a playoff berth which is a big achievement in Triple-A football.”
West Vancouver has found a home in which to grow its program, and although they fell just shy of the post-season, head coach Pooya Dourandish knows his team is on the right track.
“It was a tough way to end a football season,” Dourandish admitted. “We came into this game knowing that we were eliminated from the playoffs but wanting to cap the year with a win to finish 6-2.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be today,” he continued. “We faced relentless pressure from Mouat and the slippery conditions kept our air raid grounded.”
West Vancouver’s lone touchdown came on a scramble by quarterback Ben Welsh on the final play before halftime.
Welsh also managed a pair of sacks on defence, while linebacker Connor Chapman showed his sideline-to-sideline tackling ability throughout.
“Our seniors played their last downs of high school football with incredible passion and effort,” said Dourandish. “They are a group that I have truly enjoyed coaching over the years, especially our eight five-year players. They are a group that made me look better than I am on several occasions.”
Mouat’s defence got five tackles apiece from Zack Badke and Anthony Jaruchik, the latter also registering a sack. Newton Maganga had four tackles.
SARIS 8 at ERIC HAMBER 0
VANCOUVER — In a game of eight-in-the-box, grind-it-out football, the expansion Sardis Falcons did themselves proud.
Nick Butler ’s ninth touchdown of the season was the difference as the Falcons (4-4, 4-4) topped the host Griffins (1-7, 1-7) in the 2018 finale for both teams.
“I am so proud of my guys that words can’t say enough about what they accomplished this season,” said Sardis head coach Adam Smith. “To go 4-4 in the Triple-A tier in year one is not easy. This group has helped start something special at Sardis again and we are excited to see the next chapter moving forward.”
KELOWNA 26 at MT. BOUCHERIE 6
KELOWNA — Despite injuries throughout its main rotation, and new roles for many, the Kelowna Owls (3-6, 2-5) closed out their regular season with a win over the crosstown rival Bears (2-7, 1-6).
The Owls came into this game with a plethora of injuries to key players such as Isaac Athans, Storm Buck, Tyler Klotzbach, Aki Takimoto, and Easton Schmuland.
“It was one of those weeks where we had to put guys into different places to help keep consistency and give us the best chance for success,” said happy head coach Chris Cartwright. “I was proud of the boys who made the choice to commit to this type of adversity and staying true to the process that we started in the offseason.”
Star receiver Nolan Ulm got the nod at quarterback for the injured Athans, and he not only rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown, he threw for 145 yards and also came away with a pick-six on defence.
“Nolan stepped up to the challenge and showed everyone his leadership today,” said Cartwright. “He is an amazing young man who excelled for us and showed his ability to do what is needed for the team.”
Lucus Spencer also played big for the Owls along the offensive and defensive lines, helping extend the Owls’ lead with a pick-six of his own, and four tackles.
“Lucus has also been one of those players who has done everything he has been asked,” added the coach. “He has played receiver/TE for most of his years playing football. He has taken ownership by stepping into the places where we’ve needed him the most.”
The Owls will now start preparing for the playoffs as they will have to make the long trip to Vancouver Island to take on Mt. Douglas next week.
“This game was huge for our team.” Cartwright concluded. “It solidified that we earned the right to make the playoffs. We are expecting our key guys to be ready to get back out there to continue what we have built this season.”
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