LANGLEY — It was a light Saturday of action in the B.C. high school football ranks, but both games were key in terms of the battles in AAA’s Pacific and AA’s Western conference races.
Here’s a look:
ERIC HAMBER 0 at EARL MARRIOTT 42
SURREY — A ball-hawking defence which picked off five passes carried the day for the host Mariners (3-4, 3-2) as they blanked Vancouver’s visiting Griffins.
Carter Fenwick set the tone early, picking off a Griffins’ pass on their first play of the game, and just two plays later, Byron Ruvalcaba hit Sam La Roue with a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Ruvalcaba added a two-point convert off a run and it was 8-0 for the hosts under three minutes into the contest.
The Mariners then took full control of the game with a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes of the second quarter, beginning with Ruvalcaba’s 30-yard touchdown pass to La Roue.
Anthony Tulev scored on a 50-yard interception return to make the score 21-0 at the break.
Earl Marriott added a pair of touchdowns in the third, a 40-yard run by Restem Shakira followed by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ruvalcaba to Dean Meurrens that made the score 35-0 after three quarters of play.
Shakira ran one in from five yards out midway through the fourth to round out the Mariners scoring.
Tulev and Meurrens each with one and La Roue with a pair accounted for the Mariners’ four other interceptions.
Head coach Mike Mackay-Dunn was happy with the win and with the progress of the team.
“We played a clean game execution wise today with not many mistakes,” he said. “As much as this win was about the performance on the field it was as much about our commitment to the process and our focus on managing the game efficiently.”
No. 2 JOHN BARSBY 6 at No. 4 HOLY CROSS 21
SURREY — If you had done the logical thing and based your prediction on a common opponent the visiting Whalers and the host Crusaders shared, you might have figured this result would be flipped.
Two weeks ago, No. 4 Holy Cross absorbed a 27-0 thrashing at the hands of the then-No. 2 Ballenas Whalers.
Last week, then-No. 3 John Barsby handed the Whalers their first loss of the season, after extracting a 24-14 win which led to the flipping of those schools in the latest VarsityLetters.ca rankings.
So of course when it came time for the Bulldogs and Crusaders to do battle, John Barsby was the clear favourite, right?
Not so fast.
Quarterback Andrew Hunt, as part of a 175 yard passing day threw two touchdown passes to T.J. Fujimura and another to Kaleb Dizon as Holy Cross (4-1, 2-1) moved into a second-place tie with John Barsby (4-2, 2-1) following a convincing win at Robert DeJulius Field.
“This was a huge win for our program today,” said Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau, whose club still has a pair of conference match-ups remaining against Howe Sound and first-place Windsor (2-0) over the next few weeks. “We executed very well on offence and defence. Barsby is an excellent, well-disciplined program and they deserve a lot of respect. I was never comfortable until it was over.”
Dizon and Silas Marchan each came away with interceptions to help lead the defence while Uyi Ologhola had four sacks.
“I thought our secondary was as good as they’ve ever been,” added Deugau. “They were on total lockdown today and when they’re focused they’re very hard to beat.”
The feeling from the opposing sideline was of course contrasting.
Barsby’s play had been tremendous prior to the loss and head coach Rob Stevenson had trouble containing his disappointment at such a crucial juncture of the Western Conference campaign.
“The score was flattering to Barsby,” said Stevenson. “It was lousy focus and a lack of toughness in the face of adversity. We arrived in a coma and got back on the bus and continued our nap.
“This is a reflection of leadership beginning and ending with myself,” said the coach. “Players do what they are taught to do, they take mental shortcuts because they feel they feel they can get away with it. The consequences on the field of play were symptomatic of multiple shortcomings that were not addressed well in advance.It is harder than usual to look in the mirror right now. They deserved better.”
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