ABBOTSFORD — It’s a rematch of the Vancouver Island championship final, and for Victoria’s St. Michaels University School Blue Jags, an opportunity to win its third straight provincial title.
SMUS, behind the all-round game of star Quinn Ngawati, topped Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats 28-0 Thursday evening in the second of two Double A Tier 1 championship semifinals here at the B.C. tournament.
Earlier in the day, Mill Bay’s Brentwood College came through with a 24-14 win over West Vancouver’s Collingwood Cavaliers. The two sides clash Saturday (11 a.m.) at Rotary Stadium.
“We beat them at the start of the season when both teams were just getting started,” said Blue Jags assistant coach Clayton Daum said of Brentwood, “but in the Vancouver Island final we met them again and this time we needed a late try to squeak it out. So it’s going to be a barn-burner.”
That wasn’t quite the case on Thursday, although SMUS standout defence had a big say against a very talented team of McMath Wildcats.
Ngawati, a senior already signed with the professional Toronto WolfPack, opened the scoring with the game’s first try, added converts on a pair of tries scored by teammate Sam Khan, and chipped in with three penalty kicks.
“I think our defence was key because (McMath) had a lot of possession,” added Daum. “Good kicking really helped us with our territory today and we have a very experienced group. In big games, that can play in your favour.”
TRIPLE A TIER 1
North Vancouver’s Carson Graham Eagles have seen a lot of Abbotsford’s Yale Lions and that tradition will continue in the B.C. AAA Tier 1 final.
Last week, Carson beat Yale 19-17 in the B.C. girls AAA final at Rotary Stadium.
On Saturday (3 p.m.), the Yale and Carson Graham boys will clash in a rematch of their 2016 Triple A final won 17-0 by Yale.
The scenario was put into play after Thursday’s semifinals, in which the Lions beat Langley’s R.E. Mountain Eagles 20-3 while Carson Graham topped Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks 39-7.
“They are on an upward swing, with a good junior program and a good coaching staff,” said Yale head coach Doug Primrose of Mountain. “We just wanted to play good defence and stay patient, but we were able to score five right away which was nice.”
Connor Byron scored that first try, while Kalum Burn, Joey Meier and Keifer Bernier also scored tries.
Saturday’s two finalists had met previously this season as part of the Stadium Series, with the Eagles winning that affair by 11 points.
“Like South Delta, we’ll be undersized,” added Primrose of the Yale’s opening-day foe. “We have to make sure we get up quick and take away space and slow their big guys down.”
DOUBLE A TIER 2
Nelson’s LV Rogers Bombers will battle Glenlyon Norfolk of Victoria in the Saturday final (3 p.m.).
The Bombers went to overtime to score the decisive try in a 22-17 win over North Vancouver’s Seycove Seyhawks.
GNS came back later in the afternoon with a 36-15 win over Vernon’s Fulton Maroons.
TRIPLE A TIER 2
Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Ravens and the Penticton Lakers square off in a non-traditional battle more reminiscent of a mid-1980’s basketball affair.
Terry Fox topped North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers 20-7 in one semifinal, while Penticton beat Victoria’s Claremont Spartans 39-22 in the other.
Saturday’s final begins at 3 p.m.
Note — Our Quad A reports follows…
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