LANGLEY — Two big Western Conference clashes highlight our report. But before we get to them, here’s the skinny on what is at stake with next week’s game, as it pertains to the West.
Vancouver College and Notre Dame will face each other Friday at Burnaby Lakes for No. 1 and No. 2, New Westminster hosts Mt. Douglas Friday to decide No. 3 and 4. South Delta has already secured spot No. 5, and Carson Graham spot No. 6.
No. 5 NOTRE DAME 50 at SOUTH DELTA 52 (OT)
TSAWWASSEN — One week after coming away with a 6-3 victory, the South Delta Sun Devils’ defence stopped a two-point convert opportunity in overtime as the Sun Devils (4-3, 4-3) recorded a walk-off 52-50 overtime win over the No. 5-ranked Notre Dame Jugglers (6-2, 5-1) on Saturday afternoon.
“It was as exciting an afternoon of high school football as any I have been involved with,” said Jugglers’ head coach Denis Kelly, whose team had won five straight heading into the game. “The ball moved up and down the field seemingly at each offence’s will.”
You couldn’t over-hype a game which was tied 8-8, 16-16, 30-30, 38-38 and 44-44, and saw no team take more than a one-score lead.
It was so crazy that the team’s took turns scoring for the entire duration of the game, starting with South Delta and following with Notre Dame, a trend that went seven full cycles.
South Delta led 8-0, 16-8, 22-16, 30-23, 38-30, 44-38 and 52-44.
Notre Dame’s only lead of the game came at 23-22, yet if not for the Sun Devils’ defence coming up to record the stop of the game on Notre Dame’s two-point convert rush which would have tied it 52-52, the game might still be going on.
South Delta quarterback Ben McDonald was exceptional in the victory, going 30-of-40 for 326 yards and four touchdowns, including his first two of the game to receiver Ethan Troniak, the second a 12-yard hook-up that put the Sun Devils on top 16-8 to start the second quarter.
Before the half, the Sun Devils scored on both an Evan Paterson kick-off return and a one-yard McDonald keeper.
Sandwiched in between to make the score 30-23 for South Delta at the half was a 56-yard catch-and-run from Clarke to Jerrell Cummings, with Alex Pinson adding a two-point convert.
Notre Dame tied the game 30-30 in the third quarter when middle linebacker Cameron Mah intercepted a McDonald pass and helped set up a five-yard TD run by Teon Alexander-Amour.
In the fourth quarter, McDonald went five yards to Andrew Kraft for a major, Notre Dame’s Clarke replied from five yards out, then McDonald rushed for a 16-yard South Delta run.
With under two minutes left in regulation, on fourth-and-six from the Sun Devil 25, Clarke found Cummings in the end zone to tie the score at 44 and eventually force overtime.
In the extra session, McDonald found Paterson for a 10-yard touchdown and after the two-point convert, South Delta led 52-44. Notre Dame’s Clarke rushed for his fourth TD of the day from 10 yards to pull the Jugglers to within 52-50, however the two-point convert was stopped to end the game.
“We were very proud of the efforts put forth by our players, especially in the second half,” said Kelly, whose team can still win the Western Conference title by beating Vancouver College in the regular season-ending Archbishops Trophy game next week. “They played hard to the end and very nearly came away with a victory. You have to credit Ben McDonald. He made life miserable for our defence all afternoon. He is an exceptional athlete.”
Troniak caught 12 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the win while Patterson caught seven more for 82 yards and a score.
Caleb Van Til led the winning defence with 11 tackles and a sack.
South Delta’s conference season is now complete and the Sun Devils get a bye next week as they prepare for the first round of playoffs.
HANDSWORTH 0 at No. 3 VANCOUVER COLLEGE 42
VANCOUVER — Coming off it’s first loss of the season last week, a 38-16 non-conference setback at Lynden (Wash.), the Vancouver College Fighting Irish built momentum through its entire week of prep and came through with a convincing home field win.
“Our team bounced back from last week’s loss with a unified effort in practice and played hard for one another on O’Hagan Field today,” admitted Irish head coach Todd Bernett, whose team also put forth one of its most balanced offensive attacks of the season in concert with a defence which recovered a fumble (Colin Dolynski), registered five sacks (Matt Hoag, Ayadh Badurdeen, Aydan Tumeh, Josh Hsiung, Dimitri Grigg) and made two interceptions (Chris Kongbo, Marcus Teoli).
Bernett was especially happy with the team’s effort against one of the province’s most dynamic forces.
“Coaches Daved Benefield and Daniel Laventure put in a good work week with our linebackers and defensive backs to prepare for Handsworth’s weapons,” said Bernett. “Keelan White was a handful, but we kept things bottled up and got the shut-out.”
Basil Schincariol, who carried eight times for 90 yards, rushed for the first two touchdowns of the game, from four and two yards.
Aiden Perry added majors on runs of one yard and 25 yards, while John Calica added a 16-yard rushing major.
Vancouver College quarterback Eric Zychlinski was 9-of-12 for 154 including a seven-yard touchdown strike to Jason Soriano.
Owen Ker caught four of those passes for 79 yards, while Hoag led the defence with seven tackles.
PRINCE GEORGE 54 NECHAKO VALLEY 16
PRINCE GEORGE — Quarterback Braden Reed continues to put up mind-boggling numbers.
The Polars’ pivot carried 20 times for 226 yards and three touchdowns, while also recording nine tackles, a forced fumble and a pick in a win over the Vikings.
Bradyn Michell carried seven times for 76 yards and two scores while forcing a fumble and makngn five tackles, while Gage Bernard had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
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