LANGLEY — Welcome to the Saturday edition of Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report.
Check back with us throughout the course of the evening for results from the final day of regular-season play in the 2019 season.
We’ve indicated playoff matchups throughout the following report and we will soon post the complete AA and AAA draw. Precise dates, times, locations and venues will be finalized later this weekend by the BCSSFA.
KELOWNA 50 at SEAQUAM 27
NORTH DELTA — From 1-5 in conference play a season ago, to 5-2 some 12 months later, what an upward flight it’s been for the Kelowna Owls.
Running back Noah Gross had the game of his season, carrying 10 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns as the Owls topped the host Seaquam Seahawks (3-4).
“We are so very proud of how our players played today,” said Owls’ head coach Chris Cartwright. “We feel really good with how things have come together in the final weeks of the season. Today was a huge win for our program.”
As part of the win, Owls’ quarterback Nate Beauchemin went 6-of-9 for 108 passing yards, highlighted by a 38 yard touchdown pass to Nolan Ulm who finished with 76 yards through the air on the day.
The Owls defense was led by safety Isaac Athans and linebacker Nathan Gilbert who each recorded 6.5 tackles.
“Our coaches have done an amazing job helping our players prepare each week and learn from each of the games,” said Cartwright. “It’s really awesome to see how our players have grown through this season. We’ve had lots of success and lots of learning each game. We’re very excited for our players going into the playoffs.”
The Seahawks would have loved to have stopped their late-season hemorrhage, but after winning their first three in the conference, THEY finished by losing their last four.
Nonetheless, the Hawks will open in the playoffs next week as East-5 and face defending Subway Bowl champion and West-4 Mt. Douglas of Victoria. The winner of that game gets East champ St. Thomas More in the quarterfinals.
Seahawks’ quarterback Jay Mather threw four touchdown passes in the loss, three to Brandon Johnson and one to Corbin Grant.
“It was a high scoring affair but unfortunately we were on the losing end,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand, who will look to tighten up the team’s defence with the knowledge that his offence showed a much deeper side of itself on the day. “It was nice to see our offence score four passing touchdowns.”
MISSION 22 at ABBOTSFORD 40
ABBOTSFORD — Jalem Catlin rushed for four touchdowns and broke the 200-yard barrier along the ground, leading the host Panthers (5-2) past the visiting Roadrunners (1-6).
“We were able to establish the run and spread out the tough interior of Mission’s defence,” said Abby head coach Jay Fujimura, whose team will open its Subway Bowl playoff season this coming week as East-4, taking on the Notre Dame Jugglers (West-5). “That was the game plan. It worked for the most part aside from all the penalties we took in this game. I was pretty disappointed how undisciplined we were today. Going forward we need to clean that up or it will be a very short post season for us.”
Quarterback Austin Martin also rushed for a score in the win.
The defence, led by Haiden Vermuelen and Luke Pearson, did well to slow down Mission’s wing-t offence.
Yet the Roadrunners showed their pluck throughout, cutting the gap to six points in the third quarter before Catlin and the Abby ground game scored twice in the fourth.
W.J. MOUAT 56 at WEST VANCOUVER 13
WEST VANCOUVER — All of the necessary stats were not available to complete the equation, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Tyran Duval’s quarterback rating Saturday in his team’s regular-season finale was out of this world.
The W.J. Mouat quarterback went 17-of-20 for 267 yards and seven touchdowns, rushing for 48 yards to boot, as the visiting Hawks (4-1) toppled the host Highlanders (0-6) in decisive fashion.
The victory propels Mouat (Pacific-2) into the playoffs where they will face Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (East-2).
“Tyran continues his special year for us at quarterback,” said Mouat head coach Andrew Harder after his team grabbed the second-and-final Pacific Conference playoff berth. “Needless to say, he was able to generate an explosive passing offence for us today. Now, we are looking forward to the challenge of jumping into the first round of the playoffs.”
West Vancouver got things done in the first half with a pair touchdowns from Nolan Zen, so from Mouat’s perspective, they needed their own offence to pick up the tempo.
With Duval at the controls, that’s just what happened.
Leading 28-13 at halftime, the Hawks built on their lead in the second half as Duval hit Dhag Mora and Seth Young on deep TD strikes, while Andy Ofosuhene would cap the third quarter with a 50-yard pick-six.
Issac Whitmey helped bring balance to the offence with nine carries for 55 yards. Mora caught four passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns, while Young caught five passes, also for 99 yards, and two majors.
Whitmey has four tackles and a sack to pace a defence which also got three tackles and the aforementioned pick-six from Ofosuhene.
“Mouat plays hard with a diverse offence,” added West Vancouver head coach David Hollinshead. “That’s a good group that made us fight for anything gained.”
Zen made the most of his last game in a Highlander uniform with nine catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing seven times for 33 yards and a score. He added seven tackles on defence. Jay Armitage finished the game with 30 yards in receptions to place first provincially among receivers.
No. 4 LANGLEY 24 at EARL MARRIOTT 13
SURREY — Running back Kai Thomas’ return to the lineup was a welcome one for the Langley Saints (4-1).
Thomas carried 12 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns as the playoff-bound Langley Saints topped the Earl Marriott Mariners in a non-conference clash Saturday.
Kaleb Reemeyer also carried 12 times for 78 yards and a score and as the ground-and-pound Saints showed their depth with a bevy of Grade 11 backs seeing action behind quarterback Jesse Tomica.
“There is something to be said about importance of ball control,” said EMS head coach Michael Mackay-Dunn. “That’s something the Langley Saints did today. They kept our offence off the field.”
Mariners’ quarterback Sam La Rue rushed for 108 yards on 16 carries, scoring both of his team’s touchdowns. The passing game, however, never got untracked.
Langley, as East-2, receives an opening-round bye and will await the winner of this coming week’s clash between Prince George’s host College Heights Cougars (North-1) and North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers (West-4).
No. 3 G.W. GRAHAM 26 at No. 5 ROBERT BATEMAN 20
ABBOTSFORD — The Robert Bateman Timberwolves (2-2) brought every ounce of their unflappable resolve to their football field on Friday in a Fraser Valley derby clash with G.W. Graham.
Lucky for the visiting Grizzlies (4-0), they had just as much of the same, led by gutsy senior Colby Bessette.
Trailing 26-13 in the fourth quarter, the Wolves got an interception from Ty Martens, who then quickly donned his QB persona and threw a scoring strike to Conner Martin to make it 26-20.
After failing on its ensuing onside kick attempt, the Bateman defence got a stop and marched down to the Grizzlies’ 30-yard line before a bone-crunching tackle by Bessette caused a fumble and recovery with 20 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
“Today was another hard-fought GW-Bateman game that came down to the final play,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “I’m proud of the effort and fight that our kids showed today.”
Added G.W. Graham head coach Luke Acheson: “Playing Bateman always proves to be a close game. We were glad to get out of this one with the win and complete an undefeated regular season. It give us some nice momentum to carry into the postseason.”
Robert Bateman (East-3) will face South Kamloops (Interior-2) in its opening-round Subway Bowl game this coming weekend, while the Grizzlies, as East champions, get a one-week bye and prepare to face the winner of Holy Cross (East-4) vs. John Barsby (West-2) in the quarterfinals.
Bateman opened the game on offence and put together an impressive rush-pass mix, yet its drive stalled inside the Grizzlies’ five-yard line with Bessette batting down a pass on fourth down in the back of the end zone.
G.W. Graham took over on its four-yard line and handed the ball off to Bessette who proceeded to go 45 yards down the left side line, breaking tackles along the way and setting the table for an eventual game-opening six-yard TD run by Josh Caverly.
Bateman tied it on a long, trip-drill pass from Martens to receiver Andy Tran, but the Grizzlies took a 14-7 lead into the break when Grayson Frick found Bessette over the middle with a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Claassen’s 10-yard run made it 20-7 Grizz in the third quarter, but Martens found Jordan Fayant with a scoring toss to make it 20-13.
GWG’s Frick hit Thomas with a 35-yard pass play to set up Mason Murphy’s four-yard scoring run, giving the Grizzlies a 26-13 lead which would prove to be insurmountable.
Claassen carried 19 times for 152 yards in the victory.
For Bateman, forced to play running back Phoenix Moller along its offensive line due to a shortage of bodies, Martens was spectacular.
Not only did he go 16-of-26 for 254 yards and three touchdowns, he rushed for 68 yards, and as the free safety, had six tackles, a pick and a forced fumble.
Moller had seven tackles at linebacker.
“Ty Martens put our team on his back and carried us,” said Mills.
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