VANCOUVER — Even with penalties wiping out two of their longest touchdown runs of the day, North Vancouver’s Windsor Dukes were as unstoppable and as good as advertised.
The No 1-ranked, undefeated Dukes continued to cut a decisive swath through the rest of the AA pack Saturday with a 49-13 win over Vernon’s Clarence Fulton Maroons.
Quarterback Ryan Baker threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Ben McMichael, and a 27 yard scoring strike to Sean Werbowski, then rushed for scores of 61 and 21 yards to put the Dukes on top 28-0 midway through the second quarter.
“We were excited to be in here, we like the turf and the facility,” said Dukes head coach Jim Schuman. “The guys have been waiting two weeks to play and you get worried about over-practicing, but they came out and they kept it simple.”
After the Maroons made consecutive defensive stands, forcing the Dukes to punt, Windsor came back and capped another drive when halfback Julien Perri took a pitch from Baker, then threw a 21-yard TD pass to Sean Werbowski for a 35-0 halftime lead.
Windsor continued to wreak havoc on the Clarence Fulton defence in the second half, resuming their scoring parade with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Baker to McMichael.
Clarence Fulton, as impressive an up-country No. 2 seed as there has been in recent memory, got on the scoreboard with 33 seconds left in the third quarter when quarterback Ike Olson hit Caden Doyle with a 10-yard strike.
Doyle, one of the top players in AA this season, bowled over a Windsor tackler at the goal line to score the major.
Windsor’s Ryan Werbowski rushed for a 10-yard major with 6:18 remaining to make it 49-7 Dukes.
Doyle added his second major of the game on an 80-yard punt return to make it 49-13.
Baker went 11-of-14 for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and he also rushed 13 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
McMichael could have scored four touchdowns on the day but had a pair of 50-plus yard scores wiped out by penalties.
“I am here playing with the people that I love,” said McMichael who caught seven passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. “Those were a couple of mistakes we made today, some penalties that I know we will clean up and fix for next week. It’s pretty nice having an offence like ours, and also a defence that just doesn’t give up points.”
The Dukes will face Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies in one AA semifinal next Saturday at BC Place.
The Grizzlies were 21-7 winners Friday over North Vancouver’s visiting Argyle Pipers as running back Von Richardson carried 33 times for 186 yards and a touchdown.
Tied 7-7 at halftime, Grizzlies’ pivot Bentley Thomas threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jesse Hough to round out the scoring.
The first was huge, coming on a third-and-goal from the 35-yard line.
The Grizzlies’ secondary generated four turnovers, including a pair of interceptions from cornerback Alex Whitehead.
“Overall a great team win for the boys,” said Graham head coach Laurie Smith. “Argyle was really tough and came in with a great game plan to limit Von and move the ball. Given what we have seen this season from Von, any three-and-out is a big surprise.”
Said Argyle head coach Wayne Theobald: “We played hard for four quarters but penalties killed us.”
Devin O’hea and Jacob Green were outstanding on defence in a losing cause with 13 tackles apiece.
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