By Michiko Araki
All games at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, December 6.
Tickets are available at the gate. Show your ticket and receive 1/2 price admission at the BC Sports Hall of Fame where you can go see the Bob Ackles collection on loan from the BC Football Hall of Fame.
Senior AAA Final: Mt. Douglas Rams vs. South Delta Sun Devils - 7 PM, Live on SHAW TV and bchighschoolfootball.com
The three-time defending Subway Bowl Champions Mt. Douglas Rams go for a historic four-peat this Saturday but, in order to do so, will have to top the upstart South Delta Sun Devils, the Cinderella team of these playoffs who have already knocked off the No. 1 ranked Terry Fox Ravens.
In last week’s 23-13 win over St. Thomas More, the Rams went back-and-forth against the Knights for the early part of the contest having to settle for a 13-13 tie at half-time thanks in large part to a pick-six they recorded with just a minute left in the first half. When star running back Seye Farinu was carried off the field in the third quarter due to a leg injury, fullback Pato Vega quickly stepped up recording a six-yard touchdown run and added another 41-yard run with 2:10 remaining in regulation ultimately ending the Knights’ hopes for a comeback. On defence, Byron MacKinnon came up with a huge play when he tipped a pass in the last quarter with 8:16 remaining allowing the Rams to march the ball up the field keeping it out of the hands of the charging Knights.
The South Delta Sun Devils, meanwhile, pulled off the aforementioned stunning win over Terry Fox after overcoming a 13-0 half-time deficit to win 16-13. Quarterback Lucas Kirk had his trying moments early on but came up huge in the second half throwing a 68-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Franklin to get the first scores on the board for the Sun Devils in the third quarter. Grant McDonald’s one-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point convert attempt by Michael Mann ensured the Sun Devils’ win in the end.
Luckily for the Sun Devils, playing in climate controlled BC place should give them a better offensive edge than they had the last couple of weeks in the playoffs where their passing game was impacted due to extreme rain in the quarterfinal and freezing cold temperatures in the snow in the semi-final. One thing’s for sure – it will definitely be an interesting rematch this time around if Seye Farinu, who had four rushing touchdowns against the Sun Devils in their last meeting, isn’t playing at 100% this weekend, if at all.
The Sun Devils lost 44-7 to the Rams in their lone regular season match-up in a game that left some bad blood on both sides. Saturday will be a war when these teams battle for the coveted Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy.
Will it be history in the making, or will Cinderella have her night?
Senior AA Final: Mission Roadrunners vs. John Barsby Bulldogs - 3:30 PM, Live on bchighschoolfootball.com
After enduring the snow at UBC Thunderbird Stadium last Saturday, both the John Barsby Bulldogs and Mission Roadrunners managed to emerge victorious in their respective semi-final contests and will go toe-to-toe in Saturday’s Double A championship.
Defending champion John Barsby will be led by quarterback North Rainey as they look to become the first team since Windsor (2004-05) to repeat as the Double A champs. Last Saturday against Vernon, Rainey recorded a rushing touchdown and had a 37-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Vogt. He was also crucial in his position at safety where he recorded an interception. Cole Virtanen and Trentyn Anderson were also crucial players on offence, scoring two touchdowns, and a touchdown and two converts, respectively. Ultimately, Barsby forced several turnovers which proved costly for their opponent.
The Roadrunners, coming off of a dramatic 62-61 overtime win against Ballenas, saw their star running back Jesse Walker rush for eight touchdowns, including a 53-yard score, in a game where he rushed 24 times for 338 yards. In a tightly contested game involving the Double A tier’s top rushers, including Ballenas running back Coltin Laplante, the game went into overtime, and Walker ran in for a 10-yard touchdown and the decided two-point convert in somewhat controversial fashion to secure the win for Mission.
It will be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can contain Walker’s rushing game, but even more interesting to see if the Roadrunners can maintain their composure and try and keep the turnovers to a minimum against a team that capitalized so well on their opponent’s mistakes in the semi-finals.
Will the Bulldogs make it two straight titles, or will the Roadrunners party like it’s 2011 when they beat John Barsby in the title game? We’ll find out on Saturday as these two teams both look to bring home the Gary Scott Memorial Trophy.
Junior AAA Final: Notre Dame Jugglers vs. Terry Fox Ravens - 1 PM
In the Triple A junior varsity final, the Terry Fox Ravens will play the Notre Dame Jugglers in a matchup of teams who are both equally effective on offence as they are on defence.
The Ravens, who were 5-0 in the regular season in the East division, are solid on offence with a strong defence as well. In their five regular season games, they amassed 212 points while only having 12 points scored against them. To get to the final, the Ravens beat out the two traditional powerhouse schools in St. Thomas More (46-6) and Vancouver College (21-14) in the quarterfinal and semi-final, respectively. This is definitely a team that can hang with the best. The Ravens will be hungry to win, as they were runner-ups in last year’s Triple A Junior Varsity final to St. Thomas More.
The Jugglers, who went 5-0 in the West division, are also effective on both sides of the ball. In the regular season, the Jugglers scored 236 points and only surrendered seven points. To get to the final, the Jugglers knocked off Belmont (46-6) and Mt. Boucherie (28-14) in the quarterfinal and semi-final, respectively.
All in all, the matchup of these two effective teams should make for an exciting Triple A Junior Varsity Final!
Junior AA Final: GW Graham Grizzlies vs. Abbotsford Panthers - 10:30 AM
In the Double A Junior Varsity Final, the GW Graham Grizzlies and Abbotsford Panthers will go head-to-head at BC Place.
The Grizzlies will be looking to win back-to-back championships at the Double A Junior Varsity level after they captured their first-ever championship last year against Ballenas. This year, on their way to the final, they defeated Nanaimo (63-14), John Barsby (49-28), and Holy Cross (33-12), in that order. During the regular season, they posted a 4-2 record scoring 144 points on offence but also giving up 101 points.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are back in the Double A Junior Varsity Final and will be looking for their school’s first-ever championship at this level. To get to the final, the Panthers beat Frank Hurt (34-0), Robert Bateman (36-8), and Ballenas (45-6). During the regular season, they had a 5-2 record, scoring 218 points and giving up 121 points in seven games.
The last time these two teams played against each other was in October when the Panthers edged the Grizzlies by a score of 28-22.
Grade 8 Final: Notre Dame Jugglers vs. Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers - 8 AM
A new crop of high school football players will battle it out for a chance to be crowned the Grade 8 provincial champions onSaturday.
The Notre Dame Jugglers, who were 5-0 during the regular season, will face Lord Tweedsmuir, who went 4-2 in the regular season. During the regular season, the Jugglers scored 79 points and allowed only 25 points.
Lord Tweedsmuir, meanwhile, scored more points in the regular season than the Jugglers putting up 138, but also gave up 95 points on defence showing that they are more offensively oriented than their championship opponent.
It will be interesting to see how the Panthers’ offence matches up against the Jugglers’ defence.
Notre Dame beat Lord Tweedsmuir twice during the regular season.