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Tanoa Bowl: Team BC U18 falls to WA VASA

Posted on 2014-12-28 14:53:50

U18 Team BC might feel they deserved a better fate in their first-ever appearance at the Tanoa Bowl Classic taking on WA VASA but in the end it was their inability to capitalize on opportunities that led to their downfall in a 21-6 loss.

Team BC started off strong finding the end zone on their very first drive with QB Brandon Holland connecting with REC Jesse Walker on a 43-yard touchdown pass just minutes into the opening quarter to put the British Columbian visitors up 6-0 after the failed convert attempt.

WA VASA would respond shortly after on a 68-yard touchdown run that would give them the lead at 7-6 following the convert.
Team BC had several opportunities after that to reclaim the advantage but couldn’t manage to find a way into the end zone. There was a LB Nathan Avantini fumble recovery that led to a 44-yard completion from Holland to Walker that took the ball all the way down to the VASA four-yard line in the second quarter. Walker, however, would fumble the ball into the end zone on a subsequent play for a touchback.

Late in the first half, RB David Lagou would put Team BC once again in scoring position after a 37-yard run but QB Theodore Landers would be picked off in the end zone with virtually no time left in the quarter from 30-yards out.

LB Cole Virtanen would record an interception in the third quarter and bring the ball down to the WA VASA 19-yard line setting up another scoring opportunity but, three plays later, Landers would be picked off for the second time on the day.

WA VASA would eventually stretch the lead scoring on a 15-yard touchdown pass on a fourth down gamble in the third quarter before adding a late 59-yard touchdown run with under a minute left in the game to round out the scoring.

Caleb Abraham (Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers) was named the defensive player of the game.


Team BC U18 head coach Jay Prepchuk
[on the team’s offence]
We were proud of the way the guys were able to move the ball. Usually offence is the thing that takes a little bit more time to operate. We really didn’t have very many practices. We had one two weeks ago, we had a walkthrough two days ago and yesterday we thought we were going to be able to get our own team practice in but it turned out to be a practice where all the teams were practicing together. We really didn’t have an opportunity to play that much together so I told the quarterbacks that the job that they did with such a short timeframe was outstanding. We were able to move the ball. We just couldn’t finish off our drives.
[on QB Brandon Holland]
I’m really impressed with Brandon. He’s got a lot of potential as a quarterback. He’s a big, tall guy with a strong arm. I like the way Brandon has got a good demeanor. He doesn’t get too overly excited. He’s calm. He’s got lots of poise and he’s had good coaching the past number of years. He’s going to have a bright future ahead of him.
[on QB Theodore Landers]
Theo is such a great athlete. I hope he continues in football and I know he wants to. He’s the type of individual that can play a lot of positions - defensive back, strong safety, free safety, corner, receiver. I think that, as a quarterback, the one thing that really helps him is his athleticism. He’s a student of the game and really wants to improve as a football player. He’s really conscious about getting better.
[on the Tanoa Bowl experience]
I think it’s a great experience. It’s kind of the unknown factor what’s going to happen when we come down here. Who knows who we’re playing against and what type of competition we’re playing.  Certainly yesterday when we had that practice together with the other teams I know a lot of our guys were intimidated and, even the coaches, we were not quite sure what was going to happen today. I think it was important that our guys got off to a good start and that we showed people down here that we can compete with these guys.
DB Cole Virtanen
[on his interception]
Coach told me exactly what to do. I was just able to get into position to make a great play for our team.
[on the team’s defensive play]
We just stuck together and were able to make plays, get turnovers and get our offence into good positions. At the end of the day, we were all on different teams back home but once we got here and put on the same jersey we were one team and we just stuck together.
[on the Tanoa Bowl experience]
The atmosphere down here is crazy. It’s a whole different game. It’s just amazing. It gets your heart going as soon as you hear the crowd.
QB Brandon Holland
[on the team’s offence]
We haven’t had a lot of practice together to work on our timing but I thought once we hit the half I thought our timing was better and we made a lot of passes.
[on the Tanoa Bowl experience]
It’s insane. The crowds here and the scouts here, it’s awesome.
QB Jesse Walker
[on the team being unable to finish on offence]
The defence kind of ran the game mostly. We’ve got a lot of guys out here that are really good, really talented.
I’ve got to give it to all the guys on D who played really well. They gave us chances we just didn’t finish on our drives.
[on the Tanoa Bowl experience]
It’s a great opportunity. I’m very glad I played for Team BC. To come out here and showcase my talent and do things and play with all the boys I play against in the province is a great feeling. To be out here playing against the best, the kids that know their game, it’s great.