The B.C. high school football playoffs officially kick off on Friday, with all three Abbotsford senior varsity teams in the title hunt.
The Abbotsford Panthers closed off the regular season with a big 40-22 win over the Mission Roadrunners on Saturday to finish the year at 5-2.
Jalem Catlin rushed for four touchdowns and collected over 200 yards on the ground in the win. Panthers quarterback Austin Martin scored the team’s other touchdown.
The Panthers, who finished fourth overall in the AAA’s Eastern Conference, now square off against the fifth-ranked team in the Western Conference – the Notre Dame Jugglers. Notre Dame finished 2-5 on the season. The two teams battled in an exhibition game on Sept. 14, with the Panthers earning a 20-16 win.
The playoff game occurs at Panther Field in Abbotsford on Saturday and is scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m.
Over in West Vancouver, the W.J. Mouat Hawks crushed the Highlanders 56-13 on Saturday.
Hawks quarterback Tyran Duval threw for 267 yards and a whopping seven touchdowns in the win. He also collected 48 yards rushing.
Wide receivers Dhag Mora and Seth Young each caught two touchdowns and Andy Ofosuhene added a pick-six.
Mouat finished the season at 4-1 and placed second in the AAA’s Pacific Division North. The Hawks open the playoffs on Friday when they take on the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in Cloverdale. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m.
The two teams did not meet this season, but Tweedsmuir finished third in the Eastern Conference at 5-2.
Meanwhile, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves ended the season with a 26-20 loss to the G.W. Graham Grizzlies on Friday.
Wolves quarterback Ty Martens was solid in the loss, throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 68 yards. Bateman got touchdowns from Andy Tran and Jordan Fayant.
The Wolves finished the season at 2-2, good for third in the AA’s Eastern Conference. If Bateman hopes to once again reach the AA provincial final it will be a long road, beginning with a battle against the South Kamloops Titans in Kamloops on Friday night.
In other B.C. high school football news, all-stars for both AAA and AA were announced on Sunday, with the following Abbotsford players earning the nod:
AA: Ty Martens (quarterback, Robert Bateman), Josh Olafson (defensive line, Bateman), Phoenix Moller (linebacker, Bateman) and Jack Weinkauf (linebacker, Bateman).
AAA: Jalem Catlin (most valuable player – running back, Abbotsford), Keon Glickman (offensive line, Abbotsford), Luke Pearson (defensive line, Abbotsford), Haidyn Vermeulen (linebacker, Abbotsford), Blake Neufeld (defensive back, Abbotsford), Dhag Mora (wide receiver, Mouat), Newton Maganga (offensive line, Mouat), Anthony Jaruchik (defensive line, Mouat), Andy Ofosuhene (linebacker, Mouat) and Keenan Baker (defensive back, Mouat).