Mouat's Slater McRae escapes the clutches of a would-be Notre Dame tackler en route to the end zone during AAA high school football playoff action on Friday.

Mouat's Slater McRae escapes the clutches of a would-be Notre Dame tackler en route to the end zone during AAA high school football playoff action on Friday.

Abbotsford high school football: Hawks, Hurricanes victorious, controversial call costs T-Wolves

Maleek Irons shone for the W.J. Mouat Hawks in limited action, while Brandon Ho's big defensive play punctuated Hansen's first-round win.

W.J. Mouat Hawks head coach Denis Kelly’s initial plan heading into Friday’s AAA high school football playoff opener was for star running back Maleek Irons to stay on the bench as much as possible.

Irons had suffered a leg bruise in the Hawks’ regular season finale vs. St. Thomas More the previous week. It was a minor injury, and he was available to play, but Kelly preferred not to risk it.

The record-breaking rusher, though, proved to be too tantalizing a talent to leave on the sideline. You don’t leave a Ferrari in the garage, right?

So Kelly allowed his senior star six carries, and he made the most of them, rushing for 155 yards – including touchdown scampers of 64 and 49 yards – as the Hawks thumped the Notre Dame Jugglers 49-24 at Mouat Field.

“We were trying to maybe not use him much at all,” Kelly acknowledged.

“Of course, you get in a situation where you know that he’s the one who can run that play particularly well. So you give it to him, and then he scores. You get kind of intoxicated with what you can do, right?”

The Jugglers hung with the Hawks through one quarter of play, trailing 21-12 thanks to a kickoff return TD and a major set up by another lengthy return.

But Mouat stepped on the gas at that point, with Grade 11 speedster Slater McRae doing much of the damage when Irons wasn’t making his devastatingly effective cameos. McRae shook loose for TD runs of 30 and 45 yards, and Jacob Dodd hit the century mark in rush yards with 101 yards and a TD on 11 carries.

Quarterback Hunter Struthers also rushed for a TD and hit tight end Jacob Firlotte for a 25-yard major, while Clovis Lumeka (11 tackles, one sack) paced the defence.

The Hawks move on to face the Handsworth Royals of North Vancouver in the next round. That game goes at 3 p.m. next Friday at Windsor Secondary.

“They’re smaller than Notre Dame, but they’re skilled,” Kelly said of the Royals. “They’ve got an excellent offence . . . and they’re scrappers. They were out here watching us tonight, so they’ll be ready.”


With the Rick Hansen Hurricanes’ season hanging in the balance, Brandon Ho came through with an absolutely massive defensive play.

The Hurricanes were clinging to a seven-point lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter of their AA playoff opener at Abbotsford Senior’s new turf field, and the Windsor Dukes had driven down to the Hansen 10 yard line. But Ho, the Hurricanes’ star linebacker, tracked down a Dukes receiver running a reverse, stripped the ball and recovered the fumble.

The offence was able to run out the clock from there as Hansen punched its ticket to the second round.

“They were marching the ball and they had an opportunity, and that’s football,” head coach Paul Gill said. “Brandon made a great play.”

The Hurricanes had opened the season with a 33-6 road win over Windsor on Aug. 30 during non-conference play, but they found out their North Vancouver foe had come a long way since then.

“It was a lot closer than we anticipated,” said Gill, whose squad is ranked No. 5 in AA. “But it’s playoffs, and anything can happen . . . They’re well-coached.”

QB Alex Ho, Brandon’s twin brother, and receiver Zach Toews combined for the big offensive plays for the ‘Canes – they collaborated on a 31-yard passing TD in the first quarter, and hooked up again for a 10-yarder with five minutes left in the fourth quarter to snap a 7-7 tie.

Brandon Ho carried the ball 11 times for 85 yards, while other standouts on the defensive side of the ball included Shaiheem Charles-Brown (three sacks), Prem Singh (nine tackles), Toews (nine tackles) and Brad Atkinson (seven tackles, two passes breakups).


It’s never pleasant to suffer a season-ending loss, but the Robert Bateman Timberwolves were extra sour in the aftermath of their road defeat to the Carson Graham Eagles after controversial call transformed the complexion of the game.

Bateman had taken a 6-0 lead into halftime, but the Eagles came roaring out of the locker room to score two touchdowns early in the third quarter to seize the advantage.

The Timberwolves responded with a drive down to the Carson Graham one yard line, where senior running back Ben Cummings took a handoff and extended the ball to break the plane of the goal line.

From the perspective of the Bateman contingent, there was no question the ball was across the line, and one referee may have even signalled touchdown. But the ball came loose, and the Eagles’ A.J. Blackwell picked it up and returned it the length of the field to the far end zone.

After a lengthy huddle, the officiating crew awarded Carson Graham a TD, stunning the T-Wolves. Instead of potentially tying the game, they were suddenly down by two majors.

The pivotal play “deflated the kids,” Bateman head coach Alfred Brathwaite said, and the Eagles rolled from there.

In the aftermath, T-Wolves players, supporters and football staff took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the officiating, but Brathwaite declined the opportunity to rip the refs.

“A lot of the kids were very, very upset,” he noted. “It was the best game I’ve seen them play all year. They poured their hearts into this game, and they poured their hearts out afterward.

“We had a great season.”

Cummings was outstanding in defeat, scoring all three Bateman majors – one on the ground, and two on passes from QB Tanner Friesen.

Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read