The Rick Hansen Hurricanes’ offence took a while to rev up, but the defence was lights out from the opening snap vs. the Robert Bateman Timberwolves on Friday afternoon.
In the AA Eastern Conference opener for the two crosstown rivals, the ‘Canes pitched a shutout at Bateman, winning 16-0.
“When our seniors were in Grade 10, Bateman scored 60 (points) on them,” Hansen coach Paul Gill said. “Two years later, I’m really happy with how they played. They stepped it up, and we had them on their heels the whole game, really.
“We’ve been doing a lot in the off-seasons to get better, and it showed.”
Indeed, the Hurricanes’ D had the T-Wolves pinned deep in their own territory for much of the first half. But the offence wasn’t able to capitalize to the degree they would have liked – Devin DaCosta’s three-yard touchdown run gave them a slim 7-0 lead at the break.
Hansen, No. 4 in the provincial AA rankings, opened the third quarter by marching the ball down the field with an efficiency they hadn’t shown in the first half, and quarterback Alex Ho capped the drive with a one-yard plunge. Vishal Toor later booted a field goal to round out the scoring.
The T-Wolves were hampered by an injury to starting QB Tanner Friesen, who was replaced by Daniel Mills after hurting his shoulder in the second quarter.
“He’s such a big part of our offence,” Bateman coach Alfred Brathwaite noted. “Daniel does an excellent job, but Friesen is our No. 1 quarterback, and it makes a huge difference (when he’s not there).”
MOUAT 58, MT. BOUCHERIE 20
The W.J. Mouat Hawks’ offence was at its multifaceted best in a blowout win at home over Mount Boucherie of Kelowna on Saturday afternoon.
Running back Maleek Irons, as is his custom, had a monster outing, racking up 344 total yards – 281 rushing on 22 carries, and another 63 yards receiving on three catches.
And for the second straight week, the Hawks got a terrific performance out of QB Hunter Struthers. After throwing three TD passes vs. Mission on Sept. 13, Struthers one-upped himself by tossing four against Mount Boucherie – two to Jake Firlotte, one to Slater McRae and one to Irons – while completing 10 of 14 passes for 198 yards.
“We’ve had that balance the last couple weeks,” Mouat coach Denis Kelly noted. “We established the pass early, and that helped loosen up the running game as the game went on.”
Kelly was also elated with the performance of his defence, which did a solid job of slowing Mount Boucherie’s pass-heavy attack. Lineman Levi Hua led the charge – three of his four tackles were sacks, including one for a safety.
G.W. GRAHAM 28, ABBY SENIOR 7
A slow start and a few bad breaks in pivotal moments doomed the Abbotsford Senior Panthers on Friday vs. the G.W. Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack.
The Panthers weren’t sharp early on, allowing the Grizzlies to race out to a quick 10-0 lead and then stretch it to 17-0 in the second quarter.
Abby Senior put together a lengthy drive late in the half, but were stopped on the one yard line, which blunted their comeback. The Panthers got a TD pass from Jordan Fox to Chase Claypool in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 17-7, but they would get no closer.
“It was a tough loss,” Abby Senior coach Jay Fujimura said. “I hope to see them (G.W. Graham) again – the outcome might be different. The guys played hard, they prepared and they did the best they could. But that night, things just didn’t go our way.”
• Abby Senior is the lone local senior team at home this week. They host Pitt Meadows at 7 p.m. Friday at Panther Field.
In other action, Mouat visits Lord Tweedsmuir of Surrey (Friday, 1 p.m.), Hansen takes on G.W. Graham (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Bateman faces Samuel Robertson Technical in Maple Ridge (Friday, 7 p.m.).