The Abbotsford Senior Panthers showed the power of the throwing game once again Friday night on their way to a 34-0 playoff victory over the Frank Hurt Hornets in the first round of the Subway Bowl.
Panthers quarterback Jordan Fox threw two touchdown passes to Chase Claypool, one to Grayson Marcourdt, and one to Jordan Goheen as the Abby receivers overwhelmed Frank Hurt’s defence. It was a triumph for a squad that coach Jay Fujimura has groomed to throw the ball.
“I think as a group the receivers and Fox work well together,” said Fujimura of his team’s success, “and I think it’s hard to cover them all.” The spread offence employed by Abby is ideal for creating one-on-one matchups for receivers like Claypool, whose size and speed make such battles almost unfair.
“Since I started at Abby and since we had (former UBC quarterback) Carson Williams, we’ve always sort of been that spread throwing team,” said Fujimura.
As always, Prenav Arya led the Panthers defence, and was integral to keeping the Hornets off the scoreboard. Fujimura credits the shutout to all the studying the team has done over the years to ready themselves for different offensive systems.
Jeremy Goldie added a pick-six for the Panthers, who are now one of only eight teams still standing in the Double A playoffs. Next weekend Abby will take on the top-ranked Vernon Panthers in chilly Kamloops to vie for a place in the semifinals.
Once again the Abby squad will be facing a giant, but this season the team has already managed victories against other formidable opponents such as Kelowna (a Triple A team) and Mission (the Eastern Conference champions).
“I don’t think the guys are intimidated at all,” said Fujimura. “They see it for what it is, an opportunity and a challenge … We’ll just do what we always do, go with our game plan, study, get things prepared, and go up there and play football.
In other Double-A football action, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves succumbed 35-0 to the Mission Roadrunners. While the ‘Wolves managed to keep the game scoreless until halftime, the dam broke in the third quarter after a botched punt attempt ended with Bateman surrendering the ball deep in their own end. The third-ranked Roadrunners were merciless from that point on, getting to the end-zone on almost every drive.