Taejshon Catlin dekes around a Mariners defender during high school football action on Friday (Sept. 23). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Taejshon Catlin dekes around a Mariners defender during high school football action on Friday (Sept. 23). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Timberwolves football team opens with 41-8 win

Timberwolves defeat Earl Marriott Mariners in home opener, big expectations for 2022

The Robert Bateman Timberwolves senior varsity football team opened up the AA regular season with a decisive 41-8 win over Surrey’s Earl Marriott Mariners at Bateman Field on Friday (Sept. 23).

The offence connected early and often and Bateman’s defence smothered the Mariners early on.

The Timberwolves opened the scoring with a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Tajeshon Catlin and Bateman got the ball back quickly after Isaac Lynn snagged an interception on the next Mariners possession. Quarterback Nolan Watrin connected with wide receiver A.J. Nguyen for a 40-yard pass to go up 14-0 in the first quarter.

Bateman’s defence then forced a turnover of downs on the next Mariners drive and running back Micah Barker scored a 25-yard rushing major to put up 21-0. The next Timberwolves drive saw Watrin and Nguyen again team up, this time for a 34-yard bomb, and Bateman went up 28-0. The Wolves ended the first half with Lynn catching another touchdown pass from Watrin to end the first half up 35-0.

The second half saw Brady Doucette catch a touchdown pass to give Bateman a 41-0 lead. Earl Marriott broke the shutout bid when Max Reiffer caught a 40-yard touchdown pass and the ensuring two-point conversion was good.

Watrin finished with 168 yards passing, threw three touchdowns and completed nine of 14 passes. Nguyen led the way with 74 yards receiving, while Barker (64 yards rushing) and Catlin (52 yards rushing) had strong games on the ground.

Bateman also held Marriott to just 65 yards offence and -32 yards rushing.

Timberwolves head coach David Mills said he liked his team’s regular season debut, especially at how the club managed to avoid taking too many penalties.

“One of the things we wanted to focus on was to be more disciplined because we’ve taken a lot of penalties the last couple of weeks,” he said, reflecting on the team’s three exhibition games. “We did better today.”

Bateman went a perfect 3-0 in the exhibition and Mills said he feels good about where his team is at.

“I think we’re as talented as any team in the province but you have to work every day,” he said. “We want to make sure we don’t repeat what happened last year.”

RELATED: Bateman Timberwolves close exhibition schedule with third straight win

Bateman advanced to the AA provincial final last year, but ultimately lost in overtime. The Timberwolves have a number of offensive weapons, but two of the team’s most important pieces could be linesmen Dawson Hendriks and Logan Thiessen. The duo caused headaches on both sides of the ball for the Mariners on Friday.

Hendriks collected three tackles for a loss and two sacks, while Thiessen was a constant threat and even stepped into the kicker role for Bateman today. The pair are both 6-3 and Thiessen is 305 pounds while Hendriks is 240. Both players have significant size but can move.

“They’re almost unblockable at time,” Mills said. “There were times where you’d watch and those guys would just move the other team’s offensive or defensive front.”

Mills said his offensive and defensive line will be key this year and they played an outstanding game on Friday.

The Timberwolves next travel to Nanaimo to take on the John Barsby Bulldogs on Friday (Sept. 30) at noon.

“We know it will be a battle,” he said. “They are well coached, disciplined, and like to hit we will need to have a good week of practice.”

Next Friday also features the regular season debut for the AAA’s Abbotsford Panthers, who take on the New Westminster Hyacks on the road. The W.J. Mouat Hawks open the season on Thursday (Sept. 29) in North Vancouver against the Carson Graham Eagles.

Mouat’s home opener is on Oct. 7 vs. Mount Boucherie, while Abbotsford debuts at Panther Field this season on Oct. 7 vs. the G.W. Graham Grizzlies.

For more, visit bchighschoolfootball.com.

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Bateman’s A.J. Nguyen scampers for his first of two touchdown catches. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Bateman’s A.J. Nguyen scampers for his first of two touchdown catches. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Bateman quarterback Nolan Watrin avoids a Mariners attacker. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Bateman quarterback Nolan Watrin avoids a Mariners attacker. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Wide receiver Colby Johnson dives to attempt a catch. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Wide receiver Colby Johnson dives to attempt a catch. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Dawson Hendricks hunts down the Mariners quarterback. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Dawson Hendricks hunts down the Mariners quarterback. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Bateman Cheer Team performs at halftime. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Bateman Cheer Team performs at halftime. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Bateman Cheer Team performs at halftime. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

The Bateman Cheer Team performs at halftime. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

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