The Bateman Timberwolves senior varsity football made history on Friday night in Langley, earning the school’s first-ever regular season conference championship.
Bateman edged the Langley Secondary Saints 17-14 in a thrilling final game of the AA regular season to finish a perfect 3-0 and capture the Eastern conference title.
Sam Davenport provided all of the offence in the win, clinching the victory with a 15-year field goal with two seconds left on the clock.
He also caught both touchdowns for the Wolves, but he almost would have wanted to forget the game after missing a field goal with five minutes to go.
Davenport, who is known for his accuracy in kicking in both football and rugby, went wide left when the game was tied at 14. But, on the ensuing drive Davenport, who also plays defence for Bateman, caught an interception. The Timberwolves then made several key first downs and ate up most of the remaining time to give Davenport another opportunity to win the game – and he didn’t miss.
The Grade 12 student said he was disappointed he missed the earlier kick, but he felt good as he lined up for that final kick.
“I felt no pressure,” he said. “I used the fans as energy and it just felt great when they were screaming.”
Bateman head coach David Mills said he was completely confident that Davenport would be money.
“I didn’t really care when he missed because our defence was playing so good and I knew our offence could move the ball where we needed it to be,” he said. “We had lots of time left.”
Davenport’s two receiving touchdowns were both from perfect passes from quarterback Logan McDonald, who played another strong game.
“Those two [McDonald and Davenport] really put on a show tonight,” Mills said. “I’m so proud of all of these kids, to be our school’s first-ever conference champions and to come into Langley and beat them to do it is incredible.”
Mills praised the team’s defence, which limited the high-powered Saints offence to less than 200 yards.
Davenport said it’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Bateman team, who failed to win a regular season game in 2017.
“Last year we weren’t the best team and it was hard,” he said. “But we’ve gone from worst to first. The experience from last year helped, but I think it was that none of us wanted to lose anymore. We’re going places and we will be ready for the next team.”
Bateman earns a first-round bye with the win, and will play the winner of the wild card game featuring the third place team in the West and the second place Interior team.
The Timberwolves will return to the field on the Nov. 16 weekend against the winner of that game.
Over at Panther Field, the Abbotsford Panthers fell 31-0 to the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers, who completed a perfect regular season with the win,
Abbotsford’s offence failed to generate much, and turnovers also cost the team. One of the lone highlights was Abbotsford’s Ryan Street picking up his fifth interception on the season.
Tweedsmuir led 18-0 at the half, and were never in danger of allowing any points.
Abbotsford finished the regular season in fifth place in the AAA’s Eastern conference and compiled a 3-4 record. They will take on the fourth place team in the West in round one of the playoffs next weekend. The opponent, location and date of that game is to be determined.
Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more.