A dominant 42-18 triumph over the Elmira Falcons highlighted a football weekend to remember for the W.J. Mouat Hawks.
The Hawks’ road trip to Oregon yielded not only the aforementioned victory on Friday, but also featured a visit to Autzen Stadium in Eugene to watch the University of Oregon Ducks trounce Arkansas State 57-34 in NCAA gridiron action on Saturday. Mouat alum Boseko Lokombo is a junior linebacker with the Ducks, and has moved into the starting lineup this season.
“It was a great weekend for the kids, and the coaches too,” said Hawks coach Denis Kelly, noting that his team also had a chance to chat with Lokombo and tour the Ducks’ football facilities. “The Oregon game itself, there’s so much hype and hoopla around it. It’s quite a neat environment.”
Opening their non-conference schedule against Elmira, the Hawks got a dominant effort from the defence, while Maleek Irons spearheaded an unstoppable running game. The Grade 11 tailback scampered for 137 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries, while fullback Taylor Hinton also eclipsed the century mark on the ground, rumbling for 102 yards on nine carries.
Quarterback Mario Narte and running back Crysthian Rivas also rushed for majors, while Matt Riley booted four converts.
HAWKS HOST T-WOLVES
Up next for the Hawks is an exhibition game against an Abbotsford foe, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Mouat Field). The T-Wolves, heading into their second season of full-fledged AA football, are ranked No. 5 in the province, but AAA No. 2-ranked Mouat will pose a stiff test.
Bateman was slated to open on the road last Friday against the Lynden (Wash.) Lions, but had to cancel because they didn’t have enough players available. Several T-Wolves players had summer work commitments, while others were out of town on vacation.
Head coach Alfred Brathwaite said they’ll have a full roster available for the Mouat game, though.
“Our kids are ready,” he said. “It’s a big deal. They’ve practiced all summer long waiting for this, and they haven’t had the opportunity to show what they can do. This gives them the opportunity to do that, and it should be quite exciting.”
PANTHERS, HURRICANES IN ACTION
Abbotsford’s two other AA senior football teams also debut on the road this week. The Abby Collegiate Panthers take on the New Westminster Hyacks on Friday, while the Rick Hansen Hurricanes face North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals on Saturday.