The W.J. Mouat Hawks were shelled early but finished strong at Friday’s home opener.
The Hawks defence allowed two touchdowns on its first two drives to fall behind 20-0 in the first quarter and trailed 34-0 in the first half.
But the second half was a different story, as Mouat didn’t give up and fought back to a final loss of 52-22.
“Obviously that’s not the start we were looking for but I thought it showed some great character in our team,” said head coach Travis Bell.
“I love the way we kept battling. Right now Terry Fox is at a different level than we are but we’re leaving here with a pretty good feeling in our stomach.”
Bell said he told his team to keep it simple during halftime.
“We wanted them to forget about the scoreboard and just to relax a bit out there,” he said. “When you relax a little bit you start feeling confident and making plays.”
Hawks quarterback Shawn Lal picked up the team’s offence in the second half, connecting with Coleton Barker on a 60-plus yard passing touchdown and putting together some good offensive drives.
Dion Pellerin scored both an offensive and defensive touchdown, scoring on a three-yard run and stripping the kick returner at the end of the game to score a defensive major.
Bell said Lal and Pellerin had solid games.
“Lal came in and we were able to move the ball well,” he said. “He brings some calm to the offence. Dion Pellerin is a phenomenal football player and a leader for us and played great.”
Mouat falls to zero wins and two losses in AAA action this season. They next travel to Kelowna for a game on Oct. 10 and return home under the Friday Night Lights on Oct. 16.
In AA exhibition action on Friday, the Abbotsford Panthers beat Windsor Secondary 35-6.
Abbotsford displayed a balanced offence, with five different players scoring touchdowns in the win.
Abbotsford finished the exhibition schedule with a record of three wins and one loss. The Panthers open the season in Mission on Saturday.
The Robert Bateman Timberwolves scored a 14-10 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders in Surrey during AA exhibition action on Saturday. The Wolves trailed 10-7 at halftime and the defence shut down the Crusaders in the second half.
Running back Anthony Bodger and quarterback Keegan Vicklund scored touchdowns for the Wolves.
Bateman finished the exhibition schedule with a record of one win and three losses. They kick off the regular season by hosting G.W. Graham on Friday.
The Rick Hansen Hurricanes tangled with the Moscrop Panthers on Saturday but results were not available at press time.
The Hurricanes open the AA regular season on Friday when they host Pitt Meadows.
Read next Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for complete details on how all the teams fared.