In a season where he’s reeled off one incredible rushing performance after another, Maleek Irons continues to one-up himself.
The W.J. Mouat Hawks’ Grade 11 tailback scored a season-high seven touchdowns to lead his team to a 55-22 victory over the West Vancouver Highlanders in B.C. AAA high school football quarter-final action at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium on Friday.
Irons rushed for six scores and recovered teammate Jake Firlotte’s fumble in the end zone for a seventh major, finishing the night with 322 rush yards on 30 carries.
In the process, he set a new B.C. high school football single-season rushing record. Irons has racked up 3,184 yards on the ground in 11 games, surpassing the 3,173 yards registered by Reg Bradshaw of the Centennial Centaurs back in 2001. He’s also scored a mind-boggling 43 touchdowns.
“For a Grade 11, you’ve got to be pretty amazed,” Hawks coach Denis Kelly marveled. “And he’s an easy guy to root for, because he’s a great team guy.”
Chris Brake rounded out the scoring for Mouat, catching a TD pass from quarterback Mario Narte.
Defensively, Hunter Struthers led the way with three interceptions. Taylor Hinton posted a team-high seven tackles, while Levi Hua and Nick Westad had two sacks apiece.
The No. 1-ranked Hawks are now poised to write another chapter in a fascinating rivalry with the Mount Douglas Rams of Victoria. The Rams rallied to beat Mouat 42-35 in last year’s B.C. title game, but the Hawks gained a small measure of revenge with a 52-49 victory on Oct. 13. The two teams clash once again in the AAA semifinals on Saturday (5:30 p.m., Thunderbird Stadium).
“They’re going to be tough again,” Kelly noted. “We used the bye week in the first round of the playoffs to clear up a lot of errors, and if we can continue along those lines . . . I think we’ve got a good chance.”
SOUTH DELTA 29, HANSEN 14
In the AA quarter-finals, the Hurricanes gave the province’s top-seeded team all it could handle, taking a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Sun Devils exploded for 22 points in the final frame to snuff Hansen’s upset hopes.
“We had them on the ropes, and we were close to a huge upset,” Hurricanes coach Paul Gill noted. “But a couple breaks went their way, and they were able to score.”
Hansen quarterback Alex Ho threw TD passes to Lucas Schwab and Zach Toews to put the ‘Canes in front, and the defence harassed South Delta QB Kyle Menzies to distraction for much of the night. But the Sun Devils finally found some traction in the fourth quarter.
“It was a game no one gave us a chance to win,” Gill said. “But our kids played tough enough and came within a couple plays of winning the game. I’m proud of them. They left it all on the field.”
BALLENAS 56, BATEMAN 26
The Timberwolves were thrown a curveball when starting quarterback Tanner Friesen suffered a fractured wrist on Monday, pressing receiver Daniel Mills into emergency QB duty.
Mills put in a creditable performance in the AA quarter-finals against Ballenas, throwing a TD pass to John Beckerleg, but the Parksville-based Whalers were simply too much for the T-Wolves.
“He stepped up and put a great effort into it,” Bateman coach Alfred Brathwaite said of Mills. “For four days practice, he did extremely well.
“But we had a lot of turnovers, and that’s not in our favour.”
Beckerleg also rushed for a score, as did Ben Cummings. Riley Davis rounded out the Bateman scoring by recovering a Ballenas fumble and returning it to the end zone.