Impressive victories by the Abbotsford Senior Panthers and the Robert Bateman Timberwolves – on the road, no less – highlighted the local action in Week 2 of the B.C. high school football season.
The AA No. 4-ranked Panthers traveled to the Okanagan to take on a AAA squad, the Kelowna Owls, and emerged with a 23-20 victory.
The T-Wolves, meanwhile, got a stellar performance from their defence in a 6-0 triumph over the Argyle Pipers in North Vancouver.
“It was our first game in a long time,” noted Abby Senior coach Jay Fujimura, whose team had its Week 1 game vs. Holy Cross cancelled and didn’t participate in spring football due to teacher job action.
“They (Kelowna) are a very good team, and we were excited about our play. . . . It was a good all-around effort on offence and defence.”
The Panthers got a tremendous performance from Chase Claypool – the Grade 11 standout accounted for all three of the Panthers’ touchdowns, catching two scoring passes and returning a fumble to the end zone from his free safety spot on defence.
Claypool’s first TD catch, a 70-yard play, came from starting quarterback Jordan Fox, and his second, a 50-yarder, came from backup John Madigan after Fox left the game due to injury. Thomas Sharpe Madigan forced the fumble that led to Claypool’s defensive TD, and James Parker rounded out the Abby scoring with a 37-yard field goal.
In North Van, the T-Wolves got off to a terrific start on offence – on their first possession, Austen Zacher ripped off a 65-yard run, and Jay Lee finished the drive with a 15-yard scoring scamper.
That was all the offence they would need, and in fact, all they would get in a game that was halted midway through the fourth quarter. An Argyle player went down with a suspected neck/head injury, and by the time he was loaded into an ambulance, the Pipers’ field booking had expired and another team was due to use the pitch.
Rick MacDonald, who co-ordinates the Bateman senior and junior football teams, said the Argyle player ended up being OK.
“Our defence played pretty well,” MacDonald said. “They got inside our 10-yard line three times, but the defence was able to hold them, and knock them backwards.”
Zacher had a big game for the T-Wolves, rushing 10 times for 132 yards.
In other action, the AAA No. 5-ranked W.J. Mouat Hawks were upset 30-14 on the road by the New Westminster Hyacks, and the Rick Hansen Hurricanes were blanked 30-0 at the Holy Cross Crusaders.
Slater McRae led the way for the Hawks – he returned a punt 90 yards for a TD and hauled in four receptions for 59 yards, and added a team-high 13 tackles and a fumble recovery on defence. The other Mouat major came on a seven-yard scoring pass from Noah Falconer to Jordan Duley.
As for the Hurricanes, head coach Rob Hallam noted his squad was shorthanded due to absences and injuries.
“It would have been a different game if we’d had everyone we were supposed to have,” he said. “We didn’t have a running game, and that really hurt us.”