Panthers advance to AA final four

Abbotsford moves on to provincial semi-finals with 50-36 win over Barsby

Panthers star Chase Claypool fights for yardage against the Barsby Bulldogs during quarterfinal action on Saturday.

Panthers star Chase Claypool fights for yardage against the Barsby Bulldogs during quarterfinal action on Saturday.

To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and the Abbotsford Panthers did just that on Saturday.

The Panthers knocked off the two-time defending AA provincial champions Barsby Bulldogs 50-36 on Saturday to move on the the AA semi-finals.

Chase Claypool put the Panthers on his back, scoring six touchdowns to clinch the win. Abbotsford had a 36-21 lead on the Bulldogs heading into the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs battled back to tie the game at 36. Claypool responded with two fourth quarter touchdowns, and the Panthers defence made key stops to topple the champions.

Claypool said it was a tough win.

They beat us up, they got me tired,” he said. “I was wanting to sub the whole game, but I had to stay in there. They really beat us up on offence but our guys stepped up and I think we played really well defensively.”

He also gave credit to his quarterback.

It was our quarterback John Maddigan just throwing perfect balls,” he said. “He trusted me to go up and get the ball. So it was just trust.”

The schedule for next weekend’s semi-final games is still to be determined, but the Panthers will play on the turf at BC Place.

Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more on this story.

With files from: Scott McKenzie/Black Press