The W. J. Mouat Hawks are having a tough year, what with the relative youth of the squad and the constant injuries, but they almost surprised the visiting Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers on Friday amidst the mid-October drizzle.
The Hawks eventually succumbed 45-16, but were down only by a score early in the fourth quarter after rallying from a 24-0 deficit with 16 quick points.
After having spent much of the game being beaten down by the visibly larger Panthers, the Hawks put together a 60 yard drive to the end zone in the fourth quarter for their first points of the game. Mouat got a two-point conversion from Elijah Falconer, recovered an on-side kick, and then picked up another TD and conversion to claw their way back into the competition.
Both touchdowns came on runs from senior fullback Keagan MacGillivray, who also picked up an interception on the night.
“They’re an experienced, strong team, they’ve got lots of kids from last year’s team that almost beat Mt. Douglas (last year’s triple A high school champions), and they’ve got quite a bit of size on us,” admitted Hawks coach Denis Kelly.
Junior Dion Pellerin wrapped up 11 tackles in the loss, while senior Jarod Jensen had 10. Slater McRae grabbed his own interception, and picked up some nice yardage on kick-off returns, while Jacob Dodd had 89 yards rushing.
Fullback Providence Ndizeye and receiver Cole Barker didn’t play due to injury.
The Hawks had several chances to recover their own kicks in the first half before finally pulling off an onside kick in the fourth. Indeed, if Mouat excelled against the Panthers in any fashion Friday, it was on special teams.
Lord Tweedsmuir found three scores in the fourth to settle back into control of the game.
According to coach Kelly, the Hawks foiled themselves in the fourth “just trying to come back and throwing the ball so much. We got two passes intercepted for touchdowns right at the end, so it was a little closer than the score indicated.”
The Hawks (1-3) play their final game of the regular season this Friday, Oct 24, at 7:30 p.m. at home against the St. Thomas More Knights (4-1).
In other high school football action, the Abbotsford Panthers pummeled the G.W. Graham Grizzlies 40-24 and the Bateman Timberwolves won an exhibition match against the Earl Marriot Mariners 37-0.
The Rick Hansen Hurricanes took on the Samuel Robertson Titans on Friday night, but the game was cancelled in the fourth quarter after the field lights went out. The Titans were leading 28-26 at the time, but were about to punt the ball to the Hurricanes deep in their own end. Both teams are waiting for league officials to decide whether the result will stand.