Panthers edged by Grizzlies

Abbotsford drops first game of season, Mouat and Bateman fight for playoff lives

Panthers running back Richard Tshimpaka fights for yardage during high school football action on Friday.

It was one mistake too many for the Abbotsford Panthers on Friday.

A botched snap on the opening drive that led to a safety, a rushing touchdown by Richard Tshimpaka called back by a penalty, and allowing a major on a fake punt all led to a 23-22 loss to the G.W. Graham Grizzlies.

The Panthers had an opportunity in the game’s final moments to win the game off the foot of kicker James Parker. He had the distance but booted the potentially game-winning field goal attempt wide.

“I thought we played hard and put ourselves in a position to win and we just missed,” said Panthers head coach Jay Fujimura. “Graham is a very good team and you cannot expect to beat them without playing mistake-free football, and we didn’t do that today.”

The Panthers played most of the game without star player Chase Claypool, who suffered a charley horse in the second quarter, and was used sparingly after the injury. He didn’t play another series on defence after the injury and played a limited role on offence for the remainder of the game.

Fujimura said he expects Claypool to fully recover by the team’s next game. He said his squad performed well without its star player.

“We’ve had to play without him before and I think we’re a more well-rounded team than people think,” he said. “We have a good running back and receivers that can make some plays and they did today for us. We’re feeling confident we can fix a few things and move forward for the playoffs.”

Taking a pitch, Claypool threw the team’s first touchdown pass to Maasin Thompson to put the Panthers up 7-2 in the first quarter and then caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Abbotsford a 13-9 lead. Tanner Marquardt added another first half major, to put the Panthers up 20-16 after the first half.

The teams traded field position for most of the second half, and the only touchdown came when the Grizzlies scored on a fake punt of over 50 yards. Graham conceded a safety late in the fourth quarter rather than punt to Claypool and Parker couldn’t put the ball through the uprights.

Abbotsford falls to three wins and one loss and next play the Rick Hansen Hurricanes on Nov. 7.

Earlier on Friday, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves beat the Hurricanes 54-0.

Defensive captain Devin Sidhu scored two defensive touchdowns, one off a fumble recover and one off an inteception in the victory.

The win keeps the Timberwolves playoff hopes alive and they improve to a record of one win and three losses. Bateman travels to Pitt Meadows on Nov. 6, in a game they must win to fight for their playoff lives.

The Hurricanes record sits at zero wins and four losses, and they close out the season at home against Abbotsford.

In AAA action on Friday, the W.J. Mouat Hawks lost 37-28 to Lord Tweedsmuir. Hawks running back Dion Pellerin picked up 177 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Dylan Manocha scored a major on a kick-off return in the loss.

The Hawks fall to two wins and four losses with the setback. Mouat’s regular season is over and they have to watch and see what happens in the final week of the season to see if they move on.

Just Posted

Community-funded recording grant benefits Abbotsford songwriters

Common Room Music Collective starts ongoing grant to help musicians with recording costs

Langley – revving up for the cause

Two local cancer patients receive a bit of financial aid from a recent Langley charity car show

Dainty Dish signs off with Abbotsford School District

25-year partnership saw over 1.8 million lunches served; future of school lunch program unclear

Rolling with the punches: Abbotsford Mission Boxing Club finds new home

Club moves from Mission to Maclure Road in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s ER expansion still in the works

Deadline for construction proposals recently closes, but construction timeline unknown

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read