The 30-plus year title drought continues for the Abbotsford Panthers, after losing 53-34 to the Carson Graham Eagles in the BC high school football title game at BC Place on Saturday.
Injuries caught up to the Panthers, as star receiver Chase Claypool went down with a lower body injury at the end of the first quarter, and several other Panthers players also got bit by the injury bug.
Claypool opened the scoring with a touchdown catch in the first quarter, but played limited minutes after his injury. The Panthers had no answer for Eagles quarterback Tyler Nylander, who scored seven touchdowns. Panthers head coach Jay Fujimura praised the Eagles play.
“I thought the boys played hard but then we had some adversity and you have to battle through that if you want to be a champion,” he said. “Hats off to Carson Graham, they played a hell of a football game and they were the better team today.”
He said losing Claypool hurt, but it was the Eagles offensive attack that sunk the Panthers title dreams.
“We’ve lost Chase before and we had opportunities to score and win,” he said. “But they were just very good offensively and we couldn’t keep pace. Things like that happen and we have to adjust and adapt, but we just couldn’t get it done overall.”
Claypool returned in the second half to throw a touchdown pass to Maasin Thompson, who had two majors on the day. Samwell Uko had a pair of touchdowns, one on the ground and one from a kick-off return. Richard Tshimpaka scored the Panthers other touchdown, and he also caught two interceptions on defence.
Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more.