The Abbotsford Falcons peewee black community football squad scored an upset victory on Saturday to punch their ticket to the provincial championship game.
The Falcons were considered underdogs heading to the B.C. semifinal, as their opponent, the Kelowna Bears, had beaten them twice at a preseason tournament in August.
But Abbotsford rode a huge fourth quarter to a 34-12 victory. They move on to face North Delta for the B.C. title on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at Langley’s McLeod Park.
“The kids are so excited to get to this point, and they’ve been saying that this is their Grey Cup,” Falcons head coach Luis Garcia said with a chuckle. “They’ve been working really hard to get where they are.”
Against Kelowna, the score was tied 6-6 after the third quarter. But the Falcons got a touchdown on the first play of the fourth, and stepped on the gas from there. Samwell Uko (2), Dylan Roach (2) and Tyson Reed scored TDs, while defensive linemen Ebiye Okoko, Addison Kleiber and Tyrel Rolle led the charge defensively.
The Falcons’ presence in the B.C. final is a remarkable statement on the health of grassroots football in Abbotsford. The local association had so many players register at the peewee level this season that they put together a second team in the division. The Falcons white squad, comprised of younger players within the age group, also qualified for the Valley Community Football League playoffs.
“For the Falcons, it’s a proud moment, because you don’t often get that in a club,” Falcons club president Chel Sanghera said, referring to the fact that both teams were very competitive. “It says we’ve got a lot of talent, and a lot of good coaches.”