Sports

Whalers thumped by Centaurs

Ballenas quarterback Liam O’Brien led his team in rushing yards, scored both their TDs as well as a single point, and also led the team on defence in tackles in pre-season BC High School varsity football action in Parksville on Saturday. - James Clarke photo
Ballenas quarterback Liam O’Brien led his team in rushing yards, scored both their TDs as well as a single point, and also led the team on defence in tackles in pre-season BC High School varsity football action in Parksville on Saturday.
— image credit: James Clarke photo

It takes more than just guts to win football games, and Ballenas Secondary School’s Varsity Whalers’ head coach Jeremy Conn is hoping history will repeat itself, and that the lessons learned in a lopsided loss to the Triple-A Centennial Centaurs on Saturday will be a conduit for success in their upcoming season.

In action at home for their first of two non-conference pre-season games, it was evident early the AA Varsity Whalers had their hands full. The Centaurs, who came well-armed with a deep bench, scored early and turned a 39-6 lead at the half into a 52-14 final.

This was the second straight year the two teams have met on the field behind BSS. In their first meeting last year the Whalers threw a scare into the Centaurs from Coquitlam.

“I  think they underestimated us and they weren’t going to do that again this year.”

“It was an ambitious effort on our part,” Conn surmised after the dust had settled. “Taking on a big triple-A high school ... they’re a big fast team with a lot of experience and I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a run at the Triple-A title this year.”

Asked what he and the coaching staff will take away from the loss, and Conn was quick to make the point, “I think we need to work on some basics such as assignments, blocking and tackling; the execution of the fundamentals.

“Another thing we need to work on is turnovers.”

The Whalers turned the ball over four times in that game — two fumbles, an interception and an onside kick.

“They also had two fast kids that we could just not keep contained.”

The player of the game for the Whalers without question was Grade 12 quarterback Liam O’Brien, who tried to carry the team on his back, literally, as he fought for every extra yard he could.

O’Brien ran for over 100 yards on the day, scored both his teams’ touchdowns, ran one in for a two point convert “and he also led the team in tackles (at safety) with five ...great effort — he was trying to find ways to make things happen out there,” said his coach.

Brock Mould also did his bit anchoring the offensive and defensive line.

All things considered, “it was generally a positive experience,” said Conn, then made the point, “the last time we won the championship (in 2000) we played Triple-A WJ Mouat — they thumped us pretty good by a similar score, and it turned out to be a rallying point for the team.

“That’s why we take on these big teams. We want to challenge our kids to play the best so they can become the best.”

 

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