The Ballenas Whalers senior varsity squad didn’t play a football game the week before they took on the Windsor Dukes last Friday on the road.
And their hunger to play was pretty evident when they blanked the Dukes 32-0 in a Northern AA Division BC High School Football Conference game.
The Whalers remain unbeaten and lead the Northern Division with three wins. They will have another bye this week which according to head coach Dan Smith will allow some of the Whalers, who were banged up in the game against the Dukes, time to heal before they play their final home and regular season game against Argyle Pipers on Nov. 1.
The one-sided win avenged the JV Whalers’ 14-6 loss to JV Dukes that was also played at Windsor on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Smith said the senior Whalers were on high-octane as they came out strong and fast.
“We executed very well in offence and defensively we were able to shut down their strong quarterback (Alek Giragosian), who is very fast, and has a good strong arm, sort of like [Seattle Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson. They had some big kids and big linemen. I am proud of our guys of handling them.”
By halftime, the Whalers led 25-0 and never let up.
“The kids were hungry,” Smith said. “The weather was also a lot better than when the junior varsity played last Wednesday so we were able to throw the football.”
Quarterback Ben Chomolok and running back Demar Hohnstein sparked the offence. Chomolok completed nine passes out of 13 attempts for 177 yards and one touchdown. He carried the ball seven times for 42 yards and defensively had five tackles.
Hohnstein, who was kept off the offensive line against John Barsby, was hard to stop as he ran the ball 12 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Adrian Friesen, who plays fullback and linebacker, had six carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five tackles.
“We had our leaders and our top players play their best and when we do that, we’re tough to beat,” said Smith.
Tight end Bruce McCabe had three receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver Nathan Robinson had three catches for 59 yards.
Meanwhile the JV Whalers are aiming to bounce back strong from their loss against the Dukes when they take on the GW Graham Grizzlies Wednesday on the road.
The junior Whalers learned a hard lesson said Smith, and thankfully without it impacting their playoff chances.
“We should have won that game but we just made too many mistakes,” said Smith. “We just had a lack of focus. We fumbled in crucial situations. They made some fundamental mistakes that we normally do not make. That’s all it took for us to lose by a touchdown.”
Smith the Whalers had been scoring one-sided wins in their last three games including a 55-0 shutout of the John Barsby Bulldogs just two weeks ago. They’ve been a bit overconfident, he said.
“They’re kids,” said Smith. “It was a good wake up call, a good learning experience. It doesn’t cost us our chance in the playoffs.”
Running back Ayden Chambers carried the ball 13 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Chambers also had five tackles.
Quarterback Ryker Pearson completed seven passes out of 14 attempts for 115 yards and also ran the ball nine times for 51 yards. Reme Conway and Kooper Chambers had four and three tackles respectively.
The JV Whalers are 3-1 and share second spot in the AA Mainland Division with the Dukes.
GW Graham Grizzlies lead the pack in the division and Smith said they will be tough to beat.