Ballenas Junior Varsity Whalers didn’t take any chances.
Although they were playing their final regular-season game against the cellar-dwellers of the AA Mainland Division of the BC High School Football League, the Whalers came out strong and focused to earn a 44-12 win over the visiting Argyle Pipers on Wednesday afternoon at Ballenas Field.
The Whalers clinched the division title and advance to the playoffs as top seeds. And they did it on the day the players honoured their mothers for supporting their goals in football.
Head coach Dan Smith said they couldn’t have chosen a better day to achieve this milestone. The Whalers earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. They will get to host a quarter-final game but unfortunately it will be played at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo on Nov. 13.
“It does take the pressure off us,” said Smith. “We had to win this game to avoid travelling up to Vernon. And that’s a big deal. It’s expensive and it’s hard to travel that far to play well. So this is a big deal today.”
Whalers took control from the start and racked up a 32-0 lead before Argyle was able to punch through the end zone late in the second quarter to end the half 32-6. When the game resumed, the Whalers increased their lead 44-6. They did give up another touchdown late in the fourth quarter to close the game 44-12.
“We had a good defensive game plan,” said Smith. “They had some good athletes on the field. The difference is our team was tighter.”
Quarterback Ryker Pearson led the offence, completing eight passes for 109 yards and a touchdown He also rushed for 45 yards and scored a touchdown.
Running back Ayden Chambers rushed nine times for 83 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also had six tackles. Kooper Chambers also had three touchdowns, rushing for 63 yards.
Wide receiver Reme Conway had five receptions for 44 yards. Tight end Brayden Jupe caught the ball twice for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Jonah Anderson and Conway had four tackles each while William Dubesky had three.
On Friday, the Senior Varsity Whalers will also try to duplicate the JV Whalers’ feat and clinch their Western AA Conference tile when they take on the SV Argyle Pipers at 2 p.m. at Ballenas field.