The annual Border Battle trophy will stay at Ballenas Secondary for a year after both the Whalers junior and senior varsity football teams tamed arch-rivals John Barsby Bulldogs.
The games were played on two separate days at Ballenas field last week. The JV Whalers took on the JV Bulldogs on Wednesday, Oct. 2. They were in dominating form as they shut out the visitors 55-0.
Then on Friday, Oct. 4, it was the senior Whalers’ turn and they completed the sweep when they stopped the senior Bulldogs 26-14.
The Whalers triumphant Border Battle campaign will linger in John Barsby’s campus for everyone to see as their principal, Jane Reynolds, having lost a bet against Ballenas principal Rudy Terpstra, will wear the Whalers jersey in school for a week.
Whalers head coach Dan Smith reflected on the two contrasting wins secured by both teams.
The confidence of the JV Warriors is running high and it showed against the Bulldogs when they dominated the game on both ends.
Smith said he’s pleased with the win but he is not a big fan of lopsided scores.
“I don’t think it helps kids that are trying to play the game,” said Smith. “At the end of the day, our kids were just gung-ho ready to play. And as a younger group of kids, they put less pressure on themselves. They were having more fun.”
The JV Whalers lead the BC High School Football AA Mainland Division with three wins and no losses so far.
Quarterback Ryker Pearson sparked the Whalers as he completed 7 of 8 pass attempts for 127 yards. He also rushed 56 yards and scored two touchdowns. Pearson now ranks second in the league in passing with 77.1 completion for total of 338 yards.
Running back Ayden Chambers did most of the rushing for the Whalers, carrying the pigskin nine times for 100 yards as well as receiving the ball twice for 45 yards and a touchdown. Gage D’Lerma had two touchdowns, rushing for 58 yards.
On defence, William Dubesky had five tackles while Kooper Chambers had five tackles and two interceptions. Reme Conway had five tackles as well.
In the senior game, the Whalers were not at their best and found themselves trailing 6-o early in the first period. After that play, Whalers lost the pigskin and found themselves hemmed down deep in their end. The defence came up big to deny the Bulldogs when Bruce McCabe intercepted a pass and made a two-yard run to tie it up.
Joseph Gruener converted the one point field goal to put the Whalers ahead 7-6.
Then late in the first half, quarterback Ben Chomolok completed a 55-yard pass to Nathan Robinson for a catch-and-run major to build the Whalers lead 13-6.
In the third quarter, McCabe caught a 12-yard strike for his second touchdown of the game. Gruener added the one point convert to make it 20-6.
Adrien Friesen, the heart of the Whalers defence, added a five-yard touchdown to go with his eight tackles.
Smith said that the Whalers will take the win but he stressed to his players that they have to play better.
“They were loose yesterday but when they came in today, we were just not as ready as I thought we could be as we have been versus some other teams,” said Smith.
“I said to the players, when you can win when you don’t play your best against a good football team like Barsby, then that’s a good thing.”
This was the senior Whalers’ first Western AA Conference win.
This week, both teams don’t have conference games.
The senior Whalers, however, will play an exhibition game against the AAA Nanaimo District Islanders on Friday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.