Make it back-to-back wins for the Ballenas Whalers senior football team as they steamrolled over the NDSS Islanders 62-24 in a tale of two different styles of play.
The Whalers stuck to their game plan that made them successful two weeks ago against Carson Graham and used their run game. Once again Coltin Laplante dominated, rushing for 265 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Fullback Tyson Low also found paydirt three times, running for 142 yards. Quarterback Garrin McDonnell, A.J. Messner and Matt Price also had rushing touchdowns.
On defence, Cobby Stubbins led the charge with five tackles and three interceptions. Laplante had four tackles and a fumble recovery and Sam Paquette had five tackles. It was all Ballenas all game, from the opening drive to the final whistle — the Whalers stood tall and defended their home turf.
The Whalers took a 34–18 lead in to the half and had a bit of trouble defending the long ball, as the Islanders took to the air for their attack on offence, throwing for big gains on more than one occasion, which frustrated the Whalers defence.
“We had no turnovers and didn’t punt the ball away either,” head coach Jeremy Conn said. “It was a good day for our offence, for sure. We were a little frustrated at halftime thanks to the Islanders’ big plays in their passing game. But we made the necessary adjustments and our kids played really well throughout most of the game.”
Laplante continues to find success on the ground and the Whalers’ offensive line has done a great job creating gaps for Laplante to explode through. In his last two games, he’s rushed for more than 500 yards and has had multiple touchdowns in each game. The Whalers have found success early on this season with the ground game and will look to continue to run the ball against opponents through the season.
“It was a great team win,” said Conn, “as we had several different players step up and contribute in different areas of the game. We are excited about the potential we have but we have a lot of work to do if we want to be a top team. We still need to come together in being able to quit making silly mistakes and taking undisciplined penalties. But any time you win big like that versus a quality opponent like NDSS you have to be happy.”
The win now puts the Whalers at 2–1 on the season, with their lone loss coming at the hands of the defending provincial champion Barsby Bulldogs. With each game, the Whalers are looking stronger on offensive and defensive sides and will look to continue to improve ahead of this week’s game at home against Timeberline on Saturday (1 p.m.), which is an exhibition game. The Whalers next league action comes against Windsor, 1 p.m., Oct. 18 at Ballenas Secondary.