Ballenas Secondary School’s boys of AA Varsity football saw their season come to blustery end on the turf at UBC on Saturday by way of a hard-fought 34-14 loss to the Mission Roadrunners.
“It was a tough game but we are so proud of how our players performed today,” Co-head Coach Jeremy Conn said after, adding, “it’s hard to lose, but only one team gets to finish the season with a win.
“What’s important now is the kids appreciate the success we had this year. We had a very enjoyable season and gave Mission a run for their money.”
Mission was clinging to a 7-6 lead at the half, but the wind and rain hampered the Whalers’ league-leading passing game.
Still, Conn said in the second half the Whalers seemed to be gaining some momentum when they stopped Mission on two fake punts, and then downed a punt on the one yard line to put the Roadrunners back deep in their own end, but then a 99-yard QB sneak took the wind out of the Whaler’s sails
“Against a team like Mission you have to win the turnover battle and stop the big plays (and) we just could not do that enough,” said Conn, adding Mission did not make many mistakes “and they did not allow us to make the big play that we love. It was a great plan they executed, but we are really proud of our kids, as they finished strong and together. They represented our school and community really well.”
Conn said quarterback Liam O’Brien was 14-for-31 for 176 yards in the air with two TDs and two interceptions. Dustin Rodriguez had five catches for 65 yards and two touchdown catches; Justin Holland had three catches for 57 yards, and O’Brien also ran for 55 yards. Tysen Hunt had 41 yards on 10 carries and 26 yards on two catches, along with four tackles on defense.
On defence, “our Captain Matt Vandervelde was amazing, as he had 15 tackles and a sack to lead the way. He was a true warrior.”
In other BC High School AA Varsity Football action, the defending provincial champion John Barsby Bulldogs from Nanaimo kept their unbeaten season intact and punched their ticket to next weekend’s provincial final with a 54-6 pummelling of the Vernon Panthers. The Island squad will face Mission next weekend in their provincial final.