It was one of those good-news-bad-news weeks for Ballenas Secondary School’s football teams, with the JV Whalers shaking the monkey off their back with a big 32-16 win over the Barsby Bulldogs in Nanaimo last Wednesday, and the varsity team suffering a 28-0 loss at the hands of the Windsor Dukes in North Van on Saturday.
The Whalers, who have not beaten the Bulldogs in JV action in eight years, took a 12-0 lead into the half after a goal-line stand against Barsby on their opening drive, and rolled from there. Barsby scored a late touchdown.
Running Back Matt Price led the way for the JV Whalers’ offence, rushing for 160 yards on 20 carries (an impressive eight yards per carry) including touchdown runs of five and 70 yards.
Whalers’ QB Brody Seselja also ran nine times for 34 yards and was 3-for-7 in passing for 106 yards and two TD strikes; one of those a 55 yard pass up the middle to Brendan Hardstad, and another of 23 yards to Sam Paquette.
Paquette also hauled down a clutch 28 yard reception to keep the chains moving, and had six tackles on defense
Price and Noah Wheatley paced the Whalers’ D with seven tackles apiece, and Austin Hunt and Steve Martin pitched in with five tackles and a sack each.
According to Whalers’ head coach Jeremy Conn one of the craziest plays of the game was when Barsby blocked a Ballenas punt and the ball was squirting up and down the field until finally Whalers’ Liam Robinson scooped it up and went 55 yards for the touchdown.
“That was a wild play,” confirmed Conn, “I was proud of Liam for making such a heads up play. I am proud of the entire team,” he said, pointing out “we have a lot of new players and they have shown great commitment at practice and we are seeing how it’s really paying off. I am excited for the future these guys have together, that said we need to do a better job of stopping the run game by getting off blocks, staying in our gaps, and tackling better.”
Now 2-1 on the season, the JV Whalers travel to North Van on Wednesday to face the 1-1 Carson Graham Eagles (who last week handed the Holy Cross Crusaders their first loss of the regular season in a 35-7 route) for a big AA Western Conference matchup.
The 1-1 Varsity Whalers are in Nanaimo on Friday to face the Western Conference leading 2-0 Barsby Bulldogs.