The Ballenas Whalers senior football team disposed of the Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver) 48-12, giving the Whalers five straight wins to close their season.
In their final regular season game, the Whalers came up huge in a big game that sees them finish in second place, behind rival and defending provincial champion Barsby Bulldogs (Nanaimo).
Brody Seselja started at quarterback again for the Whalers and played an excellent game, which saw him score on a quarterback sneak and connect on a 47-yard touchdown with Brendan Harstad.
Seselja also took a late hit in the first half of the game, which fired up the Whalers even more than they already were.
“We talk about finishing strong and together, we played well all four quarters,” head coach Jeremy Conn said after the big win.
“This was a statement game for us, seeing as how these guys beat Barsby earlier and Barsby beat us. The Pipers only had one good drive, so it was good to see our defense step up and work hard together. We had some good play action passing to go along with our running game and it was nice to see us exploit their defense like that.”
Cobby Stubbins was solid on both sides of the ball for the Whalers, helping shut down the potent Pipers offense along with the quartet of Matt Price, Jonah Hay, Noah Wheatley and Sebastian Howard, who combined for 23 tackles in the game.
Stubbins also had a big 75-yard punt return, which saw him turn on the jets and take it to the house for the score.
Coltin Laplante was up to his usual stuff against the Pipers as well, rushing the ball for 276 yards on the day and scoring three touchdowns. Laplante has been a work horse for the Whalers all season and being able to utilize the run game and passing game against the Pipers showed that the Whalers could have a different look heading forward.
“Coltin has been great, he’s the best running back this school has ever had and that I’ve ever coached,” Conn said. “It’s inspiring to see how his hard work has been paying off for him in his senior year. These guys are all playing hard right now and coming together at the right time.”
The Whalers now have a week off before they host their first playoff game at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo, due to a rule that the game must be played on a turf field instead of grass.
“We’ll have time to prepare, get some good practices under our belt before we host our playoff game,” Conn said.
“We have three practices and then we’ll rest up. Hopefully we’ll be hosting another playoff game after our first one. We know what we’re capable of, we know that we can make a championship run with this team we have. We have the players and the coaches to do that so we’re all going to work together to make that happen.”