Ballenas Secondary School’s football teams both posted pre-season wins last week.
In Richmond on Saturday for an AA Varsity match against the Hugh Boyd Trojans, the Whalers had to dig deep to beat the hosts 14-7.
“It was a hard-fought game with both teams laying big (hits) on each other all day long,” said Whalers head coach Jeremy Conn.
The two teams played to a scoreless first quarter tie; the Trojans opened the scoring 7-0 in the second, and Ballenas bounced back when strong safety A.J. Messner made a great diving interception off a tipped pass.
The Whalers ran the ball several plays in a row to tie the game on a Garrin McDonnell QB sneak, then fullback Coltin Laplante found the endzone on a two yard TD plunge and the Whalers were up 14-7 at the half.
Both offences moved the ball in the second half but neither could score as the Whalers’ defense preserved the win.
“That was a physical game,” said Conn. “Both teams played great on defense. I am proud of how the team responded to adversity and were able to play tough for the whole game.”
Leading the way was Laplante on defense with 12 tackles, an interception, and a recovery.
Scott Childs was the top offensive player for the Whalers with five catches for 82 yards to go along with seven tackles on defense.
IN JR VARSITY ACTION: In Nanaimo Sept. 4, the Whalers thumped the NDSS Islanders 26-6 under a sweltering sun “that was draining,” said Conn.
The young Whalers took a 13-0 lead into the second quarter, and never looked back.
According to Conn, Sam Paquette opened the scoring in that one with a 42 yard touchdown run, and Grade 10 Matt Price padded the lead when he punched one in from six yards out.
The Islanders scored in the second half to cut it to 13-6, but that would be as close as they’d get at the Whalers’ defense dug in and Price peeled off two more long TD runs of 51 and 35 yards.
The Whalers’ D said Conn, “executed the game plan designed to stop the big NDSS running back and tight end.”
BSS linebacker Austin Hunt led defense with eight tackles and two sacks.
Defensive Lineman Steve Martin also had to play some Linebacker and finished the day with eight tackles and a Sack. Price had six tackles while Brenden Harstad added five tackles and an Interception. Harstad was also the leading receiver with two catches for 35 yards. Noah Wheatley had three tackles and came away with two fumble recoveries.
“Overall it was a really good win for us,” said Conn. “Everyone got a chance to play so it was a great team win.”
DOUBLE HEADER HOME GAMES
The Whalers host the AAA Belmont Bulldogs from Victoria on Saturday at BSS for a BC School Sports football double header.
The juniors kick things off at 11 a.m. with the seniors to follow at 1 p.m.