The Parksville Ballenas Whalers senior football team continued its impressive run this past week, beating the Hugh Boyd Trojans 42-12.
With the win, the Whalers now find themselves in the semi-finals of the AA provincial high school football playoffs.
Both the senior and junior Whalers have reached the semi-finals and will be looking to continue their successes once again this week.
The senior Whalers got off to a hot start in the opening half last week, finding themselves up big over the Trojans, 28-0. It was pure havoc as the Whalers ran roughshod over the Trojans on both sides of the ball.
The running attack from the Whalers couldn’t be stopped and the Whalers defense caused fits all day for the Trojans, creating turnovers in the first half and coming up big when called upon all game long.
“Our first half of that game was one of the best executed game plans I’ve seen us do,” head coach Jeremy Conn said. “We thought we could run on them, we did. We thought we could mess up their offense and create turnovers, we did. We recovered two onside kicks as well. I was so proud of our kids.”
The second half was much of the same for the Whalers, who would go on to score 14 more points to put the game to bed.
“The Trojans never gave up the entire game,” Conn said. “They got on the board with two touchdowns in the second half but they weren’t able to stop our offense. We were able to execute all game long and that’s what helped us to victory.”
Coltin Laplante had a big game once again, rushing the ball 34 times for 276 yards and scoring all six Whaler touchdowns. Quarterback Garrin McDonnell, who does double duty as the team’s kicker, was a perfect seven-for-seven on extra points. McDonnell also helped with two onside kicks, which were recovered by Sam Paquette and Jonah ‘Haymaker’ Hay. Hay led the way for the Whaler defense, racking up seven tackles and a sack on the day.
Noah Wheatley had a good game himself, coming up with four tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Nick Cessford also came up big for the Whalers, ringing up five tackles; a sack and a fumble recover as well.
“Our linemen played another great game on both sides of the ball,” Conn said.
“They dominated the way for Coltin on offense and on defense they were a wrecking crew, messing up the Trojans schemes and shotgun snaps. I was really proud to see all their hard work pay off.”
The win sets up a rematch for the seniors against a tough Mission squad, who has sent the Whalers packing the last three years in the playoffs.
Coach Conn said “it’s a monkey on our back that we’re going to get rid of.”
This season has been a historic one of sorts for the Whalers football program as this is the first time in its history that both the senior and junior teams have advanced to the semi-finals in the same season.
Wednesday the juniors are in action against Abbotsford (3:15 p.m. in Burnaby) with the seniors playing Mission on Saturday, 2 p.m. at UBC.