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Carson Graham claims AA football championship in overtime thriller

Tackle on the one-yard-line clinches AA Coastal Championship for Eagles
Carson football web
Carson Graham quarterback Logan Mellish celebrates with teammates after the Eagles scored a thrilling 40-38 win over Robert Bateman Secondary in the B.C. football senior AA Coastal Championship game played Dec. 4, 2021 at BC Place.

The Carson Graham senior boys are AA football champions after winning an instant classic overtime thriller 40-38 against Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Timberwolves tonight at BC Place.

The game was officially the AA Coastal Championship, not the provincial final, because flooding damage kept teams from across the province from meeting for the championships, but the two teams put on an all-world show nonetheless.

It was a high-flying, back-and-forth affair throughout, and things kicked into extreme mode when the Timberwolves drilled a last second field goal, literally, to send it to overtime.

In the shootout-style OT period Carson Graham’s Ashton Fink took a pitch from quarterback Logan Mellish on an option play and raced to the endzone for a massive two-yard touchdown.

Fink then made another huge play, taking another pitch from Mellish and dodging tackles to squeeze into the end-zone for a crucial two-point convert to give the Eagles a 40-32 lead. The Timberwolves then needed to match them with a touchdown and two-point convert to prolong the game. They completed the first part of mission with a touchdown from quarterback Nolan Watrin, but the Eagles came up with the crucial defensive stop on the two-point try, with Carson’s Griffin Withers and Malek Gul combining to make the game-winning tackle on the one-yard line, setting off a raucous celebration.

The whole game was streamed live on the internet and documented meticulously by B.C. Secondary Schools Football Association. Have a look at some of the highlights to get a taste of the frantic action. 

Bateman scored first in the game but the Eagles came right back with Mellish, recently named the top AA quarterback in the province, rushing for a score to make it 7-6 Timberwolves. 

Fink then picked up his first touchdown of the game, hauling in a pass from Mellish to make it 12-7 Carson Graham.

Bateman came right back with a converted touchdown to make it 14-12, but again the Eagles flew back into the lead, this time thanks to a marvelous 55-yard pass and run play from Mellish to Withers to make it 20-14 with a two-point conversion. 

Withers then extended the lead with an electric defensive score that saw him rip the ball away from a Timberwolves runner, scoop up the fumble and race 62-yards for the score, making it 26-14 heading into halftime. 

The Timberwolves came out hungry in the second half though, scoring two touchdowns to re-take the lead, 29-26, early in the fourth quarter. But Fink responded by ramming his way back into the endzone to give the Eagles a 32-29 lead on a pure power move. 

That score set the table for the last-second dramatics, with Bateman pushing down to the one-yard line with 11 seconds left in the game. The Eagles, however, stuffed big Robert Bateman Micah Barker, forcing the Timberwolves to settle for a game-tying field goal rather than a game-winning touchdown. After the overtime heroics from Fink the Carson's defensive stand, there was nothing left to do but celebrate.

You can watch the entire game at this link

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