The Carson Graham Eagles have kicked off their football season with a swooping victory over the Handsworth Royals.
On Saturday at the annual Buchanan Bowl – which is a league game this year – the Eagles claimed a crushing 50-0 victory over the Royals, at the annual event.
The Carson team is experienced, and came out focused and ready to execute, said head coach Brian Brady.
“They had a great week of practice which contributed to that,” he said. “We were able to get a bunch of different players making plays, and everything just seemed to connect.”
On offence, Carson receiver Fin Nemeth was a standout with 117 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Eric Town had 79 receiving yards and one touchdown.
On defence, Ryan Barber and Andrew McIntosh had five tackles and one sack each.
With the return of most of their record-breaking offence and provincial semifinalist team from last year, Brady expects Carson to be one of the top-ranked AAA teams in B.C. this season. Quarterback Liam Marshall, who threw 237 passing yards in Saturday’s game, broke the provincial record last year, averaging 299 yards per game.
Brady also praised Handsworth’s football program, which won the junior varsity game earlier in the day. Handsworth, as well as Argyle, are facing a challenging start to their season, with delays to work on Argyle’s artificial turf field and the re-surfacing of the field at William Griffin, which suffered from drainage issues.
“It’s hard enough to run a football program, adding those challenges is another obstacle for them to build their program,” Brady said. “That said … I think they’re going to have a good season. Their [junior varsity] team was really good.”
Handsworth is also joining the AAA Western Conference this year, which Brady describes as B.C.’s toughest and one of the top in Canada. “You’ve got to play Mount Doug, Vancouver College, Notre Dame. Some really top programs that don’t have the same challenges that some of the other schools have,” he said. As an indication of the teams’ quality, there are six playoff seeds in the conference.
Overall, the longtime coach said this year’s Buchanan Bowl was an excellent way to start the season.
“It was a great school community event,” he said. “We had an absolute ton of teacher and administration support.”
Noting a bright future for the sport across the region, Brady also highlighted the hiring of Glen Donaldson as the new coach at West Vancouver Secondary. Donaldson is president of the BC High School Football Association and a former running back coach at UBC.
“It’s a good time to be on a football team on the North Shore,” Brady said.