Playoff season for North Vancouver football has kicked off in fine form.
On Friday (Nov. 17), Carson Graham Secondary took a 22-12 victory over South Delta in the AAA BC High School football quarterfinals. On the same day, Ecole Windsor Secondary clinched a 15-13 win over Robert Bateman in the AA quarterfinals.
Now, both teams will travel to BC Place on Saturday where they will play in their respective AAA and AA semi-finals to fight for a spot in the provincial championship.
The first half of the Carson Graham game on Friday was close, with a slim 8-6 lead for the Eagles going into halftime. But the team was able to pull ahead in the second half on the back of a great offensive and defensive effort, says head coach Brian Brady.
Standout players were quarterback Liam Marshall, with 196 yards thrown and one touchdown. Marshall currently leads the provincial league with 1,361 yards thrown, averaging 226.83 yards per game.
Running back Dallan Lewis scored 91 yards on 18 runs, 38 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. Receiver Eric Town scored 88 yards on eight catches, while Breylon Mcculler had 32 yards on four catches with four tackles and two quarterback sacks.
On Saturday, the Eagles face GW Graham at 7 p.m. inside BC Place.
“We’re really excited about our next game,” Brady said. “Our Grade 12s have put so much into the program.”
Last season, Carson set the BC High School record for most passing yards in a season, but lost in the semi-finals. “This season they have built on that. This group are unreal competitors and young men of tremendous character,” the coach said.
During Windsor’s quarterfinal game, the Wolves did an excellent job at containing Robert Bateman’s explosive offence, explained Windsor head coach Malcolm Allen. Before that match, Bateman was undefeated and the No.1-ranked AA team in the province and top team in the East division.
“Offensively we struggled to maintain blocks at all positions but made enough plays when we needed to control the game and come away with the upset,” Allen said.
The Wolves will battle against John Barsby, the top team in the West division, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Having lost to Barsby in the regular season, Allen said the team should be ready to correct previous mistakes.
“We need to get healthy and play incredibly physical to have a chance against a much bigger, run-dominant team who on top of that have the best athlete in AA football on their team,” Allen said.
During his quarterfinal game, Wolves quarterback Emmet Ward threw for 177 yards with one touchdown, a two-point conversion and a 51-yard run to score another touchdown of his own. Ward currently leads all AA teams with 1,219 passing yards, averaging 174.14 yards per game.
Receiver Samson Sachter led the offence with six catches for 93 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown.
On defence, free safety Liam Russell led the team with eight tackles. Defensive ends Ronan Hoey and Hayden Verador both had five tackles and a sack each to keep the pressure on Bateman’s strong offence, Allen said.