AAA Semifinal: Mt. Douglas Rams vs Terry Fox Ravens

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 2:30PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV

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Photo Credit: Christian J. Stewart Photography

 

On one side of the AAA semifinals, the Mt. Douglas Rams go head-to-head against the undefeated Terry Fox Ravens in a clash of two traditional football powerhouses as both teams battle it out for a chance to return to the Subway Bowl Final.

The Ravens defeated 2014 Subway Bowl champions, the South Delta Sun Devils, last week by a score 33-14 to continue their undefeated run en route to the semi-finals. In the win, quarterback Jake Laberge threw two touchdowns including a 26-yard touchdown strike to running back Jeremie Kankolongo, the latter who finished with three scores in the win. Kankolongo, who also rushed for scores of 11 and five yards, will be a key player on offence alongside Taylor Poitras, who was the leading rusher this season among the AAA ranks. On defence, the Ravens were able to frustrate South Delta running back Grant McDonald and contain the Sun Devils’ run game on the way to victory and will look to do the same against the Rams.

The Rams are coming off of a 51-13 win over the Kelowna Owls and are itching to topple the number-one ranked Ravens to get back to the title game for the fifth consecutive year. Offensively, the Rams lit up the field with three 100-yard plus performances from Declann Michielin, Gavin Cobb, and Manny Lopez. Michielin finished the night with 14 carries for 129 yards and two scores, while Cobb and Lopez finished with seven carries for 113 yards and two scores and seven carries for 101 yards, respectively. Quarterback Gideone Kremler also had a productive night, completing 11-of-15 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard touchdown strike to Gevhahn McNally-Hardisty. Not only did the Rams have a good day on offence, the defence stepped up big as well. Aidan Kachanoski led the team with six tackles and a sack, while other solid perfornaces came from Michielin also recorded six tackles, and Lopez, who recorded three tackles and a fumble recovery.

In a match-up of two high-octane offence teams, not to mention a re-match of the 2013 Subway Bowl Final, will the Rams prevail and make it five straight years in the championship tilt? Or will the Ravens fly high at BC Place and get back to the championship contest for the first time since that aforementioned 2013 season? This is a game you won’t want to miss at BC Place!

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AAA Semifinal: Vancouver College Fighting Irish vs New Westminster Hyacks

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Saturday, November 28 – BC Place

Kickoff at 7:30PM

Watch online at www.SportsCanada.TV

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Photo Credit: Jason Lang

The New Westminster Hyacks have a chance to make history and secure a spot in the Subway Bowl championship game for the first time but, in order to do that, they’ll need to get past the unbeaten Vancouver College Fighting Irish, a team looking to make their way back to the title game for the first time since 2012.

Last week, the Fighting Irish blanked the Notre Dame Jugglers 27-0 to earn their spot in the semi-final. In the win, the defence effectively shut down the Jugglers’ offence by recording picks left, right, and center. Bobby Singh recorded three picks, while defensive lineman Jagroop Sandhu also got into the act tipping a pass to himself and returning it 20 yards for a pick-six. Chris Ellis made seven tackles to lead the defence. On offence, running back Michael Le and receiver Rysen John both scored touchdowns to help the Fighting Irish to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, and Javier Sanchez Mejorada rounded out the scoring with a touchdown run in the final quarter to ensure a win against their cross-town rival.

The Hyacks, meanwhile, defeated the St. Thomas More Knights 27-13 to earn their spot in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009. In the game, running back Trew Dancey scored on back-to-back majors, including a 45-yard scoring run, while David Penalver and Gurvir Ghuman both found the end zone with a 22-yard run and 40-yard run, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Hyacks. On defence, Jeff Lugtu recorded a crucial pick which eventually led to a touchdown, and will be a player to watch this weekend. The Hyacks did make three trips to STM’s five-yard line without producing scores and they will look to make sure they don’t miss any more of those opportunities against Vancouver College.

Will the Hyacks continue their run and punch a ticket to the Subway Bowl final? Or will the Fighting Irish prove to be too much to handle? Come find out at BC Place!

 

Handsworth Royals at Carson Graham Eagles – BC High School Football Game Preview

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Saturday, September 12 – Carson Field

Kickoff at 1:30 pm

Watch live online at www.SportsCanada.TV

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Photo Credit: Football BC

For the 2015 season’s first BC High School Football game of the week preview, we cover the 29th annual Buchanan Bowl, a strong cross-town rivalry matchup between the Carson Graham Eagles and the Handsworth Royals.

The hosts, Carson Graham, lead the all-time series 18-10 and have won the past four Buchanan Bowls. The Eagles are without some familiar faces that were lost to graduation including running back Lucas Bill, their leading rusher for the past two seasons, and quarterback Mike Worthen, one of the top quarterbacks in AA Varsity last season leading the division in a number of categories including passing yards (1362) and passing touchdowns (17), but feature a key returning player in Flynn Heyes, who ranked eighth in the conference last season with 44 tackles and two sacks in a span of five games.

This year, the Royals graduated key pivot Mihai Lapuste and will look for a new starter under the guidance of quarterback specialist and head coach Jay Prepchuk. Another key player who will be missed for the Royals is Matthew Anderson, who led the league last season with 74 tackles and two sacks. A key returning player for the Royals is receiver Jacob Ghazizadeh who ranked fourth in receiving in the 2014 season with 23 receptions for 476 yards and two touchdowns.

Last year’s closely-contested matchup between the two teams was won by Carson Graham by a final score of 49-48. Will Handsworth finally break the Eagles’ Buchanan Bowl winning streak this year? Or will the Eagles extend their win streak to five? Tune in this week to find out!

The Season Finale

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Photo Credit: Michiko Araki, Football BC

Last weekend, I had the chance to go down to Auburn, Washington with the Grade 8 and U18 teams to the Tanoa Bowl for my last assignment as an intern at Football BC!

Although both teams were unable to return home with a win, the players definitely proved that they could compete with their American counterparts. I was especially impressed at the U18 team for being so cohesive on the sidelines as they cheered on their teammates, who they had played against all season long. As Team BC U18 Coach Jay Prepchuk said, the players respected each other and acknowledged their skills even before becoming teammates, which allowed them to bond well as a part of Team BC.

Something that also stood out to me was the atmosphere at the Tanoa Bowl. Although the event was only in its fourth year running, the stands at the stadium were packed by not only locals but supporters from different states as well, including Team BC supporters and especially those supporting Team Hawaii! It was definitely exciting for the players to be representing both BC and Canada across the border, and it really showed in the way they played in their games. Both teams played with pride and great sportsmanship, representing our province well!

At the end of the games, two team BC players received recognition as defensive players of the game. For the Grade 8 team, Kinsale Philip (Royal City Hyacks) took the honours, while Caleb Abraham (Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers) received the award on the U18 side. In addition, the Team BC U18 team received the Academic Team Award at the tournament, which is awarded to the team with the highest average GPA. Congratulations on a great showing this weekend to both of the teams and the coaches!

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Kinsale Philip (Royal City Hyacks) – Defensive player of the game  (Credit: Michiko Araki, Football BC)

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Caleb Abraham (Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers) – Defensive player of the game (Credit: Michiko Araki, Football BC)

After the tournament, the players also had a chance to go on a private tour of CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks! We got to view the private suites, walk through the locker rooms, go into the media booth (which was huge), and also had a chance to step onto the field! It was definitely a fun way to put an end to a great week down in Washington for the Team BC players!

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Above: Grade 8 & U18 teams at CenturyLink Field (Credit: Daniel Fung, Football BC)

Last words

Now that the season has come to a close, my time here at Football BC has also come to an end.

I came into this job knowing just the basics, and learned so much about the sport and the passion that drives the players and coaches I’ve had a chance to follow all season. Sometimes I would ask silly football related questions, but I was always eager to learn and my coworkers and the office staff were always supportive. From having seen football at many different levels from community to high school to university and the CFL in a short span of four months, I can truly say that football has become one of my favourite sports to watch!

As my boss Daniel once said, once you’re part of the Football BC family, you’re in it forever. After this experience, I’m glad to have gained a new family at Football BC. Thanks to all of the players, staff, coaches, volunteers, and parents that I’ve had the chance to meet and work with over the past four months! This was definitely my favourite experience in the field of sports so far and I will never forget it!

Will @hellochiko live on in the future? Only time will tell 🙂 Until then, thank you to everyone who followed the blog this season and supported football in BC!

Darrell Ross’ life lessons a key to the Sun Devils’ success

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Photo Credit: Philip Chan, Football BC

In over 10 years of being involved in football as a trainer, Darrell Ross has seen his fair share of ups and downs.

Darrell got his start in football by volunteering with Coquitlam Minor Football, then got involved with the Vancouver Trojans before becoming a crucial part of the South Delta Sun Devils, the latest team to be crowned the Subway Bowl Senior AAA Champions.

In that time, Darrell says he has gained a lot of great memories from being involved in the sport.

“I think one of the most memorable experiences was winning South Delta’s first Double A championship in 2008,” he recalls. “It was actually the semi-final win that was the most memorable, as we came back to tie the game and win in a shootout.

“The perseverance and tenacity that the kids showed [that day] is what I really love about football.”

In that memorable semi-final game six years ago, Rick Hansen was ahead 28-14 in the third quarter, but the Sun Devils caught up to tie the game and scored a touchdown and convert in overtime.

The Hurricanes responded with a touchdown of their own but their two-point conversion attempt failed, sending the Sun Devils to face Seaquam in the finals.

This year, in similar fashion, the Sun Devils also came from behind to win their semi-final game against No. 1 ranked Terry Fox, 16-13, en route to capturing the Subway Bowl championship this season.

“I was emotional [when we won in the final], but I was even more emotional when we won against Terry Fox,” says Darrell. “The boys had to find it in themselves to come out and find a way to play their game.”

The perseverance and tenacity that the Sun Devils showed in their first ever Double A championship in 2008, and this year in winning their first ever Triple A championship this season, is no coincidence or fluke.

Whenever the Sun Devils players need motivation, or to give themselves some perspective, all they have to do is look at Darrell and his own personal story of persevering through difficult situations.

In the summer of 2011, Darrell dealt with plenty of uncertainty after being diagnosed with cancer. Amazingly, he showed true grit in the face of adversity.

Even during his treatments, Darrell never stopped working and still found time to support the Sun Devils at their regular season games and in the Subway Bowl playoffs. Several months after his surgery, he volunteered as a trainer at Football BC’s Senior Bowl camp, an event he has been a part of for several years now.

“Until you see a specialist, you don’t know about the cancer, how much time you have left, or how severe it is,” explains Darrell.

During those trying times, he had to find it in himself to stay positive and persevere, much like the players on his beloved team.

“It’s never over. You can always persevere. You need to live each day for each day,” says Darrell. “That’s a lesson I learned [in my fight with cancer] that I try and teach the players on the field.”

With a role model like Darrell on the team, it’s no wonder that the Sun Devils rose all the way to become champions with their ‘never-back-down’ mentality.

Once again, congratulations to Darrell, South Delta players and their coaching staff for a great season!

Devils get their due at 2014 Subway Bowl

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Photo credit: Ray Shum, Tempest Photo/BC High School Football

AAA newcomers South Delta Sun Devils saved their best for last beating out three-time defending Subway Bowl champions, the Mt. Douglas Rams, in dramatic fashion on Saturday at BC Place.

In stark contrast to their regular season meeting when the Rams easily handed the Sun Devils a 44-7 loss, South Delta gained revenge in the best possible fashion by proving they could topple the supposed team to beat this season.

Led by Lucas Kirk, Jack McDonald, and Bryce Conners, the Sun Devils romped to a convincing 55-30 win over the Rams, ending Mt. Douglas’ impressive reign atop the AAA Senior Varsity Division and claiming the school’s first-ever Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy.

Kirk, the efficient quarterback, went 23-of-37 for 342 yards on the night recording six touchdown passes on his way to being named the game’s most outstanding back. Jack McDonald was one of Kirk’s many targets as he caught one of those six touchdown passes and took it to the house 37 yards.

McDonald was fittingly named the MVP of the game after making important stops on defence throughout the game and proving his essential role on the team.

Bryce Conners also stunned the Rams early in the game, returning a kickoff 81-yards to the end zone right after a Rams’ touchdown. Conners would also go on to catch two touchdown passes in the team’s win.

For Mt. Douglas, star running back Seye Farinu recorded one touchdown, while quarterback Joe Clarke passed for 211 yards on the night and three touchdowns – two of those going to Gavin Cobb.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Jack McDonald, South Delta Sun Devils

Outstanding Lineman: Easton Garard, Mt. Douglas Rams

Outstanding Back: Lucas Kirk, South Delta Sun Devils

Chiko’s Champion of the Game

QB Lucas Kirk (South Delta) – Lucas Kirk has been tested at every stage of the playoffs, and their final game was no different. Kirk remained composed under extreme pressure, making great passing plays even while fending off Mt. Doug’s attempts to contain him.

Back-to-back year of the Bulldogs

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Photo credit: Daniel Fung, Football BC

The John Barsby Bulldogs showed their bark and their bite on Subway Bowl Saturday against the Mission Roadrunners on their way to capturing their second consecutive Double A championship at BC Place.

The Bulldogs effectively shut down the Roadrunners’ superstar Jesse Walker when it mattered most, but it was the work of Trentyn Anderson, Kieren Carreck, Cole Virtanen, Chris DeGoutiere and North Rainey that ultimately led the team to their 36-20 win.

Anderson and Carreck both scored touchdowns in the first quarter to put the Bulldogs ahead at 14-0, but it was Rainey and DeGoutiere that helped the Bulldogs fend off the relentless offensive efforts of the Roadrunners.

DeGoutiere caught two passes from Rainey for touchdowns, while Rainey also scored on a 28-yard run. Virtanen, who was named the game’s MVP, did not put any scores on the board but battled for hard earned yards and was especially effective on defence.

This marks the team’s third championship win in five years.

Mission’s only scores of the night came from rushing phenom Jesse Walker, who recorded three touchdowns in the loss.

Players of the Game (as selected by BC High School Football):

MVP: Cole Virtanen, John Barsby

Outstanding Lineman: Josh Gouldston, John Barsby

Outstanding Back: North Rainey, John Barsby

Chiko’s Champion of the Game

QB Jesse Walker (Mission) – Mission didn’t get the win they’d hoped for, but quarterback Jesse Walker showed how crucial he was to the team by rushing for three touchdowns to keep the team’s hopes of a win alive even after being targeted all game long by the Bulldogs.