W.J. MOUAT 40 at NEW WESTMINSTER 20By Howard Tsumura Sat, Sep 11 2010 Howie’s High School Hamper
NEW WESTMINSTER — The quick-strike passing game of the W.J. Mouat Hawks has the ability to deflate an upset-minded foe about as quickly as a thin pair of tires on a hot summer day.
The New Westminster Hyacks know they are improving, and doing it quickly, but trying to rally from a 20-point deficit against B.C.’s No. 1-ranked Triple A team, especially when the game clock hits the fourth quarter, is maybe the toughest task in B.C. high school football.
Hawks’ wide receiver John Watson’s 55-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Cam Bedore, the second of his two huge gains on the game’s pivotal drive, proved to be enough Friday night under the lights at Mercer Stadium to carry No. 1-ranked Mouat to a 40-20 victory in one of the week’s top non-conference clashes.
“We had pulled close but then those two passes to Watson, he broke tackles on both and went for long runs and that kind of really deflated us,” explained Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji, whose team fell to 0-2 on the season. “That really kind of deflated us.”
If the Hawks showed anything on offence, it’s that losing Allan Dicks and Drew Chung to graduation has not slowed its ground game.
With quarterback Cam Bedore going 11-of-22 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, the multi-pronged Hawks’ attack was also able to establish its running game, getting 250 yards along the ground, including a 100-yard plus game from Devin Logan.
Mouat, in fact, opened the scoring on a three-yard first-quarter scoring run by Logan. Then, to start the second half, Logan scored from 10 yards out on a drive that was set up by a blocked punt by Luke Friesen, the Hawks’ dual-threat linebacker and tight end. The two-point convert failed, but Mouat had its biggest lead of the game at 26-6.
“I think the turning point was the blocked punt because it gave us a two touchdown lead at the half and inspired our whole team,” said Mouat head coach Denis Kelly, whose team was playing it’s first game since losing to the centennial centaurs of Coquitlam in last season’s Subway Bowl Triple A championship final.
The Hyacks drove down the field and got back to within a pair of scores when Eberding kept for his second three-yard scoring run of the game. Ian Henderson, who capped off a 100-yard rushing performance of his own with a strong second half, added the two-point convert to make the score 26-14.
Then, after Brandon Strauss converted Watson’s 55-yard score to push Mouat’s lead to 33-14, the Hyacks’ James Belgrave, who led New West in rushing with 126 yards on 12 carries, scored from 29 yards out.
Logan added his third rushing major of the game for Mouat as time expired.
“This was a good opener for us.,” said Kelly. “We played a solid opponent who gave us all we could handle and certainly left us with plenty to work on. Our players were particularly impressed with New West’s physical play and execution, particularly in the second half. Defensively, we had outstanding performances from (middle linebacker) Jake Heathcote (eight tackles), Friesen (seven) and (outside linebacker) Brady Churly (seven).
Corners Nathan Henczel and Tanner Hamade did a good job in coverage with Henczel managing a second-quarer interception.
Henderson finished with nine tackles for the Hyacks.
“I am asking a lot of inexperienced players not to make mistakes, and that is very difficult, and on some levels unfair,” said Lalji, whose tam faces Terry Fox on Friday. “Talent-wise, we are good enough to compete with those teams but we are inexperienced. In the second half we matched them point for point and yard for yard. But in the first half we made some mistakes. We’re a team that might be able to recover if you make two mistakes but we’re not the kind of team that can recover if you make five or six significant msitakes.
“Last year, we weren’t making those mitsakes,” continued Lalji. “And we had the explosive players to make up for it. That is the challenge. I am asking talented but inexperienced kids not to make mistakes and we have such a tough schedule early that it is not going to get easier next week against Fox.”