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Mouat kicker Matt Riley puts in an extra point in the Hawk's 40-20 win over New West. Photo: T. Plett

By Cam Tucker, The Times September 14, 2010

A recent release from CanadaFootballChat.com of the top high school football teams in Canada has come out, and the W.J. Mouat Hawks are at the top of that list.

A coup, considering it’s only the first week of the season and the Hawks had yet to play a down in the 2010 B.C. High School Triple-A varsity football season when the release went out.

But that’s where the Hawks stand as of right now, and they started their journey to what they hope will be a Subway Bowl in December with a decisive 40-20 victory over the unranked New Westminster Hyacks at Mercer Stadium on a chilly Friday night.

The score might indicate the Hawks ran roughshod in the Hyacks, but that wasn’t the case, as head coach Denis Kelly and a number of players admitted afterwards.

“It took us a while to get going and full marks to [New Westminster] because they just physically dominated us in the second half,” said Kelly. “They just kept running it up the middle, making yards and making nice plays on their counters.

“They hung in there and they played a good game.”

A last-minute touchdown by the Hawks ensured a 20-point victory, and the Hawks openly admitted they were far from their best.

They held a 7-6 lead and needed two big plays in the second quarter to finally take control.

But penalties and dropped balls stood out on a team that is expected to be a high rolling offensive juggernaut in 2010.

And an underdog Hyacks team, perhaps feeling slighted by being left out of the recent provincial rankings unlike in years past when they were consistently in the top five, nearly took advantage.

“We obviously didn’t play our A-game and we should’ve been more prepared,” said Grade 12 receiver John Watson, who will be one of quarterback Cam Bedore’s most used targets this season along with Desmond Bassi.

“I think we just need to get more focused at practice, and this being our first game we did show a little bit of rust.”

After two weeks of nothing but practice, Kelly agreed his team may have been feeling the jitters a little bit as expectations continue to grow for this group.

“You’re anxious to play and you haven’t played since last year,” he said. “You build. it’s still early in the season.

“I think defensively we’re fine, it’s just offensively we’re inconsistent right now. We made some plays and didn’t make plays on other occasions and I think in the second half we struggled a little bit.”

The Mouat Hawks’ next game is a home game against Mount Douglas on Saturday. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. from the field at W.J. Mouat.

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