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Hawks look for pigskin payback

2009 Subway Bowl revisited: Hawks meet the Centennial Centaurs for the first time since last year's heartbreaking loss, and are looking for revenge. Photo: T. Plett

Tonight’s game a rematch of last year’s AAA Subway Bowl
By Cam Tucker, The Times October 15, 2010

Cam Bedore was saying all the right things Wednesday as the W.J. Mouat Hawks prepared for tonight’s highly-anticipated showdown with the Centennial Centaurs.

Last year’s defeat at the hands of those same Centaurs in the 2009 Subway Bowl, played on the frozen field of McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, was as much a learning experience as it was heartbreaking for the Hawks, now winless in each of the last two B.C. High School Triple-A varsity football championships.

“But there were a lot of positives coming from that game,” said Bedore, the Hawks exceptional Grade 12 quarterback about last year’s 39-36 loss to Centennial in the championship game.

“It really helped me build as a mature quarterback, looking at my reads and just getting to know how my players play and how to be a leader out there.”

And then, then it slipped out. Tonight’s game against the Centaurs is personal.

“We’ve got to give them payback for last year,” admitted Bedore, who completed 11 of 15 passes in the Hawks 35-0 triumph over Lord Tweedsmuir on Oct. 8 to open the regular season.

“They beat us twice [last season] by three points both times. There’s definitely a bit of a chip on our shoulder to get back and give it to them.”

And while the Hawks remain the favourite to take home this year’s Subway Bowl, the defending champs from Centennial will likely provide the sturdiest of obstacles in getting there.

The Centaurs, who struggled earlier in the pre-season, exploded offensively in a 42-23 thrashing of Holy Cross.

“This just means we’ve got play harder to get the win,” said Hawks Grade 12 receiver Desmond Bassi, who collected 127 yards through the air last week against Lord Tweedsmuir.

“This is the biggest game of the season so far.”

But this is not just a rematch of last year’s championship classic, however, as tonight’s clash features two of arguably the best teams in the province offensively and defensively.

“I think this year we feel we have a little better team and perhaps Centennial is a little less explosive,” said Hawks head coach Denis Kelly.

“Offensively and defensively we have the schemes to highlight each [individual] and if they do their job, each one of them will have the opportunity to shine.”

The coach added his players should benefit from the experience of not only last year’s Bowl game, but the 2008 Junior Varsity championship as well.

Tonight’s contest will be played at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

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