By Howard Tsumura Sat, Oct 16 2010 Howie’s High School Hamper
W.J. Mouat 30 at Centennial 14
COQUITLAM — Good football teams take advantage of turnovers and short fields and with a No. 1 ranking since the start of the 2010 season, there is no doubting that Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks (6-0, 2-0) are a good team.
So when the No. 5-ranked Centennial Centaurs (3-3, 1-1) surrendered the football deep twice off key fourth-down plays in the opening half of Friday’s rematch of the 2009 Subway Bowl championship final won by the Centuars, it’s not too difficult to imagine what happened.
“You can’t give an offence like that two possessions inside your 40 in the first half,” lamanted Centaurs head coach Ryk Piche after his team’s 16-point loss at Percy Perry Stadium kept the Hawks’ perfect record in tact and kept alive the possibility of a showdown with the No. 2-ranked Terry Fox Ravens on the final week of the regular season.
Centaurs’ running back Jason Buren scored on a three-yard run on the game’s opening drive to put the home team up 6-0.
In the second quarter, Centennial attempted a direct snap on fourth down to back-up quarterback Marco Mihic who rolled out but was tackled by the Hawks, giving Mouat the ball at the 40-yard line. Mouat quarterback Cam Bedore’s 25-yard completion to tight end Luke Friesen was the big play on the ensuing drive which was capped by a one-yard run by Devin Logan. Friesen’s convert made it 7-6.
Later in the same quarter, again in punt formation, a bad snap that sailed into the backfield allowed Mouat to take over at the 12-yard line and it wasn’t long before Bedore hit Brady Churly on a crossing route for the score and 14-6 halftime lead.
It was with those two majors, both coming off a combined 52 yards of offence, that the Hawks were able to take momentum into the third quarter.
Friesen’s 30-yard field goal made it 17-6, but Centennial quarterback Cole Milton’s 12-yard run around right end, coupled with Buren’s two-point rush for a convert off the option, had the home team as close as they would get at 17-14.
In the fourth quarter, however, Mouat’s adaptability on offence proved vital, as Churly morphed into a true dual-threat runner-receiver.
The Hawks were able to find ways to bring Churly, lined up as a fullback, into the scheme as an inside receiver, taking advantage of the fact he was being matched against linebackers. The scheming started to ease things up for on the outside for receiver Desmond Bassi, and after a key pass interference call to Centennial, the Hawks were able to complete a drive capped by Logan’s second TD of the game from a yard out.
After Mouat’s defence forced Centennial to punt, Bedore once again led his team down the field, this time capping things with a 15-yard scoring strike to receiver John Watson who later secured the win with an interception.
“It was the first real emotion game for us,” admitted Mouat head coach Denis Kelly. “The others are preseason games or league games that we are supposed to win. But when it’s Centennial, we lost to them twice last year. So we started a little apprehensively, but I thought we got stronger as the game went along. We recognized their plays quicker and held Buren to shorter gains.
“Offensively, we were inconsistent at times, but finally found a comfort zone and we took advantage of some coverage recognition. Our kicking game was definitely superior. We pinned them deep on kickoffs, took advantage of some fourth down Centennial miscues and made that big field goal. It was a big win for our kids, especially after last year’s final, but we realize there is a long way to go as the season moves on. We showed some depth and we fought through some late-game injuries.”
Said Piche: “It was the best game of the year so far for us and there are a lot of positives that we took out of it. We would love to see them again, that’s for darn sure. My hat’s off to them. They were two touchdowns better than us on our two mishaps.”