By Dan Kinvig – Abbotsford News
Published: September 19, 2011 10:00 AM
In the wake of the Mission Roadrunners’ stunning 22-15 win over the W.J. Mouat Hawks on Friday, Hawks head coach Denis Kelly paid the victors a heady compliment.
“They could play at the AAA level any time,” Kelly said. “They’re legitimate.”
Friday’s game, played before an enthusiastic crowd at Mouat Field, was a fascinating match-up between teams who both came in ranked No. 2 in the province – the Hawks in AAA, and the Roadrunners in AA.
In one fell swoop, Mission validated the level of play on the small-school circuit, and picked up what head coach Kevin Watrin called the biggest win in the nine-year history of senior varsity football at the school.
“Last year, we had a really exciting quarter-final victory in the snow against Seaquam,” he noted. “But I think this probably tops it slightly. It was an exhibition game, but it was against a fantastic program and a great coaching staff.”
The Hawks led 12-7 at the half, finding the end zone on a 30-yard screen pass from Daniel Markin to Devin Logan, and on a one-yard QB sneak by Markin.
But the Roadrunners rallied to tie the game 15-15, and then got the game-winning TD with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter when quarterback Kevin Wiens hit Hadley Gwyn for a 22-yard major.
The victory carried a bit of added significance for Watrin, who served as a Hawks assistant coach while student teaching at Mouat in 1995.
“It’s pleasing and satisfying,” he said when Kelly’s words of praise were relayed to him. “There’s been a number of us who have been around for the nine years and put in a lot of long hours. In many ways, it’s a cumulative experience with all the boys right through the program.”