W.J. Mouat 20 at Lord Tweedsmuir 15
by Howard Tsunamura, The Province
SURREY — The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers finally lost a football game in 2011, but it took a stern fourth-quarter effort for the W.J. Mouat Hawks to leave Surrey with a 20-15 victory.
Taylor Anderson’s 17-yard scoring run, capped by a successful two-point convert run by quarterback Mike Messenger put the Panthers (6-1, 2-1) on top of the Hawks (5-2, 2-1) by a 15-14 count with seven minutes remaining.
Tweedsmuir had lined up to kick the extra point, but Messenger — also the team’s kicker — instead ran a sweep around right end.
W.J. Mouat, however, needed just three minutes to mount the game’s winning drive, capped by a one-yard sneak by quarterback Daniel Markin.
The two-point convert by Mouat failed, and Tweedsmuir had one last drive to pull out the win but had its drive stall at midfield on an incomplete fourth-down pass.
“We were not at our best and the weather conditions were not ideal,” remarked Hawks head coach Denis Kelly. “But give full credit to Tweedsmuir for a great effort. They’ve got an excellent team and their record coming in (6-0) was legit. I was happy that our guys were able to respond in the fourth quarter and drive the ball down the field when we had to. There were good things for both to teams to build on as league play gets into the last stretch.”
The game’s result deadlocked the two teams at 2-1 in the Eastern Conference, a win behind No. 1-ranked St. Thomas More (3-0) with two more weekends of play remaining. However Mouat has the easier path with games against Centennial and Earl Marriott, the bottom teams in the conference. Lord Tweedsmuir plays at fourth-place Terry Fox this coming weekend, then wraps up at St. Thomas More.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Dayton Campbell-Harris picked off Markin and returned the interception 25 yards for a touchdown. After Mouat running back Devin Logan responded with a 10-yard run, the score was knotted 7-7 at the half.
A long W.J. Mouat drive in third quarter led to a three-yard Markin scoring run, and a 14-7 Mouat lead.
Logan finished with 159 yards rushing on 25 carries while Markin was 6-of-13 for 60 yards through the air in addition to his two rushing majors. Jake Heathcote led the Hawks defence with six tackles while Nathan Henczel and Taylor Hinton recorded five apiece.
“I think we earned some respect today even though we lost,” said Panthers head coach Kurt Thornton. “We led twice during this game against one of the top teams in the province. We proved we can play with the best. Even though the conditions were sloppy and windy, it was a great game to be a part of. I am proud of my team today.”