Photo: Paulette Hunt Baker
Howard Tsunamura, The Province, Sept 25 2015
W.J. MOUAT 14 at ST. THOMAS MORE 28
BURNABY — Luca Bellini is the leading man in the St. Thomas More Knights ground game, but on Friday, the Knights showed just how much death they actually have in their backfield.
“It was great see three different ball carriers able to gain yards tonight,” said STM head coach Bernie Kully who watched as the Knights totalled 278 yards rushing on the night as they opened Eastern Conference AAA play with a victory after opening up a two-score lead in the first quarter.
But make no mistake, Bellini was the headliner. And besides his 12 carries for 155 yards and one touchdown, he added seven tackles on defence.
Lucas Dalla-Vecchia had 14 carries for 70 yards, while Tyler Eckert had eight carries for 25 yards and a score. Eckert also had six tackles and three sacks for minus-25 yards.
“Tonight was a team oriented win,” said Kully. “We had great number of people contribute to the win tonight.”
Matt Smigel had a 57-yard punt return for a score while Devon Hayek hauled in a 20-yard TD pass from Liam Feenan.
“We came out of the gate very poorly, and that put us behind the eight ball,” said Mouat head coach Travis Bell. “But I’m proud with how the boys responded after getting down 15-0 in the first quarter. I thought going into half time we had the momentum and things would turn our way. Unfortunately, our offence was never able to get much going in the second half and full credit goes to the STM defence. They played a very aggressive scheme today and our quarterback struggled finding time to get the ball to his receivers.”
Mouat quarterback Noah Dietrich was picked twice but did finish with 221 yards passing and a touchdown pass to Elijah Falconer, the latter catching two passes for 119 yards. Dion Pellerin caught four padsses for 41 yards while Cam’ron Lobban had two for 30 yards. Nelson Lokombo led the ground game with seven rushes for 65 yards.
Defensively, Reuben Reardon recorded nine tackles and a sack, while Pellerin made eight tackles and Arsh Brar five.
“What we did do today is prove that despite being young, we will compete with the top tier teams in the province every week,” said Bell. “I’m still waiting for our team to put together a full 48 minutes. Once we can do that, we’ll find ourselves having a lot of success.”