It’s likely second place in the Southern Conference of Senior AA high school football – and home field advantage in the playoffs – will be decided Saturday at Seaquam Secondary.
The Seaquam Seahawks will host the Frank Hurt Hornets at 1:30 p.m. A Seahawks win clinches the runner-up position for Seaquam, while the Hornets will be a step closer to a playoff date at home should they triumph.
The game will be the last of the regular season for the Seahawks, who improved to 2-1 (won-lost) with a 28-8 victory over the Moscrop Panthers in Burnaby last Friday night.
Running back Makaki Kawanami carried the ball 21 times for 155 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Joss Yanciw rushed for 86 yards and a pair of majors while throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Austin Bloom. Devon Singh converted all four scores.
Linebacker Rob Hodgins with 16 tackles and a quarterback sack and Devon Gould with 15 tackles and a sack led the defense.
Frank Hurt is 1-1 in league play after a 41-0 loss to the 3-0 Hugh Boyd Trojans, who clinched first place in the five-team division with the win.
“Regardless of their 41-0 loss, they are a good football team,” said Seahawks head coach Jerry Mullis of the Hornets. “They are big, aggressive and talented. We will have to be at the top of our game to beat them.”
The Hornets rallied from an 18-0 deficit to edge the Holy Cross Crusaders 19-18 on Oct. 4, and Mullis pays more attention to that result than the Frank Hurt loss to the Trojans, who have outscored their opponents 101-13 in three games.
“(Frank Hurt) showed how dangerous they can be when they came back from being down 18-0,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for teams that show that kind of resiliency.”
▶ The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers are chasing second place in the Eastern Conference of Senior AAA football, and their path will go through Kelowna.
The Panthers, 45-16 winners over the W.J. Mouat Hawks last Friday in Abbotsford, are 3-1 in league play with three games remaining. And two of the three are in the central Okanagan.
“Travelling to Kelowna and playing presents challenges: bus legs, hydration issues can lead to cramping, nutrition management etc.,” said Lord Tweedsmuir head coach Kurth Thornton. “But they often travel so it is only fair we go there.”
Several Panthers contributed to the win over W.J. Mouat. Quarterback Chrtistian MacMillan completed 10 of 15 pass attempts for 215 yards, hitting K.J. Johnson for a 68-yard touchdown toss.
Caleb Abraham ran for touchdowns of one and six yards, and also returned an interception for 31 yards. Johnson also had an interception return for a score, covering 41 yards.
Colton Zayshley ran for a 28-yard touchdown.
Hayden Hamilton led the defense with 10 tackles and three quarterback sacks. Recording six tackles and a sack each were Abraham, Chris Atkinson and Alex Bachmeier.
Looking ahead, the Panthers will likely need two more and maybe three more wins to climb into second place.
“We are happy to be 3-1 after being the only AAA team to not practice during the (teachers’) strike, but we are not content as our goals are much higher,” said Thornton.
“We can still improve our turnover ratio and our penalties.”
The Panthers will play the 3-2 Mt. Boucherie Bears tomorrow (Friday) in Kelowna. Their final home game is a week later against the 4-1 St. Thomas More Knights.