A tough second half and a couple of turnovers at the wrong time proved to be too much for the Junior Varsity South Delta Sun Devils to overcome, as they dropped a 38-21 decision to the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the AAA JV provincial final Saturday at BC Place.
The Fighting Irish scored on the opening drive of the game for a 7-0 lead, but the Sun Devils answered on a nice drive of their own capped off by a one-yard run by quarterback Damian Dumas and it was 7-7 after the first.
Dylan Lappin made it 13-7 South Delta early in the second quarter after he caught a nine-yard pass from Dumas. SDSS failed on the two-point conversion.
Van College answered back with a pair of scores and led 20-13 at the half.
SDSS put together a nice drive to open the second half, but an interception swung the momentum back to Van College who scored on a 47-yard catch and run to increase the lead to 26-13.
On the ensuing kick-off, South Delta failed to cover the ball and Van College recovered. Moments later they were in the endzone again for a 32-12 lead after three quarters.
Van College scored again mid-way through the fourth, but the Sun Devils didn’t quit as Jarred Brown caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dumas. Brown ran in the two-point conversion to close out the scoring.
Dumas finished 18/40 for 195 yards passing and two TDs. He also ran for 123 yards and one TD.
Quinn Sjoberg led the receivers with 69 yards on eight catches while Brown made three catches for 45 yards and one TD.
Dumas was named one of the top players in the game.
“They’ve given their heart and soul to the program this year,” said head coach Scott Martens. “We started two-a-days in August, so most kids are still on vacation, and they are doing four hours a day getting prepared for the season, so the commitment from Aug. 21 to Dec. 2 was phenomenal. I told them, if you bring this kind of work ethic and attitude to the rest of what you do, you will be successful. Today we weren’t ultimately successful in our end goal, but we just didn’t make the plays when we needed too.”
This was the first provincial final for the JV program.
Martens said this kind of experience will only make the program stronger moving forward.
“Hopefully this is a learning experience, and we move onto bigger and better things in the future,” he said. “I’m super proud of this group. Forty-one guys committed to this goal, and we can do greater things in the future because we have had this experience.”