The South Delta Sun Devils have a Friday night encounter in Chilliwack with a trip to B.C. Place Stadium on the line.
The No. 6 ranked Sun Devils will take on the No. 2 GW Graham Grizzlies in B.C. High School Football’s provincial AAA quarter-finals after a 14-13 wild card win over the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers on Nov. 11. The Grizzlies earned the bye after winning the Eastern AAA Division with a 5-1 record.
“We’re up against last year’s regional champions, which would have been provincial champions if there wasn’t COVID (disrupting the usual playoff schedule),” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon. “They are a well-coached team that is big. One thing going in our favour is they haven’t played in three weeks as they had a forfeit win (against Sardis) then the bye.”
The Grizzlies’ lone loss this season was a 28-23 loss to No. 1 Vancouver College back on Oct. 1. The Sun Devils fell 7-0 to the Fighting Irish a week later in Tsawwassen.
“It’s been unbelievable. Other than Terry Fox (39-16 loss in September) it seems we have played to the level of our competition all season,” continued Moon.
That was evident again at Langley’s McLeod Stadium where the Sun Devils held off a Panthers team that entered the playoff tilt with a 2-4 league record.
South Delta marched down the field in impressive fashion on its opening possession, capped by a six-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kenny Scott. The momentum swung in the second quarter on a coverage breakdown that resulted in a huge Tweedsmuir passing play and a major score a few plays later.
The Sun Devils regained the lead in the third quarter when Scott connected with Oskar Mcphie on a 70-yard pass and run play. One snap later, Scott found Ben Holmes in the end zone and Diego Alatorre added the extra point when his kick bounced in off the upright.
That would prove to be the difference after the Panthers scored a major early in the fourth quarter and opted to go for the two-point conversion after the Sun Devils jumped offside, placing the ball on the one-yard-line. The running attempt was stuffed, however, Tweedsmuir was right back in business with an interception at the South Delta 30-yard-line two plays later.
The defence then came up huge with a forced fumble, recovered by Joshua Groenwold.
The Sun Devils then proceeded to put together their best drive of the game that included a key 24-yard run by Cam Trolland and first down receptions to Hayden Clisby and Holmes. Scott also scrambled for another first down and ended the game with a kneel down on the Panthers’ one-yard line.
Scott finished the afternoon with 186-yards passing. McPhie was responsible for 131 of that on three receptions. Ryan Roberts added 62 along the ground on 15 carries.
Jared Yamaoka led the defensive effort with seven tackles.
The junior varsity team’s season ended Thursday with a 21-13 opening round playoff loss to Kelowna. South Delta did enjoy a 7-0 halftime lead.