Dealing with adversity is nothing new to the South Delta Sun Devils this season and they needed to overcome it yet again to win the inaugural Delta Bowl.
The Seaquam Seahawks seemed poised to capture the annual Western Conference AAA encounter with their cross-town rival that now has added meaning thanks to the City of Delta sponsoring the game. Mayor George Harvie and Coun. Dylan Kruger took in the Friday night battle at John Oliver Park.
Already leading 21-20 in the late stages of the third quarter, the Seahawks were threatening again on an impressive march that took them inside the South Delta 10-yard-line. However, the drive would go no further and the Sun Devils found themselves in the shadow of their own goalposts to start the final quarter.
That’s where the poise of talented Grade 11 quarterback Kenny Scott took over as he used his legs and arm to engineer a 95-yard scoring drive that culminated with his own three-yard run.
For good measure, he combined for a 50-yard major with Declan Dunn in the final two minutes to cap a 34-21 win.
It was the second straight triumph for a team that has lost four starters to season-ending injuries in the past month, including three along the offensive line that has resulted in junior varsity players being aged up.
Now with a record of 2-3 in conference play, a provincial playoff spot is all but locked up and a fourth place finish is still very much a possibility with two games remaining.
“We added a new set this week to make it easier for our o-line,” said Scott. “We had a couple of JVs step up for us tonight and it was big. They had a tough game yesterday and for them to come up is massive. We needed that.
“We were able to keep running the ball with the misdirection. It was able to work.”
Scott finished the evening with 138-yards passing and another 50 along the ground. Senior running back Jesse Mitran also clutched up with an 106-yard performance and a pair of majors on 15 carries.
Dunn, who also handles all the kicking, added a key fourth down run out of punt formation in the third quarter that would extend an eventual touchdown drive.
The Seahawks will be a force in the years to come thanks a number of Grade 10s that start for both their varsity teams, including quarterback Jack MacQuarrie who led the JVs to a 40-24 win over South Delta 24 hours earlier.
It was another talented junior, running back Lucas Shannon, that gave his team a 21-14 halftime lead but Seaquam was held scoreless the rest of the way.
“I explained at halftime I was not pleased with (the defensive play) and it might have been a little bit more colourful than that,” said senior team head coach Ray Moon. “We brought up about 10 kids from our junior varsity team and we had at times four or five of them on the field giving the guys a breather because our injuries have made us very thin. They did not hurt us. They fit right in which was great.”
Matthew McPhie and Ryder Gordon-Carmichael led the defence with four tackles each.