Sun Devils take momentum to playoffs

South Delta will face Mission in two weeks after wild win over unbeaten Notre Dame

South Delta Sun Devils will take momentum into the upcoming provincial playoffs after their biggest win of the B.C. High School Football season.

The Sun Devils closed out Western “AAA” Conference play with a wild 52-50 victory over the Notre Dame Jugglers last Saturday in Tsawwassen. The Devils (4-3-0) entered the tilt locked into fifth place and an opening round playoff match-up with the Mission Roadrunners in two weeks. However, a win over a top ranked team will go a long way for the team’s confidence after some tough defeats, including a one-point heartbreaker to unbeaten Vancouver College earlier this month.

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“I think it was important for the kids to prove they can play at that level,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon whose team was coming off a 6-3 victory a week earlier against winless Seaquam. “They now know they have what it takes and will head into the playoffs knowing they can do this.”

The Sun Devils’ high-power passing attack was on full display and it needed to be to go toe-to-toe with the Jugglers.

The teams were tied at 44-44 when the Sun Devils opened the scoring in overtime on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ben McDonald to Evan Paterson. A successful two-point convert made it 52-44. Notre Dame answered with a touchdown but failed to add the convert, ending the drama.

McDonald finished the afternoon going 30-40 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. His favourite target was Ethan Troniak who hauled in 11 passes for 144 yards and two majors. Paterson also had a huge game with seven catches and a kick return for another touchdown. Andrew Kraft also found the endzone.

McDonald is poised to become the third Sun Devil quarterback to lead the province in passing over the last five years, joining Michael Calvert (2016-17) and Lucas Kirk (2014).

“Ben was being Ben. Using his legs to run the ball and to extend plays,” continued Moon. “He has the ability to throw down field with accuracy when he is on the move.”

Moon is pleased with the where his team, is going into the extended break before the playoffs, after Belmont folded last month to create an additional bye on the schedule.

The junior varsity team’s season ends Thursday at home to Belmont, paving the way for some players to join the senior team on a full-time basis.

He also had high praise for Grade 12s Nick Klassen, Jackson Tutkaluke, Keldon Omstead, Dylan Hampton, Caleb Van Til and Riley Gookstetter for their leadership during the stretch run of the season.

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