In the end, injuries did in G.P. Vanier's football team which contested the B.C. High School Tier II Varsity championship Saturday at UBC against the Frank Hurt Hornets of Surrey.
The Towhees had the heart but after playing what many consider the real championship against the Timberline Wolves two weeks ago in the Island final, they also had the bruises.
At the end of the half the score was Hornets 13, Towhees 12.
Vanier brought something they did not expect and that was adversity. The team's first touchdown run was by the indomitable Cody Fletcher, who carried the ball through the Hornets' defence.
In the second, quarterback Liam Pidsosny threw to Jimmy Brazier for a touchdown. Sadly, Brazier was tackled hard in the end zone resulting in a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the game. The final Vanier touchdown belonged to rookie Nick Everill with a catch that took him to the end zone. The injured Mike Roller at full back had some great runs with a combined total rushing of 55 yards. Fletcher carried the ball for 130 yards, a bit below his season average of 155 yards per game. The Hornets' defence keyed on him and managed to read the plays and slow him down.
Frank Hurt managed another touchdown putting them ahead 20-12. This was followed by a Vanier touchdown late in the third with a catch by Everill. Once again Vanier was unable to follow through with the convert, bringing the score to 20-18. Early in the fourth the Hornets stung again with another touchdown followed by two more on a running convert. The Towhees were unable to answer this one and the ball went back to the Hornets who capitalized with another six points to lead 34-18 with 4:30 left.
A beautiful flea flicker with Pidsosny pitching the ball to Fletcher, Fletcher back to Pidsosny and then a pass to Martin Erickson put the Towhees back in the game with great field position. The next play ended in an interception with the Hornets taking possession on their 10 yard line. With the clock ticking the Towhees managed to keep the Hornets from another major but were unable to score again.
The final score was Hornets 34, Towhees 18.
Vanier held as long as they could but in the end injuries were their undoing.
At the beginning of the season no one expected the team to go this far. In the hearts of their coaches, parents and fans, they are true champions.
Family on three!