It was one and done for the G.P. Vanier Towhees in the B.C. high school varsity football playoffs.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Towhees travelled north to play Campbell River’s Timberline Wolves in their first sudden death post-season game. The field: muddy. The temperature: 6 C with intermittent rain. The final: 51-18 Wolves.
Vanier kicked off and Timberline took control of the ball with an impressive running game outside the tackles and up the middle. Their drive was rewarded with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
Vanier received the kick-off and started their own running drive. Their first fourth down and short was converted but their second fourth-and-short attempt faled. Timberline reverted to their crisp running plays and eventually scored a second TD by way of a 20-yard pass. The convert failed.
Timberline kicked off and a Vanier fumble gave them the ball back deep in Towhee territory. The Wolves’ running attack took over again and the last play was another 20-yard pass for a TD. The convert failed.
Timberline kicked off, the Vanier running back was stripped of the ball, and the Wolves recovered. Vanier was assessed its first pass interference penalty that cost them about 30 yards. Timberline then threw a perfect pass to a wide-open receiver for another TD and added a two-point conversion to make it 28-0.
Throughout the first half Timberline was the more impressive team by far, noted Vanier coach Bob Campbell. “Their offensive and defensive lines were playing very well and frustrating (our) linemen with pulling guards or tackles (or both) and the running backs, linebackers, and receivers were putting on a clinic. They were all very aggressive and disciplined,” Campbell said.
The second half started with Timberline kicking off. Vanier was still having a lot of trouble passing or running with the ball and had to punt again on fourth down. Connor Willis was having a great day punting, continually pushing Timberline back with his kicks. Vanier’s defence rallied and started to control Timberline’s running and passing, but another defensive interference penalty set them back on their own 10-yard line. Timberline scored again and tacked on a two-point convert.
At this point, because of the large point difference, the referees went to a run time where the clock keeps running unless there is a time out or an injury.
Timberline kicked off and Willis returned the ball to the Wolves’ 10-yard line with some hard running and shear willpower. Vanier’s drive stalled once more against Timberline’s defence, so Willis kicked a field goal for Vanier’s first points of the game.
Vanier kicked off and recovered the ball on the 50-yard line. Timberline’s defence stopped Vanier once more, and the Wolves ran the ensuing punt back for a major. “Their player was able to get outside (our) contain and by some poor tackling by our offence,” said Campbell. The two-point convert was good.
Timberline kicked off and Vanier drove the ball up the field behind the running of Willis. After the second successful screen pass to Willis he scored a touchdown on a short drive and kicked the convert.
Vanier tried an unsuccessful short kick-off and Timberline resumed running off tackle very effectively. They scored their last touchdown with a one-point conversion.
Timberline kicked off again and Vanier drove hard to Timberline’s end zone. A pass to Dylan Wyatt and another swing pass to Willis ended up in a touchdown and a two- point conversion in the last seconds of the game.
On the stat sheet, Willis ran for 101 yards, caught passes for 75 yards, kicked off four times for 120 yards, punted five times for 199 yards and had one field goal for 30 yards.
Quarterback Ian Curry threw for 136 yards, including 38 yards to Nolan Laderoute and 15 yards to Wyatt. On defence Brandon Hudson made 11 tackles, Justin McCooey five, Adam Riley four and Jeff Slaco three.
– Vanier Towhees football