Abby Panthers edge Mission in opener

Abbotsford beats Mission 24-21 to start season off on high note

Chase Claypool of the Panthers sprints for yardage during Abbotsford's game against Mission on Saturday.

It wasn’t pretty outside or on the field on Saturday but the Abbotsford Panthers managed to hang on for the 24-21 win on a wet afternoon in Mission.

Abbotsford came out flying, building a 17-0 lead in the first quarter but the Roadrunners fought back in the second quarter to finish the first half down 17-14.

The teams battled for field position for most of the second half, with each only scoring one major and the Panthers defence locking down.

Panthers head coach Jay Fujimura said he’ll take the win.

“Today was an ugly game and we made a lot of mistakes but we were able to sort out our issues defensively in the second half,” he said.

Panthers wide receiver Reece Morrison had a strong game, scoring the team’s first touchdown and making a key catch on fourth and 20 to extend the game’s eventual winning drive. Chase Claypool scored the Panthers second touchdown and was a constant threat offensively for the entire game.

Abbotsford quarterback John Madigan scored the winning touchdown in the third quarter for the Panthers.

In other AA action on Friday, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves lost 21-14 to G.W. Graham and the Rick Hansen Hurricanes lost 40-0 to Pitt Meadows.

Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more on all the games.