Roadrunners quarterback Hamen Gill avoids a Centennial defender during B.C. high school football action on Friday. (Ben Lypka)

Mission Roadrunners open season with win

Senior varsity football team defeats Centennial 39-6

The Mission Roadrunners didn’t take the easy road this preseason, and it may have prepared them for Friday’s B.C. high school football regular season opener.

Mission dominated both sides of the ball against the Centennial Centaurs on home field, en route to a 39-6 win to open the regular season with a big win.

But it may have been the team’s challenging schedule earlier this month that helped the club develop faster than anticipated.

The Roadrunners were humbled 55-0 by California Polytechnic High School on Sept. 2, lost 42-14 to the New Westminster Hyacks on Sept. 8 and then fell 35-0 to the South Delta Sun Devils on Sept. 22. All three exhibition games were learning experiences said Roadrunners head coach Danny Jakobs

“We probably had one of the toughest exhibition schedules in B.C.,” he said. “The California team was really talented and then we had two of the top three teams in the province. There’s good things and bad things about playing tough teams but it gets you to a different level and I think it helped us out today – I’d rather play tough teams than easy ones.”

The Roadrunners jumped out to a 12-0 lead at the half, after touchdowns from Keegan Royal and Shawn Mann.

The club added scores from Jayden Watrin, Cole Dowart (two) and Royal in the second half to earn the win.

The victory matches Mission’s win total from 2016, and Jakobs said it’s the perfect start for his club. He said he liked the way his team’s offence looked in week one.

“Our quarterback Hamen Gill threw the ball well,” he said. “And Jayden Watrin came up with a couple of great, really clutch catches for us. Both our running backs Keegan [Royal] and Cole [Dowart] played well, and it’s nice having a one-two punch like that.”

Jakobs also praised the play of defensive players Eli Young and Robert Moore.

The Roadrunners next host the Mt. Boucherie Bears next Friday.

“They’re a smashmouth team and it’s going to be an old fashioned punch in the mouth type game,” Jakobs said. “It’s always hard to travel so that could be good for us, I know it’s hard for us to travel there.”

Read Friday’s print edition of the Mission City Record for more.