The Mission Roadrunners senior football team saw its season come to a heartbreaking conclusion Saturday afternoon, as the John Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo rallied for a 34-27 win in the B.C. AA high school semifinals at UBC.
The Roadrunners fell behind 14-0 early in the first quarter, but battled all the way back and took a 27-26 lead on Jesse Walker’s two-yard touchdown run with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Mission appeared to be in great position to seal the victory after Evan Horton forced a Barsby fumble that the Roadrunners recovered near midfield with about four minutes remaining. But the Bulldogs forced a punt, then drove the length of the field and reclaimed the lead on Kyle Vollett’s two-yard TD run.
The Roadrunners had two timeouts and about a minute on the clock, but were unable to mount another rally.
“I think we all felt like when Evan Horton stripped the ball . . . that was going to be the clincher,” said Mission coach Kevin Watrin. “Unfortunately, hard work isn’t a guarantor of success, but I think our kids gave themselves the best chance to win. They did everything they could, and they were exhausted on the bus ride home – physically and emotionally spent. As coaches, we could see they gave everything they had.”