A late push just wasn’t quite enough for the Mission Roadrunners in the AA junior varsity championship game at BC Place on Saturday.
The Roadrunners fell 27-21 to North Vancouver’s Windsor Dukes, and time simply ran out on Mission’s championship dreams.
Mission trailed 21-7 in the fourth quarter, but with 5:08 left quarterback Hamen Gill connected with tight end Dhivaan Bhogal to draw within one score. The Dukes quickly responded to go up 27-14, but with 1:18 left Bhogal scored again to make it 27-21. That, however, would be as close as Mission would get. Running back John Guitard scored the Roadrunners’ other touchdown.
The setback ends a successful season for the Roadrunners, who finished with a record of six wins and one loss in regular season play. Mission then beat South Kamloops 42-7 on Nov. 12, Duchess Park 52-12 on Nov. 20 and Ballenas 14-6 on Nov. 26 in playoff games to advance to Saturday’s final.
Mission head coach Kevin Watrin pointed out that the team only won one combined game in Grade 8 and 9, so the turnaround has been remarkable.
“To me, this shows amazing work on the part of these players, both in the off-season and during this season,” he said. “These boys want to win. They are developing a great work ethic and love for the game.”
Watrin said he expects continued success in the future with this group.
“These are some very special boys, several are younger brothers of former players,” he said. “Our alumni are becoming more involved with this team. We are so very proud of all the boys, coaches and parents who have made this program what it is.”