By Jason Roessle and Greg Sakaki
The varsity Mission Roadrunners are provincial champions.
After losing in the semi-finals to the John Barsby Bulldogs last year, the senior football squad from Mission secondary edged out this same team 16-12 to clinch the B.C. AA title Saturday afternoon at BC Place stadium.
The Roadrunners got off to a fast and early scoring start after quarterback Kevin Wiens popped a four-yard pass to Jesse Forcier who carried it into the endzone.
The second quarter saw no score, but by the third, Forcier rushed four yards again for another TD, and Erik DiGuistini nailed a 21-yard field goal to round out the Roadrunners’ effort.
Midway through the fourth quarter the Bulldogs had a chance to take its first lead, but fumbled on Mission’s five-yard line, the fourth drop of the day.
Barsby’s Robert Morris gave his team one final opportunity, intercepting a pass on his own four-yard line, but the ’Dawgs couldn’t gain ground and punted the football away with three and a half minutes left. They never got it back.
“It hurts like hell,” said Rob Stevenson, coach of the Bulldogs. “The harder you work for something, the harder it is when you come up short.”
Mission’s players of the game were standouts Kevin Wiens and Jesse Forcier. Barsby lineman Jordan Kuziek won a player of the game award.
Wiens said when the opposition threatened, his team dug in.
“We just thought about the goal, what we wanted most, and that was the championship…” he said. “It feels fantastic.”
Forcier said the team’s plan was “to work hard every single play. It didn’t really matter how we started, it’s about how you finish.”
By the numbers:
Kevin Wiens: 8/15; 172 yards; one touchdown; 57 yards rushing.
Jesse Forcier: 77 yards on 13 rushing attempts; one touchdown; one reception for four yards and a touchdown.
Hadley Gwyn: two catches, 55 yards.
Erik DiGuistini: two interceptions for 56 yards; one fumble recovery. On offence he also had a 45-yard catch, made a 21 yard field goal, and had 147 yards in kick-offs.
Zac Chamberland: 10 tackles
Rhys Parry: seven tackles
Hadley Gwyn: six tackles
Hyatt Smyth: eight tackles