John Barsby Bulldogs Capture BC ‘AA Varsity Football Crown

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Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – John Barsby High School of Naniamo captured the BC Provincial High School AA Varsity Football title with a 36-20 win over the Mission Roadrunners Saturday afternoon at BC Place Stadium.

MVP Bulldogs RB Cole Virtanen, carrying the ball, is pulled down by the Mission Roadrunners allstar QB / RB Jesse Walker. The Bulldogs of Naniamo would take the BC crown with a 36-20 win. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Bulldogs coach Rob Stevenson couldn’t have been happier of his team’s victory. For the Bulldogs, it was a team victory, with so many big plays from different players.  Coach Stevenson was candid about his feelings post game.  “It feels like heaven,” the Barsby head coach explained in the aftermath of not only repeating, but also winning a third title over the past four seasons. “It’s as sweet as anything there ever was and its probably even sweeter because of the no-name group we had. We stayed together, we kept our fears to ourselves and we shared our courage with each other. I think we inspired ourselves.”

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The John Barsby Bulldogs of Naniamo pose with the spoils of a championship win – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Bulldogs, after getting a few early penalties out of their system, exploded on the scoreboard and on the field with 3 unanswered touchdowns in the first half. Bulldogs Trentyn Anderson and Kieren Carrack would find the end zone on rushing plays. QB North Rainey would connect in the second quarter on a 14-yard throw to receiver Chris DeGoutiere in the end zone.  The Roadrunners would find themselves down 21-0 in the blink of an eye at the half, while holding the Roadrunners own running attack virtually silent in the first half. 

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RB Kieran Carrack holds the ball high in celebration of his TD. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

John Barsby, while relentless with the running game, was equally successful defensively, keeping Mission’s allstar rushing QB Jesse Walker in check.  Although Walker would score all three of the Roadrunners touchdowns in the game, he was only held to 58 total yards total rushing. In the Mission Roadrunner’s semi-final last weekend Walker was left untouched for 8 touchdowns and rushed for an incredible 338 yards vs Ballenas in a stark comparison of the Bulldogs defensive success.

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Jesse Walker of the Mission Roadrunners was held to 3 TDs on 58 yards thanks to the “smash mouth” defense of the Bulldogs – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Coach Stevenson, proud of his team’s defensive accomplishments against one of the province’s best in the game in Walker, had nothing but praise for his Bulldogs. “We figured we would run the John Barsby defence, not the Jesse Walker defence,” Stevenson said, explaining that it was important that his team play their own style of play. “(Walker) wakes up with bad breath in the morning just like everyone else. That said, it was an amazing challenge. He is the single best player we have faced all year and he will go on to do great things.”

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Boisterous Bulldogs fans helped fuel Barsby’s flames of victory the entire game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Mission Roadrunners would finally put points to the board halfway through the second period on a push from the 6-yard line for the late tally. The half would end in favour of the Bulldogs 24-7.

The Bulldog’s North Rainey would run for 28 yards for his own TD in the second half to putting his team up 30-14. The Road Runner’s Walker would answer back, leading his team down field on the next possession. Dragging a pack of Bulldogs on his back, Walker would set himself up at the Bulldog’s one-yard line. Walker would slip through the Barsby defense for the TD to pull his team closer 30-20.

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Kieran Carrack of John Barsby powers over Mission Roadrunner Eujin Jung – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

John Barsby would slam the door on any chance of a comeback when QB Rainy, on a 4th and 11-yard gamble would fire his second TD pass of the game to DeGoutiere from 22 yards out.  That was enough to give the Bulldogs the championships.

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Bulldog’s Cole Virtanen is flushed out of the protection of the pocket. Virtenan would throw for 2 TDs on the night at BC Place Stadium to help lift his Bulldogs to the win. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

With the 2014 AA Varsity championship in hand, John Barsby Bulldogs now boast three BC High School Championships in four appearances to the big show.

Barsby’s runningback / linebacker Cole Virtanen would be named the game MVP for his performance.

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