Press Release – Allen Lavoie / Spartans
Victoria, BC – The second place Victoria Spartans midget division football team came from behind to defeat the number three North Surrey Bears 9-8 at Westhills Stadium Saturday in a semi-final nail biter to clinch a berth to the 2018 BCCFA Football Championships.
The two teams, evenly matched in their two regular season tilts, split the home and home regular season series by score differential of just three points to set the stage for a rubber match that was sure to leave fans on both sides of the ball on the edge of their seats in Langford.
North Surrey came out strong from the opening kickoff, but a tenacious Spartan defense would limit the Bears to just eight first half points, coming on a missed field goal and a second quarter touchdown to go up 8-0 to finish the first half of play.
The Spartans, with their goal clearly in sight, came out of the dressing room after halftime determined to back into the game. The Spartans offense, with Kalen Jules under centre, would set the tone from the opening kick off, marching the ball seventy yards down field with impressive pass completions to Connor Way and Brett Cunard, finishing with touchdown strike to Carter Price to bring the Spartans to within two points of the Bears trailing 8-6. Jules would hit Jared Steele with a pass on the a two point convert attempt, but the Bears would hold up Steele just inches from the goal line and the tying convert.
North Surrey took the ensuing kick off and replied with a march of their own, taking the ball to the Spartan five-yard line.
A resilient Spartan defense, strong all game, again shut the door on the Bears, forcing the visitors to a field goal attempt. A bobbled snap by North Surrey would result in a turnover after the Bear’s holder would be chased down by Spartans Jared Steele. Steele’s pressure would eventually force North Surrey into a fumble, which was recovered by Victoria’s Manny Manseray. Third quarter action would end with the Bears up 8-6.
When the fourth quarter began, Spartan quarterback Kalen Jules put the team on his back and drove the ball 80 yards down the field. Jules showed his scrambling ability rushing the ball, completing passes to Steele and Price, and converting two key third down attempts to keep the drive alive. The drive culminated with an 18-yard field goal by Tyrone Charlie to give the Spartans the lead 9-8.
Surrey started the next possession deep in their own end and were met by the Spartan defense. Sitting on their own 35-yard line looking at third down and two yards to extend the play, Surrey decided to gamble. The outcome was a QB sack in the backfield by Spartan’s Max Lavoie. Jules and his Spartan offense would take over, grinding down the clock.
The Bears would have one more attempt at a comeback, but came up short when a second down pass attempt was knocked down by Carson Vaux. Spartan’s Liam Stoker would take the wind out of the Bears’ sails with a big defensive play, turning aside a North Surrey third down rushing attempt that ended with a Stoker tackle for a loss.
Jules put the team into victory formation to run down the final seconds and punch the Spartans ticket to the BC Championship game next Sunday in Coquitlam against the North Langley Kodiaks.