The Valley Community Football League game of the week pitted Chilliwack’s junior bantam Blue Giants against the Meadow Ridge Knights in a battle of front-running teams.
The Knights came into the game unbeaten and held a late lead, but a thrilling comeback resulted in a 12-11 win for the locals.
Down 11-0 with 2:46 to play, Blue Giants running back Tyler Sprott scored the lone Chilliwack major, with Spencer Breslin adding the two point convert to make the score 11-8.
Defensive end Jaren Lengert recovered a fumble on the next Meadow Ridge series, giving the Chilliwack offence a chance to tie.
Quarterback Riley Clayton hit Emerson Smith with a 51 yard strike to put the Giants in field goal range, and Nick Both nailed the kick from 32 yards out.
Tied 11-11 with 32 seconds to play, and the Knights driving for the win, Smith came up with a timely interception.
With five seconds to play, Both punted the ball through the Meadow Ridge endzone for the decisive single point.
Both had a busy day with 15 carries for 110 yards.
Quarterback Riley Clayton was nine of 17 passing for 165 yards with Smith reeling in 11 catches for 184 yards. Right guard AJ Sagrott had a tremendous game, opening running lanes and protecting Clayton in the pocket.
Defensively, Smith and Cyrus Tommy had 11 and 9 tackles respectively.
Tommy added a game changing sack in the third quarter, with Sam Meyer and Sagrott also getting to the quarterback.
Other leading tacklers included Cam Lampart and Ethan Mastin.
— The junior bantam Red Giants dropped a 24-9 road decision to the Abbotsford Falcons.
Abby opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, stringing together a six play 55 yard touchdown drive. The big play was a 25 yard pass completion.
The scoring play was a goal-line reverse that gained the one yard the Falcons required.
Chilliwack’s offence answered back with a long drive of their own, keyed by a bruising offensive line.
Elijah Schellenberg led the big boys up front, with Jacob Butler, Devan Voss, Erik Vander Werff, Nathaniel Oenema and Emerson Harvey joining in on an 11 play sequence.
Running backs Aydan Harvey and Billy Hanson benefited from the blocking, chewing up 46 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Jordan Breuker capped the drive with a nine yard TD scamper, then kicked the convert to tie the game at 8-8. The Falcons bounced back with an 86 yard TD drive and rolled from there.
The only other point the Red Giants managed came on a missed field goal by Brueker, with the ball sailing wide from 24 yards out.
Cameron Betker, Ben Pretty, Broden Laynes, Emerson Harvey, Miguel Wood and Breuker all had good days defensively.
The Red Giants wrap up the regular season Saturday, visiting North Langley. They have already clinched a playoff spot.
— The peewee Red Giants fell 44-0 to the Abbotsford Falcons, who remained unbeaten at 8-0.
Colin Campbell, Justin Crooks, Hudson Harvey, Liam Dallas and Nicholas Butler were bright spots on defence.
Offensively, quarterback Brandt Davies hooked up with Crooks on a long highlight-reel completion into double coverage.
— The atom Red Giants fell 41-6 to Abbotsford in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate.
Trailing 16-6 late in the first half, the Red Giants drove to the Abby one yard line, but came away with nothing.
Turnovers killed Chilliwack in the second half as Abby used a short field to build up a big lead.
Exceptional performances came from Brendan Trotzuk, Jackson Saunders, Mason Murphy and Thomas Nelson.