Chilliwack’s two high school football programs appear to be on a playoff collision course.
While G.W. Graham’s senior varsity squad fell 34-0 to the powerhouse Terry Fox Ravens in a AAA East road game last Friday, the Sardis Falcons dumped the Earl Marriott Mariners by an 18-7 count in Surrey.
G.W. Graham fell to 4-1, good enough for second place in their division. Sardis improved to 3-0, taking sole possession of top spot in the AAA Pacific. If those standings hold up to season’s end on Nov. 5, playoff seeding would have the two local teams clashing for the first time since Sardis returned to the gridiron four years ago.
In the latest national CanadaFootballChat.com national rankings of Canadian high school programs, the Falcons are one spot ahead of GWG (42 vs 43), but until they meet, no one can know for sure whether the upstarts would be a match for the established Grizzlies.
The Falcons have looked impressive against the foes they’ve faced.
Against Earl Marriott, Sardis spotted the Mariners a one touchdown lead, then scored 18 straight for the W.
Senior slotback Sawyer Tether got the comeback started on a perfectly-executed halfback run/pass option play. Getting the ball from QB Aidan Saunders, Tether pulled up and chucked a pass to D.J. Stephens, who scampered in for a 25 yard score.
The Falcons trailed 7-6 at halftime and Earl Marriott drove the ball to the Sardis two yard line to begin the third quarter. But the Falcons defence held, forcing a 30 yard field goal attempt that clanged off the upright.
Sardis took the lead in the fourth quarter when Saunders connected with Tether on a 20 yard scoring strike. Tether went up to snag the ball while surrounded by three Mariner defenders.
The Falcons iced the game with a late touchdown run by Billy Hunter. Hunter had 129 rushing yards on the day and was also a force on defence, making several tackles for loss and intercepting a pass to end the game.
“We continued to play fundamentally sound football,” said Sardis coach Sukh Parmar. “We stuck with it and did not buckle under the pressure and intensity of the game. I’m super proud of our players.”
The Falcons have a bye this week. Their regular season slate ends Nov. 5 at Exhibition Stadium when they host North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. and it will be Senior Night for Sardis as they honour graduating players.
G.W. Graham is scheduled to host the Abbotsford Panthers Friday night (Oct. 29) at Exhibition Stadium, with a 7 p.m. kickoff. They wrap up their regular season slate on the road Nov. 5, visiting Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.