The Valley Huskers beat the Westshore Rebels 39-28 Saturday at Exhibition Stadium, sparing themselves the pain of a winless season.
The Huskers came into the game 0-8, with the mighty Langley Rams waiting for the BC Football Conference season finale.
A loss to the Rebels (2-7) would likely have doomed them to an 0-10 year.
“It was good to get the first win. It was nice for the kids because they’ve been working yard without positive results,” said head coach Adam Smith, breathing a sigh of relief. “We were positive and business like before the game, and afterwards I think it was a combination of relief and happiness.”
The game wasn’t a masterpiece.
The Rebels out-gained the Huskers in net yardage (512 to 406), but Chilliwack made some big plays count.
Two receivers, Tyron Ledingham and Keenan Godden went over 100 yards catching passes from quarterback Dylan LaPrairie.
The pivot completed 12 of 23 attempts for 304 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s unfortunate that we got him in his last year (of junior eligibility),” Smith said. “With a whole offseason and familiarity with our systems, I think he would have had a really good year next year.”
Godden caught two of LaPrairie’s TD passes.
Ledingham had the other.
“Tyron has grown from the start of the year as a team and practice player,” Smith said. “He was all natural ability and not too keen on practice. But now he does it as hard as anyone and the last three weeks it’s really paid off for him.”
Jesse Deering had a good day at running back. Filling in for injured Benedict Muhima, he had 79 yards on 14 carries. He also blocked a kick, returning it 28 yards for a major.
The Husker D allowed Hunter Lake to top 100 yards rushing, and two Victoria wideouts (Bryce Mosley and Jordan Rodinsky) went over 100 yards receiving.
But Smith was impressed with their effort.
“We set the tone again, with our defensive backs flying around getting hands on footballs,” the coach said. “And our defensive leader, Sharif Ali, can’t say enough good things about him.”
Chilliwack native Dylan Boykowich led the D with seven solo tackles and a quarterback sack.
Connor Smith and Jason Ghag had five apiece with Ali picking up four.
Daniel Mills had an interception and Jesse Smith recovered a fumble.