Sports

Pitt through to playoffs with win over Saints

The Pitt Meadows Marauders defence swarms the Langley Saints ball carrier Friday night at home. The Marauders won the game 34-6, and advance to the B.C. AA varsity  football playoffs which get underway this Friday. - Contributed
The Pitt Meadows Marauders defence swarms the Langley Saints ball carrier Friday night at home. The Marauders won the game 34-6, and advance to the B.C. AA varsity football playoffs which get underway this Friday.
— image credit: Contributed

The Pitt Meadows Marauders punched their ticket to the post season Friday night with a 34-6 win over the visiting Langley Saints.

The Marauders varsity football team finishes the regular season with a 3-2 record in the AA Eastern Conference, good for third place.

The win was the third straight for the Marauders, all of which came at home.

“We’re undefeated at home, and that really helped us this year having three of our five games at home,” said varsity coach Matt Todd. “The crowds have been great.”

Football fans braved a downpour Friday night to cheer on the Marauders in their last regular season game of the season.

The Marauders made short work of the visiting Saints, opening up an early lead before shutting down the Saints’ offence.

“We wanted to get up early, because we knew they would struggle offensively if they had to play from behind,” said Todd.

Quarterback Joe Schuster was five-for-eight with 160 yards passing, as well as 30 yards rushing, with two touchdown passes and one interception. Schuster also had a standout performance on defence, picking up five tackles at safety.

Receiver Anthony Gagnon made three receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown. Tanner Hartley caught two passes for 70 yards and a touchdown, in addition to 75 yards rushing.

Running back Brandon Stewart had 85 yards on the ground, and ran in a touchdown of his own.

On defence, cornerback Cole Erskine-Shaw grabbed an interception late in the fourth quarter, running it back 85 yards for the touchdown.

Defensive lineman Cole White helped put pressure on the Langley Saint offence, picking up two sacks and numerous tackles.

The Marauders start their playoff quest to the B.C. Subway Bowl this Friday at B.C. Place as they take on Valleyview Secondary School from Kamloops.

The Valleyview Vikings finished second in the AA Okanagan Conference with a record of 3-1.

“We’ve been watching the tape, and they like to run, probably about 80 to 90 per cent of their plays,” said Todd. “They have some good size, but if we play our game and don’t make any turnovers, I like our chances.”

For the first time this season, the Marauders have a healthy, full roster.

“We’re healthy right now, so hopefully we can stay that way,” said Todd.

The varsity squad has pulled up close to 10 members of the junior team to help fill out the Marauders roster heading into playoffs.

Having the extra bodies means the varsity team, which started the season with just a 23-man roster, will be able to run full practices with an offense and defence on the field.

“We haven’t been able to do that all year,” said Todd.

• The first round of the B.C. AA varsity football playoffs starts at 3 p.m. at B.C. Place in Vancouver. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 in advance. Tickets include admission to three high school playoff games scheduled for Friday night.

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