Knights one step away from finals

Midget boy's team take on Langley Stampeders Saturday at Samuel Robertson Techat 2 p.m. for the right to play in tthe finals Dec. 2

Dan Orydzuk of the Ridge Meadow Knights midget boy’s team  makes his way up field after an interception with the help from a  block by teammate Mark Kalmykov as the Knights squeaked past the North Delta  Longhorns 23-21 Saturday.

Dan Orydzuk of the Ridge Meadow Knights midget boy’s team makes his way up field after an interception with the help from a block by teammate Mark Kalmykov as the Knights squeaked past the North Delta Longhorns 23-21 Saturday.

The Meadow Ridge Knights came into the season with very few people believing they had what it takes to run with the big dogs. But for the coaching staff of the midget boys team, their first inkling they were all grown up came on the last play of preseason.

The defending champion White Rock Titans, perennial powerhouse North Delta Longhorns and the Coquitlam Falcons all entered the season as viable candidates to win it all. The Knights, for their part, have only been playing in the Vancouver Mainland Football League for thee seasons, after competing in the Fraser Valley for years. So a run to the finals wasn’t necessarily in the cards for the Knights.

But on the final play of their exhibition schedule, the Knights defence were able to stuff the Langley Stampeders on the goal line, preserving a victory and setting the tone for the season.

“It seems like every game they’ve been calling for us to lose,” said Jeff Boyce, first-year head coach of the Knights. “We’ve got a great mix of kids here who just love playing the game, and it’s shown.”

The Knights are looking to carry the momentum they’ve built throughout the season as they get set to host the Stampeders in the semi finals of the VMFL on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Samuel Robertson Tech School.

Coach Boyce said his 9-2 team is playing technically sound football, especially after a hard-fought 23-21 win over the Longhorns, a five-time VMFL champion. The Knights used three touchdowns through the air from quarterback Joe Schuster and a safety from their defence to knock off North Delta. Jaimal Gill, Sergio Cabrera and Spencer Hanbly all recorded TDs for the Knights.

The rematch with Langley was made possible when the Stampeders pulled off their own upset, sending the Titans home for the season with a surprising 22-7 win. The Stampeders are the lowest ranked team left in the playoffs, sporting a record of 6-6. The Knight are ridding a seven-game winning streak after opening the season 2-2.

Assistant coach Duane Goerzen said his team’s success comes from the fact that most of them have played together since they starting playing at the age of eight. He’s hopeful his team’s defence can keep up its strong play.

Lead by the likes of Travis McCrea, Brock Loewen and his son Elija, the assistant coach says he’s impressed with how his team has stepped up its play this year. The Knights have allowed just nine points per game over the course of the sea on. They are going to need another strong game if the hope to shut down the surging Stampeders. The Langley squad has scored an average of 21 points per games this year.

Boyce, who has been coaching minor football for the past 10 years, said he’s hopeful his balanced attack on offense and strong play of the other side of the ball can propel them to their first-ever appearance in the finals.

One thing that is guaranteed this year: there will be a first-time champion crowned. The winner of Saturday’s semi final will take on the winner of the Cowichan Bulldogs against the Coquitlam Falcons. None of the four teams remaining has a championship under their belt.

The finals are set for Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. at  McLeod Stadium in Langley.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

Police shut down 240 Street after a single vehicle accident. (The News files)
Maple Ridge man dies following crash

Police believe he went into medical distress before accident

An early morning fire forced the evacuation of a Maple Ridge apartment building on Saturday, April 3 (Deborah Hampton/Special to The News)
City of Maple Ridge thanks volunteers for response to Easter weekend blaze

Emergency Support Services volunteers stepped up to help displaced residents

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Most Read