Two Maple Ridge teens lead B.C. to a win over Alberta in the inaugural ABC Rising Stars Border Bowl on Saturday in Kelowna.
The ABC Border Bowl features the best Grade 10 and 11 high school football players from B.C. against their counterparts from Alberta.
Adrial Sellers (Grade 11, Terry Fox) and Tyrel Ogloff (Grade 10, Samuel Robertson) both scored two touchdowns each to contribute all the majors by Team B.C.
Ogloff put B.C. on the board by stripping the ball from an Alberta receiver on the opening kickoff, then took it to the house to give the home team a quick 7-0 start.
The first play of the second quarter was equally exciting.
With his team down by a score of 17–10. Sellers caught a 41-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 17–17.
B.C.’s QB would connect with Sellers again, this time from 38 yards away for his second major of the game.
The game was knotted at 23-23 at the half.
The second half of the game was dominated by both defences. The only scoring drive was executed by B.C., with a one yard touchdown by Ogloff after he was instrumental in moving the ball down the field from the line of scrimmage. The score would be Ogloff’s second major and the game and capped the winning drive with 9:21 left in the third.
The defences would pitch a shutout in the final session as B.C. intercepted two Alberta passes to clinch the first-ever ABC Border Bowl.
Following the game both coaching staff commented on how impressed they were with the talent and skill level. The game saw many highlight-reel plays, including two passes that went off a defender’s head, only to be caught by a receiver.
Ron Dias the founding director of the Bowl Games, which have been played for several years between Ontario and Quebec, commented after the game saw the lead go back and forth several times in a very intense first half.
“That’s why I do this –A for the kids. Just look at this game, it has the potential to be overtime, and the people have provided the environment,” Dias, the national scouting director for All-Star Football, said as the teams were switching sides between the third and fourth quarters.
Dias founded this central scouting agency in 1987 after coaching stints at the University of Buffalo (NCAA), McMaster and Waterloo.
In his current role, he ranks and tracks Canada’s top prospects, with 23 of the 27 CIS programs plus 30 NCAA schools subscribing to his service.
He debuted the Rising Stars Border Bowl five years ago between Ontario and Quebec before expanding west this spring. He’s also staged Future Stars games for Grade 8 and 9 players, plus Current Stars games for graduating players, with plans to bring both those here sooner than later.
“It has taken off, and become a very prominent game in the football calendar,” Dias said of the Ontario-Quebec rivalry.
“We’ll rotate the game between Kelowna and Alberta, so next year will be in Alberta, but the Future Stars game will be here, then the following year the Future Stars game would be in Alberta and the Rising Stars game back here. There will be a Bowl game every year here.”
The roughly 100 kids who suited up for Saturday’s Rising Stars game still have high school eligibility remaining but certainly put their names on the radar for university and junior teams with some standout performances.