Marauders battle back to advance

Pitt Meadows bounces back after falling behind to win opening round playoff match in BC High School AA playoffs

The Pitt Meadows Marauders made it four straight wins as their Cinderella season continues after a 28-21 come-from-behind win over Salmon Arm’s Valleyview in B.C. High School Football Association playoff action Friday at B.C. Place.

The Marauders, who had to win their three final regular season games just to qualify for the postseason, bounced back against Okanagan runner-up Valleyview, who opened a 14-0 lead just five minutes into the game. Valleyview’s Lliam Wishart took and wide pitch and scored on a two-yard run on their first drive, then hauled in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Kaden Degen to build a two-touchdown league.

Marauders coach Matt Todd said his team remained poised despite dropping behind early.

“I just told the team to keep their heads up  don’t get down,” said Todd. “This kind of thing happened to us earlier and the year and we were able to bounce back. We know what it takes to get back into games.”

Anthony Gagnon hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Marauders quarterback Joe Schuster to cut the deficit to 14-7 heading into half time. Todd said the team car out and played a great second half to pull out the win.

“A lot of our team’s success is coming from our strong defensive play. We causing a lot of turnovers and that certainly changes the momentum of play,” said Todd.

The Marauders evened the game 14-14 early in the third quarter when running back Kyle Heiling scampered 76 yards for the score. The Marauders kept the momentum going with Gagnon’s second TD of the game, hauling in a 40-yard pass-and-catch play from Schuster.

After a Valleyview TD tied the game, the Marauders defence used another turnover to put them in position to score. After recovering a fumble inside their own 30-yard line, the Marauders marched down the field and capped of the scoring with Heiling’s second TD of the game, a four-yard plunge to play-dirt. The win sets up a quarter final playoff date with the number-one ranked John Barsby Bulldogs of Naniamo , who trounced Holy Cross 57-14.

Coach Todd said his team will spend the week studying film of the Bulldogs and will not be intimidated by the their opponent’s ranking.

“The Bulldogs love to run the ball a lot so we will look to cause some turnovers and help out our offense,” said Todd.

• Game time for the quarterfinals goes Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.

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