With the hometown crowd cheering them on underneath the lights at the Pitt Meadows Community Sports Field, the Pitt Meadows Marauders stunned the Abbotsford Collegiate Panthers 33-0 Friday night to win their second B.C. High School Football Association AA varsity game in a row.
With the win, the 2-2 Marauders now sit two points back of a potential AA Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Pitt’s defence smothered the Panthers on Friday, and have only allowed two touchdowns in the past three games.
“Defensively, we played very well,” said head coach Matt Todd. “They threw the ball 90 per cent of the time… but we had lots of pressure on their quarterback. Our D-line played great.”
Cole White led the defence with a pair of sacks, while Grade 10 Mac Dhami had key tackles.
The Marauders scored on their opening drive of the football game with Anthony Gagnon kicking the team’s first field goal of the season, splitting the uprights from 30 yards out.
Pitt’s defence then pinned the Panthers deep in their own end and an errant snap led to a safety and a 5-0 Marauders lead.
In the second quarter, Gagnon managed to put up points on defence, running back an interception 70 yards for a touchdown, while Tanner Hartley caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Schuster to help put the Marauders ahead 26-0 at half time.
With a healthy lead in the second half, Todd elected to get his bench into the game. Every dressed player on the roster managed to get on the field for a play, while still ensuring the shut out win.
Brandon Stewart led the Marauders’ running backs with 80 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Zabierek had 30 yards and scored his first touchdown after four years at Pitt.
“He’s been a lineman, but we’ve been playing him at running back this year and it’s worked out ,” said Todd.
Schuster threw for 150 yards at pivot, while gaining 50 yards on the ground.
The Marauders play the 1-3 Langley Saints in their final game of the regular season this Friday night at home in a must-win situation if Pitt wants to see the postseason. The Marauders could finish as high as second place in the AA Eastern Conference with a win against Langley.
“This is the biggest game of the year so far,” said Todd. “We win and we’re in.”
Todd said his team’s plan is to take the Saints out of the game as quickly as possible.
“We want to get up on them early… and play some good, hard football,” said Todd. “As long as we don’t turn over the ball, we should be alright.”
• The Pitt Meadows Marauders varsity football team hosts the Langley Saints this Friday night, Nov. 2, at the Pitt Meadows Community Sports Field. Game time is 7:30 p.m.