Losing 54-13 on home soil to the Mt. Douglas Ram’s senior varsity football team on Friday wasn’t exactly how the Pitt Meadows Marauders wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Pitt Meadows Secondary School.
The Double A Marauders senior varsity team was originally set to play Burnaby’s Moscrop Panthers, but due to cancellations the team was forced to play the Rams, who’re part of the Triple A Western Conference.
Although the affair was extremely lop-sided, Marauders’ offensive coordinator Matt Todd said the game gave his players some valuable experience.
“It was pretty one-sided. We were supposed to play against a tier two team but they cancelled and at the last minute we got the only team available which ended up being a triple A team who’re ranked number three in the province,” Todd said.
“We knew we were under-matched but the kids played well. It was definitely a learning experience for them, playing a school that’s just a football powerhouse in B.C.”
“Being that it was our first home game, the kids came out hyped up, but in the end the other team was just a lot bigger than we were.”
Despite being out-muscled and outplayed, the Marauders’ two touchdowns were scored by Tanner Hartley, both on 80 yard kickoff returns. The defence was led by Cole Erskine-Shaw and Levon Cuthbert, who had eight tackles.
The difference of experience levels between both tiers was evident in the final score, but Todd said he’s proud of how his team played and there’s only room for improvement as the regular season gets underway this Friday.
“The kids that play on Mount Douglas have been playing football their whole lives and we have a lot of kids who’ve only been playing for three or four games now,” Todd said. “I think we’re moving along now. We started off with everyone’s experience levels being so low and now they’re learning as each game happens.”
For Todd, the main goal is to make the playoffs this year, but he understands there will be a lot of growing pains along the way with so many new players on the squad.
He says the key is to take each game one step at a time and to not think about the future.
“We’re just hoping to build each weekend. We want the kids to just keep learning how to play football and build off of each game and what they’ve learned in practice and hopefully that experience and hard work will get us to the playoffs.”
Playoff talk aside, the Marauders first regular season test will come on Friday when they open AA East play against No. 2 ranked Mission.
“We’re going to play one of the best Double A teams in the province, but the kids are motivated and they’re ready to play their first game that matters. They are done playing exhibition games,” Todd said.
“We’ve got a few more practices before Friday’s game. We’re just preparing like we do every other week for any other team. As coaches, we’re making sure our players know what Mission’s game is like, especially how they run their offence and defence.”
• Start time for Friday’s game is 7:30 p.m. at Pitt Meadows Secondary School.