For the second year in a row, the Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary School Titans bested the Pitt Meadows Marauders in the annual match-up between the two rival high school junior varsity football programs.
The Titans ground attack was too much for the injury-riddled Marauders to contain as they ran away with a 25-0 victory at Pitt Meadows secondary Wednesday afternoon.
“This was a big win for us,” said SRT head coach Tom Levesque. “This is a great rivalry and we’ve been pumping up the guys all week for this game.”
The first half saw Pitt give up a pair of turnovers, which cost the team dearly.
The Titans defence managed to pin Pitt deep in their end zone when Austin McAllister stripped the ball and ran it back for a Titans touchdown.
Pitt recovered and drove the ball downfield only to fumble the ball, which was then recovered by the Titans.
“That really changed the momentum of the game for us,” said Levesque.
The Titans had a chance to put a second touchdown on the board late in the second quarter deep in Marauders territory, but were thwarted by Pitt’s defence.
With just a seven-point lead at the half, Levesque said it was still anyone’s game.
“If it wasn’t for those turnovers, it could have been a very different story,” he said.
The Titans pounded the Marauders defence with run after run in the second half. In all, the Titans ran more than 20 plays along the ground in the second without attempting a single pass.
The Titans didn’t waste any time either, as they scored on the opening possession with a five-play, 57-yard drive to score.
Pitt managed to block the convert, but on the ensuing possession, went three an out and had to punt the ball away.
SRT took the ball from their own 38-yard line, and put together an 11-play drive, resulting in their third touchdown of the game.
After an incomplete pass on a two-point conversion, the Titans defence went to work again, forcing the Marauders to go three and out once more.
The Titans put together another grinding drive, scoring a touchdown on their third possession in a row.
“They were giving us the middle all day, so we exploited it,” said Levesque.
Tyrell Ogloff had two touchdowns for the Titans, while Zach Tripp-Buchanan and Austin McAllister also tallied major scores.
Tripp-Buchanan rushed for 168 yards, while Ogloff ran for 130.
The Titans defence smothered the Marauders in the second half, not allowing them a single first down. Defensive coach and former B.C. Lion Josh Bean said he was impressed by his team’s hard work in the trenches.
“Our linebackers made some big tackles,” he said. “They worked hard and they executed well.”
However, a rash of concussions on the Marauders roster may have played a significant role in the game’s outcome.
“I think if they had a full bench this would have been a much closer game,” said Levesque after the game.
The Marauders were without four of their starting running backs, and three of their starting linebackers due to injury.
“We have a roster of 34 players and we could only dress 20 today,” said Pitt coach Kris Little. “Our starting running back had never played running back before yesterday.”
To make matters worse, the team’s top receiver, Justin Tweedy, broke his arm last week.
“He’s had an 80- and an 85-yard reception so far this season, and now he’s out for the season,” Little said. “I’m not making excuses, SRT played a great game, they really did, but having those guys in the line up could have really made a difference.”
Thankfully, all of Pitt’s injured players, save Tweedy, will be ready for action next week as the Marauders take on the Langley Saints.
Heading into the third week of league play, both the Marauders and the Titans sit with 1-1 records. The Titans next face Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman secondary this Wednesday in their home opener at Rotary Field in Maple Ridge. Game time is 3:30 p.m.