RICHMOND â€” Even though Lord Tweedsmuirâ€™s backfield racked up a combined 222 yards on the ground, the Panthers were unable to get past the stingy South Delta defence in their 9-7 quarter-final defeat on Friday (Nov. 21).
Caleb Abraham ran for 121 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown, while Colton Zayshley recorded 101 yards on 12 carries in provincial playoff action at Minoru Park in Richmond.
The Panthers started the day down two of their starters, KJ Johnson and Jag Dhami, before starting quarterback Jonny Chwaklinski took a hit that would end his game on Tweedsmuirâ€™s first offensive play.
It was a blow on both sides of the ball, as Johnson led the team in receiving yards and interceptions while Chwaklinski is a starting cornerback.
â€œOur kids who started throughout the season werenâ€™t here, and it was all stuff out of our control,â€ said head coach Kurt Thornton.
Playing in heavy rain resulted in both teams fumbling the ball on several occasions.
â€œBoth teams put the ball on the ground a couple of times and ours just seemed a little more inopportune than theirs,â€ Thornton said.
The coach added the team had some missed turnover opportunities at key moments in the game that could have shifted momentum in their favour.
Thornton said the defence played very well, limiting South Delta to nine points. Abraham and Zayshley led the defence with seven tackles each with the latter also recording an interception.
He also said Sun Devilsâ€™ Lucas Kirk hurt the Panthers with his legs more than his arm at times. The elusive quarterback was able to pick up several first downs by getting outside of the pocket and running in the open field.
Kirk threw for 188 yards, completing 13 of 23 passes and scrambled for 70 yards.
In the Double A competition, Seaquam Seahawks lost their quarter-final game 27-24 to John Barsby on Saturday.
-With a file from Delta Optimist