In a win like no other this season, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers scored 36 unanswered points to upend the New Westminster Hyacks 36-7 in a game at B.C. Place Nov. 16.
With the win, the Panthers advance to the B.C. high school football AAA semifinals.
“This was a terrific outing and I can’t remember a game in which our special teams played so well,” said Kurt Thornton, Lord Tweedsmuir head coach. “All three phases were strong and I’m really proud of how our kids represented their school and community.”
Special teams pumped up the team and pumped out the points, scoring two TDs from game-changing kickoff returns.
“I loved the special teams contributions today,” added Thornton. “We worked so hard on it, and in most of the games, it’s just part of the overall ebb and flow. But for us to return two kickoffs for touchdowns, from two different kids, against a team like New Westminster, is just awesome.”
New West opened the scoring with a TD on their second drive of the game, when Deakon Young darted in from 10-yards out.
LT inched back in the second quarter by converting two 30-yard field goal attempts. The first was kicked by Terrel Jones and the second was kicked by Jake Taylor (Jones was injured).
The score at halftime read 7-6 in favour of New West.
Subway Bowl 2019 AAA Final 8: Tweedy's special teams are oh-so-special, No. 5 Panthers prove to be No. 4 Hyacks' worst nightmare! https://t.co/oorOb60hu0 @bchsfb @ltsssports @hyackfootball @bchsfb @langleyevents @stmcfootball @mtdougfootball @vcirishsports @ndjugglers pic.twitter.com/sMQUHSpPhg
— Howard Tsumura (@htsumura) November 16, 2019
It only took one kick return to put Lord Tweedsmuir ahead for good.
On the opening second half kickoff, Haydn Stomperud caught the ball on his own eight-yard line and pinned his ears back, outpacing the New West kicking team to thunder 92 yards back down the field for a touchdown, putting LT ahead 13-7.
Later in the third quarter, the Hyacks’ centre botched a snap, sending the ball high over the quarterback’s head. As the ball clunked end-over-end back toward the goal line, LT defensive lineman Dakota Lepine gave chase, running 25 yards to recover the football on the Hyacks’ one-yard line.
On the next play Panthers’ QB Key’shaun Dorsey burst through the Hyack line on a quarterback sneak, increasing the Panthers’ lead to 20-7.
Fumble woes continued to mount for the Hyacks. On their next possession, QB Andros Dancey dropped the ball and Stomperud came out of nowhere to pounce on the pigskin.
On the next play, Dorsey rolled out and tossed the ball to the end zone, but it was picked off. However, the Hyack defender ran out of the end zone and turned back in. This resulted in a safety being awarded to LT, increasing their lead by two points.
Then Tremel States-Jones stepped up to the plate.
On the ensuing kickoff, States-Jones scoped his way through would-be Hyack tacklers like a laser beam—returning the rock 65 yards for another Panthers’ touchdown, bringing the score up to 29-7.
The return ended an amazing third quarter for the Panthers in which the squad put 23 points on the board and knocked all but the faintest of breaths out of the Hyacks.
States-Jones added a four-yard touchdown run in the middle of the fourth quarter to make the final score 36-7.
“Our defense was stellar and our kids played an extremely disciplined game,” noted Thornton. “We only took two penalties (an offside and a grounding), which is a huge improvement over the past few games.”
Nathan Gernon was a standout for LT’s D, leading the defense with nine tackles.
On the other side of the ball, Hyack head coach Farhan Lalji, said he “couldn’t have imagined a worse half of football, especially the third quarter.”
Lalji offered “full credit” to the Panthers and said the Cloverdale squad played very well.
“To lose a game based on two kickoff returns, and then a fumble on our own one-yard line, was ridiculous,” Lalji said. “I couldn’t have imagined a bigger comedy of errors.”
The Panthers now face the Notre Dame Jugglers in the 2019 Subway Bowl semi-final round Nov. 23 at B.C. Place. Kickoff is 5 p.m.
“Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $10 at the school office ($15 at the door),” added Thornton.
JUNIOR VARSITY AAA
Lord Tweedsmuir’s junior varsity squad continued its winning ways after dumping Kelowna in AAA playoff quarter-final action Nov. 14. Tweedsmuir beat Kelowna 14-7 to advance to a semi-final game against Vancouver College Nov. 21. at Cloverdale Athletic Park. That game kicks off at 12:30 p.m.
The JV Panthers went 4-0 in the regular season. They played VC in an exhibition game earlier in the year in September, losing that game 22-0.