The Barsby Bulldogs were beaten by the best receiver they’ve ever seen.
The Abbotsford Panthers, led by star receiver Chase Claypool, defeated the ‘Dawgs 50-36 on Saturday in the AA varsity football quarterfinals at Merle Logan Field.
Claypool scored six touchdowns and amassed an astounding 300 yards of offence and was quite simply unstoppable.
“We played our usual brand of physical football…” said Rob Stevenson, Barsby coach. “We came up against a pretty special athlete that could make plays up in the air.”
The 6-foot-5 receiver, bound for the NCAA’s Notre Dame next year, caught pretty much everything thrown in his general direction – he had an interception on defence, too – and all of his catches came in tight coverage.
“They really beat us up on offence, but our guys stepped up and hung in there…” Claypool said. “It was our quarterback John Madigan just throwing perfect balls and me trusting him and him trusting me to go up and get the ball.”
Stevenson said Claypool is the best football player at that position he’s ever seen, but the coach also praised Abbotsford’s quarterback, pass protection and the other receivers. The Bulldogs put their tallest defensive back, Nathanael Durkan, up against Claypool and tried to break up as many pass plays as they could.
“And we did a couple times, but he made the play enough to score the points he did today,” Stevenson said.
The Bulldogs made it close – they were within seven points with two minutes left in the fourth quarter when they turned over the ball on downs on the 14-yard line.
“We played hard and for each other and with valour,” Stevenson said. “We played from the opening kick to the ending whistle.”
Parker Bowles, ‘Dawgs linebacker, said his team played Barsby Bulldogs football for four quarters.
“Sometimes you can do all you need to do to stop [a player], but if he keeps making plays, he keeps making plays,” Bowles said. “We didn’t ask for 77-0 against these guys, we asked for a football game and that’s exactly what we got.”
Matthew Cooley and Justis MacKay-Topley each scored two rushing touchdowns and Durkan scored a TD on a 25-yard run. Durkan had nine tackles and an interception and Daniel Vacsi also had a pick. Bowles had eight tackles, Cooley had seven, Cory Fletcher had six and Doyle Sosnowski and Jaydon Easterbrook had sacks.
GRID BITS … Barsby’s junior varsity team also lost to Abbotsford in quarterfinal action by a 52-12 score on Thursday in the Fraser Valley.