The Barsby Bulldogs won of the greatest football games in school history, giving themselves a chance to play for a championship.
John Barsby Secondary School’s AA varsity football team defeated the Mission Roadrunners 34-27 on Saturday at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium in the provincial semifinals.
“We went through some ups and downs and our team never lost its focus or stride,” said Rob Stevenson, Barsby coach. “I’m really proud of how we rallied.”
The Bulldogs, trailing 27-26 with one minute, 45 seconds to go, drove 86 yards to score the game-winning major. What’s more, they did it without star running back Brandon (Steve) Parker, who had been having an incredible game before suffering a serious leg injury at the start of that drive.
“When Steve went down, we had to rally and come together and we bounced back from it,” said Tyler Harvey, Barsby defensive end.
Barsby converted a fourth-and-six deep in its own end of the field, crossed midfield on a long run from Kyle Vollet and then got to the Mission one-yard line on a one-handed catch from Cole Virtanen. Vollet punched in the go-ahead touchdown and Barsby’s defensive backs broke up the Roadrunners’ last-gasp pass attempts in the dying seconds.
After the final whistle, the ‘Dawgs mobbed Parker on the sideline.
“It was tough seeing him in pain, but he was smiling, too, so it was a nice feeling,” Harvey said.
Stevenson said the comeback victory is a learning tool as his players prepare to play in the Subway Bowl provincial championship.
“We’ve gone through this kind of game now,” he said. “That’s part of being seasoned and knowing how to respond to the ebb and flow of a game, control yourself and stay calm yet highly motivated.”
When push came to shove in the semifinals, the Bulldogs pushed and shoved and emerged as the winning team and also as a better team.
“It shows that we can stick together through anything,” Virtanen said. “We can push through any problems that we have. We can always rally together and win a football game.”
GRID BITS … Parker finished with 38 carries for 304 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Brody Taylor was 7-for-10 for 97 yards. Defensively, Chance MacKay-Topley had seven tackles and a forced fumble, Harvey had six tackles and a fumble recovery and Shawn Arabsky had six tackles. North Rainey intercepted a pass … Barsby will play the Carson Graham Eagles in the Subway Bowl on Saturday (Nov. 30) at 3:30 p.m. at B.C. Place stadium … There will be at least one fan bus making the trip; for more information please stop by the school office.