The Eric Hamber Griffins upended the Spectrum Thunder 28-21 in Saturday’s Subway Bowl Tier 2 provincial high school football championship.
Despite the disappointment in the dressing room it’s a big step for the young Spectrum program, which has now played five seasons.
“It was a good run, it’s great for the team and also for Spectrum athletics,” said head coach Darren Vaux.
It was all part of a big week for the team, which defeated the Frank Hurt Hornets 28-12 eight days earlier to clinch Spectrum’s first trip to the Tier 2 final.
On Thursday Spectrum held a pep rally to pump up the football team, including a performance by the Spectrum band.
“It’s great for the school, the culture inside the school is changing as the football team becomes better recognized,” Vaux said.
The Thunder ferried over on Friday and stayed in a hotel near the stadium. The night before, knowing they’d have to be at BC Place early for the 9:30 a.m. kickoff, the squad took a rainy walk around the stadium.
“It was a neat moment, we went over all the things to expect, what was coming,” Vaux said.
The Thunder held a 14-7 at the half but the game got away from them in the third quarter, when the Griffins scored two touchdowns and controlled the play offensively.
“Our defence tired out,” Vaux said.
The game started right as the Thunder’s Harrison Kuromi intercepted the ball on defence and scored to tie the game 7-7. Running back Brandon Robbins rushed for a touchdown and receiver Riley Wilson ran in a reception for the other score.
Down 28-21, the Thunder successfully recovered an onside kick in the final minutes but could not execute another scoring play.
“Overall there was a letdown, we didn’t take this team for granted but I don’t think we played our best game, our best players weren’t our best,” Vaux said. “We couldn’t get our running game going and our other strength, our defence, had trouble all day.”
Star player Riley Wilson returned from a five-week injury break due to a separated shoulder. He scored a TD but was unable to play defence.
While Wilson graduates in the summer, the Thunder are in good shape with quarterbacks Cam Ross and Chris Starck set to return for 2018.