Falcons punch ticket to Big Rock final
Football: Foothills blitzes by Bow Valley 35-6 in semifinal
By: Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 06:00 am
Foothills’ berth into the Big Rock football final was never really in doubt.
The Falcons built a massive lead on the Bow Valley Wolverines and experimented with its team depth in a comfortable 35-6 victory in the Big Rock semifinal Friday night at Falcons Field.
“We had our first string guys in the first half execute pretty well so that gave us the opportunity to make some changes,” said Falcons head coach Darren Olson. “We got our offensive starters playing some defensive positions for later on in the year if we have some injuries and have to do some substitutions.”
The starters certainly did their part earning the Falcons a 28-0 lead at halftime and leading to the positional re-allocation with Morgan Burbank taking over behind centre and Matt Hunter and Landon Rose lining up at tailback.
Burbank made the most of the opportunity in the third quarter when the southpaw quarterback found room on the right sideline for a 35-yard sprint to the end zone for Foothills’ fifth and final score of the contest.
“We called a bootleg and I just cut up the middle and it opened right up,” said Burbank. “What was going through my head was I don’t want to get caught so I ran as fast as I could.
“We were in a flip offence so we wanted to come out and maintain and keep scoring so we didn’t have to put the first stringers back in.”
On the other side of the ball, Foothills’ defence held the Wolverines in check with sustained pressure from the front seven, highlighted by interior work from the likes of Tanner Mullen, Derek Phillips, Ben Myers and a safety blitz sack from Tanner Bachman.
“This was definitely my best game… it’s really just magic, one second you’re in front of him and the next you’re on the ground with the quarterback underneath you,” said Myers, a dominant force on the defensive line all game. “It’s really scary this time of the year, for all the Grade 12s this could have been our last (conference) game.
“Just knowing that any minute could be our last, it’s what’s been keeping us going so far.”
Bow Valley did not get on the board until the final minutes when quarterback Mark Grain found Zak Jantz for an eight-yard score.
The Falcons didn’t waste any time getting on the board in the first half. Foothills kept it on the ground on its first three plays and found paydirt when Josh Koshman bulldozed in from two yards out.
The underdog Wolverines showed some bite on their next possession when Grain called his own number, found a seam in the Falcons defence and took off for a 47-yard scamper to put Bow Valley in the red zone.
Foothills’ defence would put up a wall and force a turnover on downs to get out of Dodge completely unscathed.
In the second quarter, after long runs from Koshman and Karl set up first and goal, the latter walked it into the end zone untouched from four yards out.
Karl, the Grade 12 signal caller, added his second score of the quarter on a near-identical run, this time finding space on the left flank for a 10-yard touchdown dash. The Falcons rounded out the first half scoring by switching to a West Coast offence with short passes to Burbank and Garrett Young setting up a five-yard touchdown pass to TJ Tighe on a fade route.
The 29-point victory sets up a rematch of last year’s Big Rock final featuring the Falcons and defending league champions, the Rundle College Cobras. In the other Big Rock semifinal Friday in Calgary the Cobras shutout Holy Trinity Academy 17-0.
“I hope when we play teams like (Bow Valley) that it doesn’t get to our heads that the next team is going to be as easy,” Myers said. “That’s what got us last year. We were undefeated and then got a trap game and it was bad luck from there.”
The Falcons are ranked No. 1 in the province among Tier II schools. Rundle is third in Tier III.
Kick-off for the Big Rock final is at 7:15 p.m. on Friday at Falcons Field at Foothills Composite High School.