An incredible New Westminster comeback went for naught in B.C. high school junior varsity football last Thursday.
The Hyack JVs scored 28 points in the second half and led with two minutes left in the game before eventually falling 39-35 to the visiting Mt. Boucherie Bears in a quarter-final game at Mercer Stadium on Nov. 20.
"The kids showed a lot of heart to come back and lead the game for a brief moment. It shows they want to work hard for each other," said Hyack head coach Chad Oatway after the game. "Of course it's disappointing. We expected to go further."
Instead, New West, which had amassed a 10-0 season record up to that point, suffered it's one and only loss of the season, while the interior champions moved on to take on Notre Dame in the semifinals later this week.
The junior Hyacks fell behind 20-0 following a successful opening drive and a big play on offence and defence by the Bears.
The Hyacks, on a one-yard touchdown rush by Sammy Sidhu, trailed the West Kelowna school 26-7 at halftime.
It looked like New West were about to implode to start the second half, when a miscommunication off the opening kickoff started the ball on the one-yard line.
But quarterback Lucas Sabau marched the orange and black downfield and eventually scored.
Boucherie replied with an impressive drive of its own, but Trew Dancey closed the gap again, scoring from 13 yards out with four seconds left in the third quarter.
The Hyacks then recovered a short kickoff to start the final quarter and Sabau got himself into the end zone again to make it a one-score game.
New West stopped the Bears three and out on the subsequent drive following a combined sack by Dancey and Isaiah James and an individual sack by Sarban Sidhu on Boucherie QB Taylor Knoll.
New West got the ball back on their own 27-yard line and drove the length of the field before Dancey scored his second TD of the game from 17 yards out to give New West it's only lead of the game.
But Boucherie wasn't finished.
Knoll took the ball over on his own 40-yard line and found his favourite receiver Nathan Humes for a big gain.
With less than a minute to play and inside the red zone, Boucherie eventually punched the ball over the line on a three-yard run by Jesse Benneke.
"You have to learn from every opportunity you can get," said Oatway. "But these kids wanted another week."
Instead, Mt. Boucherie will get that week, meeting Notre Dame in a JV semifinal game at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex-West on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.