The Howe Sound Sounders remain the kings of the corridor, for now, after defeating the Pemberton Grizzlies 34-14 in Black Tusk Bowl II on Saturday (Oct. 19).
Howe Sound had a massive game from running back Cam Dare. Dare had five touchdowns and picked up 130 yards rushing to lead the Sounders. He also had three tackles on the defensive side.
Sounders coach Jim Errington said he was pleased with a number of aspects of his team’s play. He praised the play of Dare, quarterback Scott Messier, tight end Adam Stangowitz and Rolan Mendoza, but pointed out the elevated recent play of several international students.
“One of the biggest improvements in the last couple of weeks has been from our imports,” he said in an email. “They are really starting to understand and enjoy the game. We started the year with 13 international students wanting to try the game and we have 10 still playing, of which seven now have starting positions. One month ago, they didn't know such a sport even existed. It’s pretty amazing to see how far they’ve come.”
The players hail from a variety of countries including: Mexico, Norway, Germany, Belgium and Brazil.
Howe Sound held the Grizzlies to 92 yards of offence and were led by Stangowitz with four tackles. Gerardo Agudelo had a big game with two interceptions and five different Sounders recorded quarterback sacks.
Grizzlies coach John Burleson said he lost his starting quarterback Eldon Finck to injury in the first quarter and had to adjust on the fly.
“Losing our quarterback in the first was really tough,” he said. “Our second-string guy [Kex Nelson] only knew about 25 per cent of the playbook but I thought he played exceptional. It’s his team next year and I think you will see he will be an even bigger threat than he was today.”
Burleson said he didn’t like the play of his offensive line, which is why the Grizzlies ran only four running plays the entire game.
“Our line was not good today and we paid the price for that,” he said. “But defensively I thought we played good. We brought pressure, had some takeaways and scored a touchdown.”
He also gave the Sounders full marks for the win.
“The Sounders played well today and they capitalized on our mistakes,” he said. “We gave them every opportunity to take advantage of us and they did.”
Burleson pointed out that the Sounders have been forced to practice inside after team officials neglected to book field time. The field time was quickly gobbled up by local soccer teams and he said the team should be allowed back on the field to prepare for the playoffs.
“I hope the community rallies around Coach Errington and gives him field time so he can get his players ready,” he said. “It’s hard to win a provincial championship when you’re stuck in a school gym. Someone who supports this team needs to help the Sounders and Errington out because he’s doing everything he can to make this a successful season for the kids.”
He said the Grizzlies games in Pemberton have been a big draw, attracting several hundred people and he hopes to see that type of interest in Squamish and the whole Sea to Sky Corridor.
“I’d like to see something like that here in Squamish,” he said. “But they need a good booster program. Football is more than a game, it should be part of the community fibre and if they embrace it, I think the sport could skyrocket out here.”
Howe Sound plays its final game of the regular season against Eric Hamber Secondary School on Saturday (Oct. 26). The playoffs kick off the following weekend.
For more information on the Sounders regular season, visit www.bchighschoolfootball.com.