Mike Godwin hopes an up and down 2016 season for his Mt. Boucherie Bears will be trending in the right direction this weekend on the Lower Mainland.
On Friday at Mercer Stadium, the Bears will battle the New Westminster Hyacks in the opening round of the B.C. high school football playoffs.
Boucherie (3-4) finished sixth in the Eastern Conference, while the Hyacks went 4-2 to finish third in the Western Conference.
Many of the players on both sides met two seasons ago at the junior varsity level, with the Bears winning by a narrow margin.
In the Hyacks, Godwin expects the Bears will face a well-coached, offensively disciplined team.
“They run an offense that always causes fits for defensive coordinators,” said Godwin, Boucherie’s head coach. “Physically I think we match up, but we need to be mentally focused.
“Their offense just keeps plugging away and even if a defense stops them numerous times, if a mental lapse occurs, they score. They are a very well-coached team.”
The winner will move on to the quarterfinals the weekend of Nov. 18 and 19.
Bears 55 KSS Owls 21
The Bears closed out the regular season with a 55-21 victory Saturday at CNC over the rival KSS Owls.
Taylor Knoll ran for three touchdowns and passed for another, while Steve Johnson and Chris Smith also scored majors as Boucherie made its final tune up for the playoffs.
“It was a good win for us,” said coach Mike Godwin. “KSS has been improving every week and they came out determined to win.
“At the end of the day, both sides were fired up,” he added. “Regardless of how the season goes for either team, this is an intense rivalry and our guys played well, especially our offensive and defensive lines.”
Blaise Beauchemin scored a pair of touchdowns for the Owls who finished the season at 0-7. On the upside, KSS coach Chris Cartwright saw his young team make progress with each week, finishing with solid effort.
“I am so proud of the boys with how we played,” Cartwright said. “I feel for our senior players as for some of them this could have been their last football game they ever played. We really wanted to win this one. There were a lot of opportunities where we could have gone the other way.
“I believe we have solidified our identity as a team that finishes everything we do no matter what. I am really excited to move forward with what we have learned this year.”
In junior varsity playoff action this week, the Owls will host Notre Dame on Thursday at the CNC turf.
The Mt. Boucherie Bears JVs will play at St.Thomas More on Thursday.