As members of the newly-aligned Eastern Conference this fall, the Mount Boucherie Bears found the going much tougher during the 2013 regular season.
Still, the Bears did enough this year to earn a berth into the B.C. high school football playoffs.
On Saturday at 1:30, Boucherie will visit the Vancouver College Fighting Irish, with the winner moving on to the quarterfinal round.
The Bears, who went 2-5 this season, have a degree of familiarity with the Irish (4-2) having played them once in each of the last two years.
“We played Van College in the pre-season and lost by five points,” said Bears’ coach Mike Godwin. “We played them in the playoffs last year so we are getting pretty familiar with them, but I guess that goes both ways.”
The Bears were the only one of three Central Okanagan team to make the playoffs this year in the Lower Mainland-dominated eight-team Eastern Conference.
Boucherie clinched a spot with a 31-28 victory over the Rutland Voodoos last Friday night at the Apple Bowl.
The Bears’ offence rushed for 199 yards to eat up much of the clock against a tough Rutland squad. With the game on the line, Spencer Humes picked off a pass for the Bears to secure the win.
The Voodoos, who gave the Bears all they could handle, finished 0-7 this season but made considerable progress in the eyes of head coach Peter McCall.
“It was a challenging season playing with the Lower Mainland schools but we really made strides as a program and now we know what to expect and prepare for in 2014,” McCall said.
Against Boucherie, Mitch Walz passed for 129 yards while Tony Nyugen scored two touchdowns for the Voodoos.
On defence, Justice Dovich returned a fumble 78 yards for a major, Matt Walz had 11 tackles, and Trenton Nesdoly had three fumble recoveries.
The KSS Owls, who finished 1-6, lost their final game of the season 41-6 to Terry Fox.