Aiden Azadi kicked the game winning field goal as time expired to give the Highlanders a 17-14 win over the Sardis Falcons.
The expected show of offensive fireworks never materialized Friday.
Instead, special teams heroics by the visiting Highlanders (4-3 4-2) wound up carrying the day in a dramatic Pacific Conference clash decided on the final play of the game.
Midway through the fourth, a West Vancouver scoring drive filled with third-down conversions was capped by quarterback Ben Welsh’s touchdown pass to Aidan Izadi which tied the score 14-14.
Sardis got into scoring position with four minutes remaining in the game, but after the Highlanders stuffed the Falcons on three plays inside the 10-yard line, Sardis lined up to kick the go-ahead field goal.
West Vancouver’s Connor Chapman, however, came through with a huge block, giving his team new life.
“He is always there to make a play when you need him and right on cue on their field goal attempt, Chapman broke through off the edge and made a game saving block,” said Highlanders’ head coach Pooya Dourandish. “Our offence took over with no intention of ending the game in a tie.”
West Vancouver moved the ball with a keen eye towards managing the clock, got to the 13-yard line with four seconds left and then walked off with a win after Izadi drilled the winning field goal through the uprights as time expired.
“All credit to Sardis,” said Dourandish. “For a first year program they are a hell of a football team and were fantastic hosts for such an important game.”
Added Falcons head coach Adam Smith: “It was a hard-fought game tonight. West Van really impressed me how hard they played and how much sportsmanship they showed. I was proud of our guys for battling back from last week’s loss (to Nanaimo District) and playing way harder this week.”
Nick Butler caught a TD pass for his sixth straight game in the loss and now has eight on the season. ~Howard Tsumura Courtesy of varsityletters.ca
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