The Williams Lake Sabercats minor football team squared off against the Quesnel Bombers at Quesnel Saturday in week two of the Prince George Minor Football League.
Sabercats head coach Dionte Jelks said the Bombers, in a tightly contested battle, struck first to go up 8-0 after stalling the Sabercats on downs.
The first-year Sabercats, not to be outdone, struck back at the beginning of the second quarter when Noe Jelks darted around the left side to outrun the Bombers for a 50-yard score. Quarterback Liam Gilroy scored on the conversion to bring the Sabercats to within a point.
The Bombers then received the kick-off to rumble 20 yards before being stalled by the Sabercats stout defence led by middle linebacker Julia Bowman and defensive end Ian Foster, along with Aiden Oliveira and Geordi Wonnacott.
Cole Armond then exploded around the right side to put Williams Lake up 13-8.
On the following possession the defence again stopped the Bombers on a drive, who turned the ball over at the 45-yard line.
Noe received the hand-off and was stuffed for no gain. On second down Cole Aumond lost yardage to put the Sabercats at third down and 12 yards.
“Noe received the handoff to the left side but the Bombers defence was waiting,” Dionte said. “Noe reversed the entire field weaving his way through traffic and finally out running a host of Bombers for a 65-yard touchdown.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It’s incredible for a person to be so young to be able to have vision and see the entire field.”
Noe finished the game with 121 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
The Sabercats then went up 19-8 at the half.
“The third quarter resulted in [us] losing two possessions due to botched kick-offs,” Dionte said.
“We worked on kick-offs during practice hoping that our young players would be able to effectively cover the kicks.”
The Bombers took advantage to go up 19-16.
“The Bombers kicked off and the ball ricocheted off the hands of a Sabercat causing the Bombers to go down the field to score the go-ahead touchdown for the 24-19 win,” Dionte said.
“We will work this week to limit our fumbles on kick-off and senseless penalties. It’s all part of the game. Growing pains.”
He added he was extremely proud of his players and the effort they gave.
“I must say we have some tough seven and eight year olds,” he said. “Many first-year programs get steamrolled their first season but we have competed and played tough in every game coming so close to victory.”
The Sabercats will play their home opener this Saturday, Sept. 20 against Prince George starting at noon at the Ottoman Drive rugby pitch. The following Saturday the Sabercats will get a chance for revenge against the Bombers, also in Williams Lake.