Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AA Varsity Football Semi-Final Edition

AA Varsity Semi-Finals

Quarter-Final Recap

Wow, talk about parity at the upper tier of AA ball!  Every game was a barn-burner and the semi's promise to be just as good, if not better! We are all looking forward to watching the semi's in person or via webcast this coming weekend!

GI's Picks

G.W. Graham vs Carson Graham:  Four weeks ago, I would have said this was a no-contest game with the Grizzlies plucking Eagle tail feathers at will.  Different story now.  Carson can match G.W. up front and I think their run-pass balance and team speed present a lot of challenges for the Grizzly defense.  On the flip-side, the Grizzly Offense presents its challenges as well. If Carson can lock-up with the Grizzly receivers and load-up the box, I think they have a real chance because this group can score points.  The kicking game goes to G.W. Graham in this one.  The clock will fly as well.  GI's Pick: Carson in a 6 point "upset".

Langley vs Abbottsford: Langley has had the best season in program history.  They have improved on their game week-to-week and have found the right combination of run-pass balance on offense with a running back, quarterback, receiver trifecta that can produce a big scoring play on any given snap. The Saint defense has been shadowed by their offensive counterparts throughout the season, but hey, here they are playing in the semi-final game.  Abbey is now playing the best football of its season as well. Langley beware, this is the Abbottsford Panthers you are facing, not the Abbottsford Claypools and there is a superb cast on hand to accompany the best athlete in BC high school football.  I think that Abbey can shut down the big play receiver from Langley and gang-up on the run-game.  Offensively, I do not feel that the Saints can do the same.  Kicking Game: Abbey.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 12

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AA BC Quarter Final Edition

Quarter-Final Weekend!

Wow!  Are there ever some great games this weekend.  Totally exciting and very, very intriguing in their match-ups.

Opening Round Recap and Scores

The opening round of the playoffs was a reflection of the regular season with divisional number one seeds carrying the day in every game as well as the 2's where they were matched-up with a lower seed.  This speaks well to the growing parity in play across the province.  The Vernon-Mission was by all accounts and epic defensive battle that came down to a break-down on special teams. Conversely, Barsby scored in avalanche type quantities when Moscrop turned over the ball five times within their own 30 yard line.  In between, Langley, Carson, Abbey, PG and G.W. Graham methodically took care of business in their own fashion.

Langley 41 Ballenas 19
Carson Graham 35 Hugh Boyd 12
Prince George 19 Robert Bateman 0
Vernon 7 Mission 0
Abbottsford 58 Pitt Meadows 8
Holy Cross 28 Windsor 6
John Barsby 77 Moscrop 0
G.W. Graham 38 South Kamloops 21

GI's Picks

Carson Graham @ Prince George: The Eagles have been soaring on the scoreboard as the Carson Offense has really begun to hit on all cylinders.   They are going to have to continue to do so versus the Polars in order to win this game. Prince George is the real deal and is only getting stronger.  PG has to get vertical behind their pulls with their power game and with their reverse to take the next step towards a lethal Double-Wing and if this happens, look out Carson.   The match-ups: up front it looks like depth and size goes to PG.  On the perimeter, speed goes to Carson.  The passing game, Carson. Offensive execution, Carson.  Physicality..PG by a narrow margin.  Intangibles, PG.   The game being played in Kamloops...winner...BCSSFA integrity!  GI's Pick: If the weather is nasty, PG could upset in a big way.  Speed and overall execution will carry the day however for Carson.  Eagles by 8

Vernon @ Langley: Great match-up here.  Vernon's defense vs a truly fearsome Langley offense. Offensively, the Panthers have big play ability that cannot be overlooked and defensively, the Langley squad seems to get better as the game matures into the mid-late 3rd quarter.  This game is being played in the Dome and Langley's quarterback can reach-out and touch defensive coverages with his cannon arm.  Vernon has to win the turnover battle and score at least three TD's to win this game.  GI's Pick: Langley by 4 on a long 4th quarter run by their feature back.

Holy Cross @ G.W. Graham: The Grizzlies win the battle on the line of scrimmage hands-down in this contest.  I predict that they will try to play smash-mouth, grind you down offense while taking a couple big shots downfield vs the man coverage they are likely to face.  I say this because Cross is going to have to pressure a lot to even out their deficit in the trenches.  Offensively, the Crusaders are very, very balanced and are dangerous in their own right. Graham may also find that playing a base scheme defensively is problematic.  This makes one think that the screen game for either team could loom large in their offensive reckoning.  A slight edge in the kicking-game goes to Graham.  I think that this game will either be won big by the Grizzlies or by a narrow margin by the Crusaders.  GI's Pick: Graham by 21

Abbottsford @ John Barsby:  Well, these programs have more in common than the same school colours.  They are playing one another in the JV quarter-final on Thursday afternoon in Abbottsford and the Varsity tilt on Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo.  They have also played in some big games this year and last.  Beyond this however, here is a tale of two solitudes.  Offensively the Panthers are gun slingers with amazing athletes at all the "skill" positions.  The offensive line is very effective and superb at what it does.  Barsby is very vanilla, they don't do a whole lot of things that are traditional hi-lite video material, but they do execute their scheme with a degree of precision.  Defensively, both teams are opportunistic.  Abbey attacks more and Barsby positions itself to capitalize on breakdowns. The kicking game in this one goes to Abbey in terms of range.  Barsby has home field.  This game for differing reasons could get out of hand real fast one way or the other or remain close.  A very intriguing match-up indeed. GI's Pick: Barsby by 3 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

AA Varsity Playoffs Round 1

The 2015 Playoffs Are Here!

Week 9 Wrap-Up

Langley, Vernon, G.W. Graham and Barsby join Prince George and the number one seeds coming out of their respective divisions.  The hi-lite of the last week of regular season play had to be the fierce four overtime contest between Robert Bateman and Pitt Meadows that decided the fourth and fifth seeds out of the ever competitive Eastern Division!  Well played guys.   It looks like most of the playoff teams are on a roll headed in to the post-season tourney.


Carson Graham 38 Nanaimo District 0
Holy Cross 34 Moscrop 0
Langley 14 Hugh Boyd 0
Vernon 52 Clarence Fulton 0
G.W. Graham 19 Mission 0
Valleyview 12 Westsyde 7
Robert Bateman 19 Pitt Meadows 16 (4OT)
Barsby 15 Ballenas 0 (forfeit)

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top 5

1.  G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2.  Abbottsford Panthers
3.  John Barsby Bulldogs
4.  Langley Saints
5.  Mission Roadrunners

Honourable Mention

Carson Graham Eagles, Vernon Panthers, Prince George Polars

GI's Picks

Top Half Of Draw

Ballenas @ Langley:  Ballenas was so chewed-up they could not field a squad vs Barsby last week. We will all see if they can find their form vs the South Division champs come kick-off time.  If and I say IF, the Whalers are up to speed, this will be a good game.  The Whaler offensive line is the stalwart group on the squad and they can shove people around.  Langley however, holds the edge in team speed and they can certainly run and throw with equal effectiveness.  GI's Pick: Langley by 7

Mission @ Vernon: This will be a fabulous game!  Both teams are tough as nails and play the run very effectively.  Mission has played tougher competition week in and week out this year but the host Panthers are not that far off and they sure as hec are going to benefit from home field advantage. Look for a couple big runs to get popped in this affair and turnovers to play a huge role. GI's Pick: Vernon by 1

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford:  Should be a blow-out right?  Well, maybe not.  These teams know each other very, very well and you just never know with 16 and 17 year olds.  This said, Abbey has a decisive depth advantage and is most certainly the bigger squad physically.  Their pitfall may be getting caught looking a week or two ahead.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 18

Moscrop @ John Barsby:  Two Double-Wing Teams lock horns in Nanaimo on Saturday afternoon. Do you think the ball might get run a couple of times in this one?  These two programs played one another two years ago. GI's Pick:

Bottom Half Of Draw

Hugh Boyd @ Carson Graham: The Trojans enter this one a bit undermanned versus the high flying Carson Graham Eagles.  Carson in my opinion is poised to make a deep run in to the playoffs as they have the whole package, size, speed and an explosive offense complimented by a turnover producing D.  Come game day, the Trojans are going to have to work very hard to slow the game down or things could fall apart for them. GI's Pick: Carson by 24

Robert Batemen @ Prince George: The Polars have had a record season and their running game is a two headed monster for opposing defenses.  Here's the rub, Bateman is faster and has played good games against G.W. Graham and Abbey this year.  The Timberwolves won't be in a place come kick-off that they have not been before.  Additionally, Bateman is faster than PG.  The Polars will do fine with the weather and if they are patient with their run game, this could be a back and forth game with turnovers and or pass defense being decisive.  GI's Pick:  Bateman by 10

Windsor @ Holy Cross: Windsor is short benched headed in to this contest, but they have shown glimpses of brilliance throughout the season.  If the Dukes can find a wave to ride so-to-speak, this game gets interesting!  The Crusader offense can throw the ball with the best of em in BC and their run game is underrated.  Look for this game to be close in to the mid third quarter.  GI's Pick: Crusaders by 14

South Kamloops @ G.W. Graham:  The Grizzlies enter the playoffs on a roll having defeated there two toughest foes of the season in consecutive games.  They are already playing playoff ball headed in to this contest.  South-Kamloops has not seen this level of competition thus far in 2015 and will likely get snowplowed up and down the field by the Grizzly offensive line.  The clock should run pretty fast after the opening kick-off.  GI's Pick: Graham by 24

Sunday, November 1, 2015

AA Varsity Week 9

AA Varsity Week Nine

This is the final week of practice leading-up to the last game of high school football for some of the senior classes in the league.  The lessons learned and friendships formed over your tenure will last in many cases, for a lifetime.  Be sure to thank a friend or a coach for the time they spent with you and make this the best week of preparation and game day effort of your career.  Have no regrets and enjoy every last second of the experience.  Some teams are headed to the playoff dance and a couple are fighting to get there at this point.  Week nine ought to be a good one!

Week Eight Wrap-Up

The Grizzly-Panther game lived up to the hype and then some out in the Valley on Friday Night.  The crazy thing about the game however, is that it did not decide the seeding in the East.  Mission has quietly but effectively cobbled together a hec of a season and has back drafted behind their divisional rivals.  Now, the Roadrunners will emerge from under the radar and challenge for first in next week's game vs the Grizzlies.  A Mission win, with a big enough point spread, would have them as a first place seed.  Unreal.  The East is now the hotbed of AA highschool football!  Barsby had a strong win vs Holy Cross as did Carson versus Windsor.  Up North Prince George will emerge as the number one seed after dismantling Duchess Park. The Vernon Panthers got their best league challenge of the year from South Kamloops en route to clinching the Interior title for 2015 on Saturday.


John Barsby 46 Holy Cross 6
G.W. Graham 23 Abbottsford 22
Hugh Boyd 27 Moscrop 0
Robert Batemen 54 Rick Hansen 0
Carson Graham 40 Windsor 6
Valleyview 24 Clarence Fulton
Ballenas 30 Nanaimo District 6
Prince George 50 Duchess Park 13 (Northern Playoff Game)
Mission 10 Pitt Meadows 6
Langley 50 Frank Hurt 0
Vernon 21 South Kamloops 7

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers
3. John Barsby Bulldogs
4. Mission Roadrunners
5. Langley Saints

Honorable Mention

Carson Graham Eagles, Vernon Panthers, Prince George Polars, Holy Cross Crusaders

The Conferences

AA East: Three-way tie for first place is possible with a Mission Win this weekend vs G.W. Graham.

AA West: The Border Battle between Barsby and Ballenas will solidify the standings one way or the other.

AA South: A Hugh Boyd win vs Langley creates a three way tie@

AA Interior: Vernon is the outright league champs.  Westsyde vs Valleyview settle the 3/4 standing in the division this weekend.

AA North: Hail to the Polars!  Divisional champs for the first time in program history.

DIVISION: Eastern Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Northern AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Okanagan AA Varsity
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Southern AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
DIVISION: Western AA Conference
StandingsExpanded Standings 
Tiebreaker - in Downloads
W = WINS (2 points)
L = LOSSES (0 points)
T = TIES (1 points)
OTW = OT WINS (0 points)
D = DEFAULTS (0 points)
L10 = Last 10 Games

x = Clinched Playoff Spot
y = Clinched Division
z = Clinched Conference
t = Clinched 1st in League
**editors note: I do not know why Ballenas is credited with two wins in the standings as they have played Carson Graham in a loss, Windsor in a loss and Nanaimo District in a win.  The record should read 1 and 2.

GI's Picks

Friday, 6 November

Nanaimo @ Carson Graham: The Islanders will finish this season on the road @ Carson.  This game will be close and hard fought in the trenches.  The edge goes to Carson in the passing game however and the Eagles ought to soar if they get their people out in space with the ball in their hands. GI's Pick: Eagles by 16

Holy Cross @ Moscrop:  Both of these teams are playoff bound, albeit with different seeds. Holy Cross played their last game tangling with the Barsby double-wing.  Now they get Moscrop's version. The Crusaders throw the ball well and are a threat to score on the deep ball on every snap.  Moscrop will have difficulty defending this along with the underneath game. GI's Pick: Crusaders by 16

Valleyview @ Westsyde: A good game to cap the regular season for these cross-town rivals. This one should be pretty darn close on the scoreboard and on the field of play, no quarter given either way.  I think Valleyview probably has more gas in the offensive tank and will likely outlas their hosts.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 5

Vernon @ Clarence Fulton: The battle for Vernon!  This is a big traditional rivalry game for both teams and league records don't really count for much in this one as both teams will be bringing their A-Game to the field. Vernon has the depth of roster to carry the day.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 18

Langley @ Hugh Boyd: This is a good match-up in the trenches.  The Trojans in fact, have a slight edge defensively with their front seven.  The rub however, is the decisive speed and big play advantage held by the Saints.  Boyd got rained-on by Holy Cross with the deep ball a couple weeks ago and they will likely suffer the same fate come Friday. GI's Pick: Langley by 16

Robert Bateman @ Pitt Meadows: This game decides the fourth seed out of the East.  I think the winner will be the toughest number four seed in the post-season tourney.  Both teams have speed on the roster.  Bateman however, plays better defense this year and this along with special teams will be the separator in the game.  GI's Pick: Timberwolves by 11

Saturday, 7 November

G.W. Graham @ Mission: Most folks would pick the Grizzlies as a cinch to close the deal in this game.  This may not be a lock folks as Mission always defends the Grizzly offense tenaciously and the Roadrunners are playing the toughest scoring defense in the division. Graham for their part is going to have to defend a very potent running game while still playing honest versus the pass. Mission had better be able to get some breathing room for its run game by throwing effectively come Saturday.   This game will come down to a big throw or two in the second half. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 3

Abbottsford @ Rick Hansen: This will be the last game of high school football for the grade 12's on the Hansen squad.  I believe this group will come out and compete their hardest throughout the contest.  Abbey is looking to hit the playoffs on a roll and will come out "guns a blazing".   GI's Pick: Panthers by 26

John Barsby @ Ballenas: The 2015 Border Battle takes place where it all began, in the Ballenas mud and grass.  This is one of the great rivalry games in BC High School Football.  The Whalers will be solid up-front and have regained a lot of health since a tough couple of mid-season weeks.  Look for a very balanced run-pass game offensively and some tough run-defense from the Parksville squad. Barsby will be very much the same in both regards as their hosts.  Special teams are going to be very big in this game as is turnovers.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 8