Langley Saints are going to the 2019 AA Provincial Football final after a nail-biting 33-32 victory over the G.W. Graham Grizzlies on Saturday afternoon Nov. 23, at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
Coach Ryk Piche called the come-from-behind win against the Chilliwack team “quite a barn-burner.”
It was a “phenomenal” display of perseverance and refusal to quit, Piche went on to say.
LSS star running back Kai Thomas went online to say he was “super proud” of the team for making it this far.
“It was a tough, hard fought game, but we banded together to get the win,” Thomas said.
“This will be a week of lots of film and good practices.”
After stopping Chilliwack on the first play of the game, the teams traded touchdowns on the next six possessions, going in to the half tied 20-20.
In the third quarter, Grizzlie stopped LSS, then scored a touchdown before picking up an LSS fumble and scoring another touchdown, to make the score 32-20 for Chilliwack by the end of the third quarter.
READ MORE: Langley Secondary Saints clinch playoff spot
Saints started the fourth quarter determined to get back in the game, and they brought themselves closer to doing so, scoring their fourth rushing touchdown of the game, to make the score 32-27.
On G.W. Graham’s next possession, the LSS defence came up with an interception, pushing their rivals deep into their zone.
— BC Sports Hub (@theBCSportsHub) November 24, 2019
It was at this point that Kai suffered a lower leg injury that forced him out of the rest of the game.
Down by five midway through the fourth quarter, LSS threw the second pass of the game for a touchdown, making the score 33-32, with LSS now having to defend a one-point lead.
In the end, a goal line stand by the defence in the last minute of the game that forced a Chilliwack fumble with less than 10 seconds left gave LSS the final possession of the game, and the hard-earned win.
On Monday, the team was planning to spend several hours reviewing videos of the game to begin preparing for the final against the Vernon Panthers.
Coach Piche said they will be facing a tough opponent.
“They’re a very well-coached team,” he observed.
“We’ll have to be on our ‘A’ game.”
Next Saturday, Nov. 30, the AA provincial football finals go at BC Place at 4 p.m., with LSS taking on the number-one ranked Panthers.