They may rule the Okanagan Valley, but the Fulton Maroons learned Wednesday they have some catching up to do if they’re going to match the top junior AA varsity football teams from the Lower Mainland.
The Maroons fell 64-0 to the Robert Bateman Timberwolves of Abbotsford in the B.C. playoff quarterfinals at Mouat Field.
Fulton managed just 67 total yards of offence against the powerhouse T-Wolves, and were hindered by wet snow and windy conditions.
Quarterback Tye Kitzman threw for 28 yards on eight attempts with one interception. Layne Greene reeled in a 16-yard catch and Caleb McCuaig had one for 12.
On the ground, Davron Polok managed 23 yards on 10 carries, and Max Chapman had 16 yards on five touches.
“Obviously, as the score suggests, it was a very lopsided game,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “Bateman was simply bigger, faster, tougher and better. We do not match up physically against them. They are well-coached, and were prepared. They do not do anything fancy, they simply overpower you with athletes.”
On defence, Polok, Ryan Buick and Trevor Feeney led Fulton with four tackles each, and Chapman had three. Ben Aspenleider recorded an interception.
Added Scheller: “Our kids played hard despite the game. They did not complain and fought to the final whistle. They can be proud of their season and were a great group to work with.
“The difference between Interior football and lower mainland football is huge. Every Interior and northern team is getting blown out unfortunately.”
Scheller thanked assistant coaches Cole Tucker, Roger Scales, Kevin Stecyk, Shane Gaythorpe, Bryan Bateman and Josh Cooper for their volunteer time with the JV program.
Timberwolves’ running back Ben Cummings set the tone on the very first play from scrimmage, busting loose for a 40-yard touchdown run. He finished with five TDs – three rushing, one punt return and one kickoff return.
The T-Wolves’ defence and special teams generated three majors – an interception return by Austen Zacher, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Chris Ward, and a blocked punt return by Taeler Lochbaum.
“We come to play every game like it’s a street fight against Mike Tyson in a dark alley,” said Bateman coach Kelly Lochbaum. “That’s our style of football. On offence or defence, we just run through people. If someone comes out hard, we go harder. We don’t back down.”
Zacher, with a rushing touchdown, and Kole Lochbaum, with a 75-yard kickoff return, rounded out the Bateman scoring.
The T-Wolves will face the John Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo in the B.C. semifinals next Wednesday in Nanaimo.
The Bulldogs crushed the Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey 53-0 in their Wednesday quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, in senior AA quarterfinal action, the Vernon Panthers take on the Rick Hansen Hurricanes of Abbotsford at 5:30 p.m. tonight at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
With files from Dan Kinvig/Black Press.