Mariners fall in B.C. final

After an epic season of big wins, David couldn’t find a way to slay Goliath Saturday under the dome at B.C. Place.

The Earl Marriott Mariners fell 45-8 to the heavily favoured St. Thomas More Knights in the Grade 8 championship game – giving the Knights a 10th consecutive Grade 8 title.

The Knights bounded out to an early lead, scoring on their first four offensive series.

“It was an uphill battle, right from the start, but I’m proud of all the guys. They played as a team,” Mariners coach Bryan James said.

The Mariners running game – their bread-and-butter all season – began the game strong, moving the ball to the St. Thomas More 30-yard line, but fumbled the ball. The Knights recovered, and scored on the ensuing possession – the first of their four first-half touchdowns.

“Against a team like that, you can’t make a single mistake,” James said.

“When they got that fumble and came back and scored, it was just like a gunshot to our kids.

“The game got away from us a little after that, and we were hit pretty hard. The (lopsided) score doesn’t mean anything to me though – it’s either a win or it’s a loss. The score doesn’t matter.”

Bobby Devaney scored the Mariners’ only touchdown – a nine-yard reception late in the game.

The Grade 8 squad was the first EMS team to advance to a provincial title game – a fact that was not lost on James or his players.

“This was a very cool experience, for myself and the boys. We had a great season, and as a team we couldn’t have asked for anything more,” he said.

“The guys still had fun – they left with their heads held high.”

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