Po­lars have re­place­ment op­po­nent

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Ci­ti­zen staff tclarke@pgc­i­t­i­zen.ca

The Prince George Po­lars will be tak­ing on the Ti­tans to­day at 4 p.m. in a B.C. Se­condary Schools Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion dou­ble-A var­sity play­off game at Ma­sich Place Sta­dium.

But it won’t be the Samuel Roberts Tech­ni­cal Ti­tans of Maple Ridge. They de­clined the in­vi­ta­tion.

In­stead, the Po­lars will clash with the South Kam­loops Ti­tans, who made it of­fi­cial Wed­nes­day they will be the op­po­nents for the North­ern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons.

“SRT for­feited, they said they only had 13 play­ers and two of them are ju­niors,” said Po­lars head coach Pat Bon­nett. “It’s not some­thing we prob­a­bly would have done, we’re prob­a­bly more gutsy than some of the south­ern teams. But they said they had a cou­ple in­juries in their last game and a cou­ple play­ers couldn’t make the trip, so they were down to 13 play­ers.”

Some last-minute scram­bling on both sides led to South Kam­loops agree­ing to make the trip af­ter be­ing elim­i­nated from play­off con­tention as the third-place fin­ish­ers in the In­te­rior Con­fer­ence. SRT was the fourth-place team in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

“It’s given them new life, they were out of the play­offs,” said Bon­nett. “They were clean­ing out their lock­ers and their coach came in and gave them the op­tion, so they’ve been brought back from the dead and are all ex­cited about play­ing.

“Our take on it is if we can’t beat this team then we prob­a­bly don’t de­serve to go fur­ther any­way. We’re not tak­ing them lightly be­cause we know they are the un­der­dog and are go­ing to play like un­der­dogs, which means they’ll be play­ing with plenty of en­thu­si­asm. They’ll be play­ing their best so our guys have to be up for it.”

South Kam­loops fin­ished with a 2-2 record, third in the In­te­rior, end­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son last Fri­day with a 35-18 win over West­syde of Kam­loops. The Ti­tans played an ex­hi­bi­tion game at Ma­sich Place Sta­dium on Sept. 15, de­feat­ing the Nechako Val­ley Vik­ings 27-0. South Kam­loops also beat the Kelly Road Road­run­ners 17-0 in pre­sea­son play in Kam­loops, Sept. 22.

The Po­lars will be with­out start­ing cen­tre Josh Gabrielle (knee in­jury) and full­back Gage Rid­land (bro­ken col­lar­bone). Bon­nett says they’ll have 20 play­ers avail­able, five of whom played for the PGSS ju­nior team.

There are three play­off games on tap to­day at Ma­sich. Kelly Road, the sec­ond-place fin­ish­ers in the North­ern Con­fer­ence, will take on the G.W. Gra­ham Griz­zlies of Chilli­wack (third in the Eastern Con­fer­ence) to­day at 11 a.m. That will be fol­lowed at 1:30 p.m. by the Col­lege Heights Cougars-South Kam­loops ju­nior var­sity game.

CI­TI­ZEN PHOTO BY JAMES DOYLE

Braden Reed of the PGSS Po­lars tries to break the tackle of TJ Ny­berg of the Kelly Road Road­run­ners dur­ing the P.G. Bowl high school foot­ball cham­pi­onship game.

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