Polars have replacement opponent
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.
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.