Trevor Casey and Brad Lyons did their damage throughout the game, while the defence drew a line in the sand in the second half in particular, as the Terry Fox Ravens clawed their way to a 28-20 come-from-behind win over West Vancouver on Friday.
Down 20-14 at the half after what was a penalty-ridden first two quarters, the Fox defence stepped up in the back half of the contest, neutralizing every Highlander series to close the game out.
Second-half touchdowns by Casey and Kyle Degau, on six-and-16-yard carries respectively, helped put the Ravens over the top.
"The kids stepped up in the second half to secure the win," Fox co-coach Martin McDonnell said in an e-mail. "However, we have a lot of work to do before we get into the tougher regular season games."
The game appeared to get off on the right foot for the senior varsity football squad, as Casey hooked up with Lyons early for a 13-yard touchdown reception. West Van would respond with two straight majors of their own before Nick Agnoletto recovered a fumble, which set the table for Casey and Lyons' second hookup of the game, a 20-yard strike that evened the score at 14.
Though West Van would score again before the half was out, the Fox defence shut it down in the second half.
Casey finished with 104 yards on 10 carries, including one touchdown. The Fox pivot also threw for two TDs, compiling 115 yards in the air while going 12-for-23.
Degau picked up 52 yards on 13 carries, with Lyons covering 57 yards on four receptions. Degau and Kyle Miller led the defence with four tackles each, while Brett Boyce finished with three tackles and three assists.
The 1-2 Ravens host Notre Dame in the regular season opener on Friday, 7 p.m. at Percy Perry Stadium.
While their senior brethren found themselves in a dogfight, the exact opposite was the case for Fox's junior team, who rolled to a 41-0 dismantling over West Van.
Up 21-0 after just 12 plays, the junior side got rushing touchdowns from Connor McKee, Jericho Mendez and Malcolm Sanchez. McKee also hooked up with Maleek Womack-Stewart and Mike West for a pair of passing TDs, while Brycen Mayoh returned an interception 30 yards to round out the scoring.
"A win is a win and we're happy with that, but I feel like our execution still needs to improve," said head coach Dave Lehman.
The juniors open up regular season play on Thursday, when they host the Jugglers at 3: 30 p.m. at Terry Fox Oval.
CENTS RACK UP LAST MINUTE WIN
It took some last-minute heroics for the Centennial Centaurs to dispatch of the pesky AA Mission Roadrunners on Friday.
Nick Okamoto's 27-yard TD pass to Nathan Lund with under two minutes to play gave the Cents a 22-15 win, albeit an unfocused one, over last year's AA champs at Percy Perry Stadium.
"We need to be a little more disciplined and focused, but the resiliency that the boys showed when they were down . to come back and score and win the game, that's huge. I can't teach that on a chalkboard," said Cents coach Ryk Piche.
Lund accounted for all of Centennial's majors, picking up two rushing TDs and covering 179 yards on 21 carries. Fellow back JP Kalambay carried the ball 11 times, amassing 79 yards, while Okamoto picked up 28 yards on four carries.
The Grade 11 pivot was 4-for-6 in the air, covering 62 yards, while Nick Camilleri was a beast on defence with 11 tackles and one sack.
Centennial hosts Vancouver College in the regular season opener on Saturday night, 7 p.m. at Percy Perry Stadium.