The Earl Marriott Mariners’ Grade 8 football team plays to win.
Sure, that can be said of every team – in any sport – but even still, there aren’t many football teams that would’ve made the gutsy play call that the Mariners did last week, en route to a one-point, come-from-behind win Oct. 9 over the Vancouver College Fighting Irish, one of B.C.’s high-school football powerhouse programs.
Trailing 20-13 in the game’s late stages, EMS quarterback Bud Beliveau connected with receiver Max Reiffer on a 50-yard touchdown catch to cut the lead to 20-19, with only the conversion to come. Most teams would have made the safe play and kicked the extra point to tie the game, holding out hope that the tie would hold until overtime.
The Mariners, however, had a different strategy, and eschewed the easy point for a riskier two-point conversion attempt in which failure all but seals the win for the Irish.
On the convert, however, Marriott’s Nick Napper took the handoff and rumbled across the goal line for a successful two-point attempt, giving the home team a slim 22-21 edge.
From there, Marriott held off a late-game push from Vancouver College – a comeback attempt that ended when Beliveau, playing safety, intercepted a pass at his own 30-yard line.
The late-game TD strike by Reiffer was his second of the game – he also caught a 20-yard score from Beliveau in the first half, which gave the Mariners a 6-0 lead at the time. Marriott’s other touchdown was also a highlight-reel effort, as Beliveau and receiver Zaiah Dobson hooked up on an 80-yard catch-and-run scamper that found paydirt.
Following the victory, the Mariners dropped a 25-7 decision this week to St. Thomas More Tuesday afternoon.
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