Defence leads Titans to victory
The White Rock-South Surrey Titans’ dream season will continue for at least another week, after a 24-14 victory over the Victoria Spartans in Vancouver Mainland Football League quarter-finals Sunday in Cloverdale.
With the win, the Titans, who have yet to lose a game this season, advance to semifinals this Sunday against the Nanaimo Redmen.
“It was a really physical game, very hard fought,” said Titans coach John Martins.
The game had to be moved to Cloverdale because weather conditions closed fields at South Surrey Athletic Park, but the shift north did little to dampen the Titans’ play.
On the Victoria Spartans’ first offensive possession of the game, the Titan’s defence forced a fumble, which was recovered by Harrison Allen, and though the Titans were unable to score on the ensuing drive, they did get on the scoreboard before the quarter was over, on a fake punt by Riley Cantner.
Rather than punt the ball on third-and-12 from the Victoria 26-yard-line, Cantner ran it into the end zone for a touchdown.
White Rock went up 14-0 in the second quarter when a one-yard touchdown plunge from Peter Kilberg capped a long drive.
After the teams again traded possessions, the Spartans jumped on a Titans fumble, and scored four plays later on a two-yard run.
Early in the second half, Victoria briefly tied the game at 14-14, and the Titans responded by throwing an interception the next time they had the ball, but again, the team’s defence was able to hold Victoria at bay.
Midway through the third quarter, Kilberg recovered a Spartans’ fumble, which led to a 14-yard touchdown run by Ray Calderwood to give the home team the lead back.
The Titans’ lead increased to 10 points on a Daniel Mendoza field goal – a 30-yard effort – and though the offence continued to sputter with another interception, the defence held strong, even recovering another fumble when Mike Bouchard jumped on a loose ball.
Victoria missed a late field goal from 32 yards out, and the Titans ran out the clock with three straight kneel-downs on offence.
The Titans now host the Redmen, but likely not in South Surrey due to field conditions.
Kickoff Sunday is 2 p.m., at a yet-to-be-determined location – possibly Langley’s McLeod Park.