The John Barsby Bulldogs (6-0-0) will take a perfect regular season record into the post-season.
Barsby defeated the Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders (2-4-0) by a score of 47-13 in AA Varsity football action at Merle Logan Field on Friday.
The Ray Kocher Classic title - an annual match between Nanaimo's two high school football teams, coached by brothers Nate and Rob Stevenson - has gone to Barsby nine of the 10 years it's taken place since 2001.
Receiver Kalven Kellock had three touchdowns for Barsby including a 66-yard catch on the third play of a fourth quarter drive that put the Bulldogs up 40-17.
Runningback Tyler Harvey had two touchdowns for Barsby. Quarterback North Rainey and receiver Mark Dhamia found the endzone once each.
It was the Islanders who opened the scoring when receiver Malik Besseghieur ran home a 58-yard pass from quarterback Cole McGarvey.
Brett Ablitt also scored a touchdown for NDSS, an 11-yard catch in the fourth quarter.
The win means Barsby will face off against either the redhot Pitt Meadows Marauders (3-3-0) or the Langley Saints (3-3-0) on Saturday at Merle Logan Field. The kickoff time is to-be-announced.
The results from the Marauders-Saints game on Friday were unavailable by press time.
Having won their division with a perfect regular season record - Barsby's only loss this year was a 36-30 exhibition match
against the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers on Sept. 6 - the Bulldogs must now maintain that loss-free status to take home a AA Varsity title.
"We know how to play playoff football. The idea is just be as healthy as you can and hang it all out," said Rob. "We're excited."
So is receiver Kellock, who became well-acquainted with the endzone on Friday.
"This is the dream team, we have a perfect team, we have skill, we have the talent, we have the perseverence," he said.
The Islanders' head coach was more than pleased with the effort put down by the boys in green this season.
"I'm extremely proud of these guys, the season we've had has been tough at times, absolutely, but to come together against the number-one ranked team. .. and put a performance on like we did today, I couldn't be prouder," he said.
For NDSS, the task now is to begin making considerations for the 2014 season.
"We've got a lot of 11th graders, a lot of talent in Junior Varsity coming up," said Nate. "Definitely, 'green' will be on the scene."
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