Fighting Irish running back Robbie Welch set a modern-day record and put four touchdowns on the board, but a late blocked convert stuffed any hope of overtime and Vancouver College lost 34-35 to the Handsworth Royals Thursday afternoon on the North Shore.
Welch, a Grade 12 student playing his first varsity season because of injury, rushed for 255 yards and averaged 15 yards per carry. He scored each quarter, adding up the yardage on 21-, 30- and 46-yard carries including a record-setting 87-yard touchdown in the third quarter to come within seven points of the Royals. Welch’s run could be an all-time school record but is definitely the longest since 1996 when detailed records were first kept. He bettered Brad Robles’ 2003 mark of 86 yards.
The Royals scored 21 points in the second quarter to lead the Irish 21-14 at the half. The teams were even in the third quarter and Handsowrth scored one TD to VC’s two in the final frame.
The game came down to a single point. On Welch’s fourth touchdown, the tying conversion was blocked and the Royals hung on for the victory.
Fighting Irish quarterback Giordy Belfiore threw for 73 yards and one interception on an afternoon that totaled 435 offensive yards. He also slipped in to score on a one-yard touchdown. Welch and Kristian Domingo led with eight tackles and Matthew Lowden added seven.
Vancouver College (2-0, 0-1) is ranked fourth in B.C. and Handsowrth (1-1, 1-0) recently returned to AAA status and is unranked.
The Fighting Irish travel to West Van to play the Highlanders (0-2, 0-0) next week at 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 27
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