The Notre Dame Jugglers moved out of the B.C. high school AAA football basement with a 32-6 victory over the hapless New Westminster Hyacks on Friday.
The Jugglers, unlucky back-to-back losers to West Vancouver and Terry Fox in recent weeks, registered their first win of the season to move into second place in the Western conference.
Notre Dame mixed it up on offence, alternating quarterbacks Danny Spagnuolo and Anthony Cusati at pivot all game long, while the Jugglers' defence forced the Hyacks to fumble the football seven times.
Paulo Dube scored the Jugglers' opening touchdown following a New West fumble on the opening possession.
Cusati passed to Grade 11 receiver Aldrich Berrios on a 20-yard second-quarter strike that put Notre Dame up 14-0 after a successful Spagnuolo point after.
Following the kickoff, Berrios recovered a third straight Hyack fumble and running back Mike Aranzaso put the Burnaby regional school up three scores to none on a five-yard run after giving the Jugglers great field position following a 56-yard run.
Berrios also intercepted Hyack QB Tommy Robertson on the Hyacks' fourth chance with the football.
Going into the game the Jugglers believed they were a better team than their record indicated, said Berrios.
"We knew we had a good chance to win and we came in confident. We wanted that W more than they did," Berrios said. "Defensively, we've had trouble with the Wing T in the past. But we came in fully prepared for it."
New West scored its only touchdown on a botched punt attempt deep in the Jugglers' end of the field.
Hyacks' leading rusher Aldrin Asuncion took the ball into the end zone from three yards out following one of Notre Dame's few turnovers.
The Hyacks had a chance to cut the lead in half midway through the third quarter following a brilliant one-handed interception from defensive back James Sommerfeld, but that possession never got past midfield.
New West gave up a safety touch in the fourth quarter but then after recovering the ensuing kickoff, Robertson fumbled on a sack by Matt Will that led to the Jugglers' final score by Spagnuolo.
"For us it was our turnaround of the season," Berrios said. "Getting over the hump after that throwaway game against Boucherie. It's our turnaround game of the season. It's looking good."
Notre Dame plays Eastern conference leader Lord Tweedsmuir at Burnaby Lake-West on Friday. Game time is 5 p.m.