LANGLEY — Welcome to our Saturday morning edition of Varsity Letter’s B.C. High School Football Report.
Technical difficulties, including e-mail transmissions and faulty stat programs delayed our efforts to provide you with a pair of games from Friday.
Here are full game reports from Kelowna at Vernon, and John Barsby at Nanaimo District, as well as updated reports from Lord Tweedsmuir-Burlington, Robert Bateman-Clarence Fulton, and South Delta-Mt. Douglas. Plus, Saturday’s full schedule.
Check back later tonight for our Saturday night final edition.
KELOWNA 7 at No. 1 VERNON 21
VERNON — The preseason Double-A top cats went right to the big play to start the game, then parlayed that with stiff defence to top their Okanagan AAA rivals in the season opener for both teams.
Vernon’s Zack Smith caught a 55-yard bomb from quarterback Thomas Hyett on the second offensive snap of the game, and Smith then lined up at quarterback, calling his own number to score the game’s first points.
Matthew Reich scored the Cats second touchdown on a seven-yard run to make the score 14-0 at the half.
The Owls’ cut the lead in half when its talented Grade 11 duo of quarterback Isaac Athans and receiver Nolan Ulm hooked up on a 10-yard slant corner.
Vernon responded on their ensuing possession as Hyett hit Smith on a 53-yard score that included 47 yards after the catch.
“There were definitely some positives to take away from our first game of the year,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “Allowing seven points against a tough team like Kelowna was encouraging. Ulm was a tough match up for us, he’s big, physical and can run. So it was a good test for our secondary to try to keep him in check.
“Our defensive line was able to get some consistent pressure in the second half,” he added of Kael Black who finished with four sacks and a forced fumble and Liam Alder who had a key pick to go along with eight tackles.
Hyett passed for 155 yards and a score, while Smith caught two passes for 108 yards and scored via both the air and ground.
“Our defense kept us in this game,” said Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright who watched his linebackers Easton Schmuland (two sacks) and Tyler Klotzbach (four tackles) thrive, along with senior safety Zander Torres (four tackles). “We knew coming in that Vernon had a strong passing game and we prepared the best we could against that this week.
“We have a lot of work to be done on offense,” he added, “Today we solidified that we have a solid passing game, but for us to compete in our conference (AAA East), we have to establish our running game. It didn’t help that we lost our starting running back (Grade 11 Storm Buck) on the first play of the game to an upper body injury. Our offensive line needs to be more solid and execute their responsibilities.”
Athans went 18-of-26 for 216 yards while Ulm had 145 yards in receptions.
“It’s nice to finally have a game to work with,” added Cartwright. “We are a young team, but we have a group of players bought in to our T.O.U.G.H. culture and what we are trying to accomplish here.”
Kelowna plays at Salmon Arm on Friday, clashing with a Golds’ program which is playing an exclusively independent exhibition slate this season. Vernon is at No. 2 AAA Terry Fox on Saturday.
No. 2 JOHN BARSBY 18 at NANAIMO DISTRICT 21
NANAIMO — A stirring start and a dramatic finish.
Big plays when it mattered most lifted Nanaimo District’s Islanders past its Double A No. 2-ranked cross-city rivals, the John Barsby Bulldogs, in their annual Hub City clash.
The Isles opened the scoring on cornerback Daniel Hall’s 20-yard pick-six, then closed it in wining fashion when quarterback Finn Bradbrooke capped a 37-yard fourth-quarter comeback scoring drive under the lights with a short keeper.
“Our offense was working out some kinks but it seemed to click towards the end of each half,” said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson, whose charges host the Rutland VooDoos this Friday in their Pacific Conference opener. “Defensively we made some great plays that will help us focus to get better.”
Bulldogs’ pivot Zach Taylor pulled his team to within a point on a three-yard plunge, as the teams would trade scores to the half.
Islanders’ halfback Kyle Lindsay scored on a 25-yard run, before Barsby quarterback Cameron Wright hit receiver Kole Postema on a 40-yard fade. The Bulldgos went for two, but came up short and trailed 13-12 at the break.
After a scoreless third, Barsby went for it on fourth-and-goal with Wright’s TD pass to Postema on a two-yard slant early in the fourth making it 18-13 in favour of the Bulldogs.
That set the stage for the Islanders game-winning drive, capped by the Bradbrooke keeper, and the determined defence which stalled Barsby’s attempt at a winning rally with five minutes remaining.
“That was a game between two evenly-matched teams,” said Barsby head coach Rob Stevenson. “The Islanders earned every bit of the win. This game showed us a lot about ourselves and our tenacity and grit. It was something to build on.”
John Barsby stays out of conference again this coming Friday, playing host to the Langley Saints.
ROBERT BATEMAN 40 at CLARENCE FULTON 8
(Note — adds Clarence Fulton and Robert Bateman details)
VERNON — Logan McDonald threw four touchdown passes, including one to receiver sam Davenport, who also scored via the pick-six as the Timberwolves opened their season in style with a win over the Okanagan-based Maroons.
“We were able to move the ball in the air well all game,” said Bateman head coach David Mills whose team led 26-8 at the half. “Our QB and receivers really did a good job today.”
McDonald finished the game going a effective 12-of-16 for 244 yards and four TDs.
After opening the scoring with a TD pass to Phoenix Moller, McDonald threw a pair of scoring strikes Ryan Sztuhar, who finished with five catches for 113 yards.
Moller also rushed for a score in the win, finishing the game with 77 combined yards, two scores and 11 tackles.
The Maroons got a one-yard scoring run in the first half from Evan Trottier who then hit Nate Foster for a two-point covert.
Quinn Williamson and Gabe Dewald each had 13 carries, finishing with 71 and 57 yards respectively. Hayden Catt rushed three times for 27 yards in the loss.
Logan Higgs, Liam Gombrich, Trottier and Williamson each had four tackles for Fulton.
“We played a good quarter-and-a-half of football,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller.
The Maroons were down 12-8 with about four minutes left in the first half.
A bad gamble on fourth down yielded too much field position and a subsequent opposition score. Then, on their next possession, they surrendered a pick-six and trailed by 18 points.
“Offensively, we ran the ball fairly effectively (182 yards), we just were ineffective passing the ball,” said Maroons head coach Mike Scheller. “We need to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball in attacking the ball in the air. Defensively, we had some good things, but we need to tackle lower and defend our zones much better. Bateman does a great job of passing the ball.”
The Wolves stay on the road next week when it travels to North Vancouver for the season-opener of the B.C. AA Subway Bowl champion Windsor Dukes.
The Maroons, meanwhile, will renew their annual rivalry at Omak, Wash., on Friday.
No. 4 SOUTH DELTA 14 at No. 5 MT. DOUGLAS 40
(Note — adds South Delta details)
VICTORIA — Gideone Kremler’s answer?
You could say it came unanswered.
Mt. Douglas’ star senior quarterback opened his 2018 high school swan song in early September with a game-closing performance worthy of a Subway Bowl rally in December as the Rams rolled to a decisive win over the visiting South Delta Sun Devils.
After building an 18-0 lead Friday, the Rams found that lead whittled to just 18-14 as the Sun Devils clawed their way back into contention in the key, early Wesetrn Conference clash.
Yet when it mattered most, the senior field general would not surrender on his home field.
Kremler conducted a string of three straight majors encompassing 22 unanswered points.
His first two majors, a 26- and 82-yard TD strikes to Sam Mosky, were each capped with Kremler two-point passing converts (both to Dante Carbone).
He closed the curtain with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Joe Lucas.
“There were many positives to take away from the game but there are also areas needing improvement including taking too many costly penalties,” said Rams head coach Mark Townsend. “The game was actually far closer than the score would indicate as you would expect between these two rivals.”
Mt. Douglas’ 18-0 lead was built on a pair of touchdowns, each with a two-point covert, as well as a safety.
Zairech Kremler scored on a 27-yard run and Sebastian Hansen on a 70-yard kick-off return.
Mosky’s three catches went for 118 yards, Zairech Kremler carried 11 times for 88 yards and led the defence with six tackles and a pick. Gideone Kremler passed for 170 yards.
For the Sun Devils, Ben McDonald went 17-of-35 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He also topped the team in rushing with five carries for 49 yards but was intercepted twice and sacked three times.
Evan Patterson was South Delta’s top receiver with seven catches for 73 yards
McDonald was intercepted twice and sacked three times
The Rams cross the water to face Handsworth in league play next Friday, while South Delta plays at Carson Graham.
No. 1 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 14 at BURLINGTON (Wash.)-EDISON 0
(Note — adds further Lord Tweedsmuir game details)
BURLINGTON — Special teams and defence were the staples Friday for the visitors.
A defence which forced three turnovers and contributed a key touchdown as well as a punting game which flipped the field on several occasions carried the AAA No, 1-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey to a shutout win stateside.
Before the end of the first half, Yosef Drysdale scored on a 40-yard catch from Trey Jones.
Later, Graeme Godard scored off a 40-yard fumble recovery with just 34 seconds remaining in the first half.
And throughout, punter Terrell Jones kept setting the table for success.
“Both teams struggled offensively,” admitted Tweedsmuir head coach Kurt Thornton. “Burlington moved the ball better than us but couldn’t score. But our defense stood strong when we were backed up in our own end.”
Indeed, with their backs to the figurative wall, Tweedy forced four turnovers and several turnovers on downs.
Drysdale had two interceptions and four tackles while Jaden Simon had an interception.
Godard led the defense with 20 tackles, a sack and his key fumble recovery.
Nathan Gernon and Jumeiz Omerkodi each had eight tackles.
“It wasn’t pretty, but anytime the defense gets a shutout against a quality opponent, it feels pretty good,” said Thornton whose charges play at the always-tough Lynden Lions this coming Friday.
1 p.m. — Vancouver College at Seaquam
2 p.m. — Sullivan Heights at Sardis
1:30 p.m. — No. 4 G.W Graham at Holy Cross
6 p.m. — Valleyview at Mt. Boucherie
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any other website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at email@example.com.