Welcome to the second season!
It’s Friday and time for the Varsity Letters’ B.C. high school football report, Subway Bowl Round-1 edition.
We’re up to date with all of the day’s games!
BELMONT 16 at TERRY FOX 38
COQUITLAM — Raven Nation needed to rally to keep its season alive, and that’s just what Terry Fox did to beat Victoria’s Belmont Bulldogs at Percy Perry Stadium.
“Belmont came out aggressive and tested us early,” said Terry Fox head coach Martin McDonnell, after his charges fell behind 16-7 but rallied to go ahead 31-16 at the half.
“But we made the proper adjustments and were able to control the play after that. Our defence was much better in the second half.”
Mike Eve, Mitch Bye and Cade Cote were the primary reasons there, and on offence, Cote was a revelation, rushing 22 times for 242 yards.
As well, pivot Jevaun Jacobsen passed for 153 yards and rushed for 147 and two scores.
Albert Arecena had 78 yards in receptions as well as a touchdown catch.
“We know the road ahead is a difficult one but we are ready for the challenge,” said McDonnell, whose charges will face the No. 5 Seaquam Seahawks next week in the quarterfinals. “With games like tonight we feel we still haven’t played our best game and the guys are still willing and wanting to get better.”
MISSION 0 at No. 3 SOUTH DELTA 37
BURNABY — They took it on the chin to the tune of 63-16 last week against the New Westminster Hyacks, and now, as the playoffs begin, the South Delta Sun Devils are using their worst loss of the season as their post-season rallying point.
On Friday, the Sun Devils blanked a young-and-improving squad of Mission Roadrunners 37-0, moving them into the quarterfinal round next week against the red-hot No. 4-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
“After getting just hammered by New West, I basically read the kids the riot act, and that is the polite version,” said Sun Devils’ head coach Ray Moon.
South Delta quarterback Michael Calvert went 18-of-20 for 226 yards and touchdown passes of 15 and 35 yards to Max Stalling.
Back-up pivot Ben McDonald, who went 7-of-10 for 133 yards, threw a 65-yard strike to Doug Jameson to make it 37-0 in the third quarter.
Calvert rushed three times for 89 yards, including the game’s opening salvo, a 70-yard TD run.
Andrew Kraft rushed for 55 yards, his 10-yard scoring scamper making it 30-0 at the half.
McDonald also caught five passes for 90 yards.
The Sun Devils’ defence made two interceptions and forced three fumbles. Jake Cantlin led the group with 11 tackleswhile Cullen Jamieson and Kraft each had four tackles and a sack.
Moon said that after the loss to New Westminster, he sensed a similar script to 2014 when his Sun Devils lost 44-7 during an October regular-season game to Mt. Douglas, but then came back to beat the Rams 55-30 in the Subway Bowl final two months later.
“I reminded them of 2014, and how that game ended up getting really chippy,” said Moon of the first Mt. Douglas meeting that season. “I pointed out similarities to what happened with New West. We still have a very tough game to try and win, but I said ‘Now you have something to drive you if you want to have the chance to play New Westminster again.”
KELOWNA 12 at NOTRE DAME 39
BURNABY — Luca Ferronato, Xavier Venkataya, Cameron Mah, Richard Nguyen and Michael Briglio have been part of a group of Notre Dame offensive lineman who have steadfastly built their chemistry this season.
On Friday, with the second season upon us, the Jugglers’ front line found the push and pop that a run-based attack needs, and the result was trip to B.C. Place Stadium next week for a rematch of traditional rivals.
“We came out and quickly established our running game,” said Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly after his team beat the surging Owls behind a line whose run-blocking helped power the Jugglers to five ground-based scoring drives.
The lone exception?
Quarterback Will Clarke, who himself rushed for 96 yards on the night, connected with tight end Pauljeet Dhami on a short pass which turned into a 40-yard catch-and-run score.
Running back Brice Pumares carried 21 times for 159 yards and three touchdowns, while back-up quarterback Matt Glover scored on a pair of short runs.
The Jugglers recovered the opening kickoff after the ball deflected off a Kelowna lineman, capping the drive with a short Glover wedge play for the first score.
Mah’s interception set up Dhami’s touchdown, before a 35-yard pass to Jerrell Cummings midway through the second quarter set up a three-yard Pumares drive.
Clarke then ran 35 yards to set up a 10-yard Pumares TD.
Kelowna’s Ben Peters ran for a 15-yard score to make it 24-6 at halftime.
Owls’ pivot Marcus Athans pulled Kelowna to within 27-12 on a five-yard score in the third quarter, but Notre Dame’s response was first a 10-yard Pumares touchdown, followed by a one-yard keeper by Glover.
“We were well-prepared for the Kelowna offense, but full credit to them,” said Kelly. “They played with intensity and determination the whole evening.”
Clarke was good on 7-of-13 passes for 134 yds and a touchdown, with receiver Dylan Rachel making four catches for 51 yards.
“We didn’t help ourselves with mental errors,” said Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright. “This is a big learning experience for our program to understand what is needed to play in the playoffs. My heart goes out to our Grade 12s. They are outstanding, tough young men. We as a program look forward to build off this season.”
Notre Dame moves on to face traditional rival and No. 2-ranked St. Thomas More next week.
HANDSWORTH 17 at No. 5 SEAQUAM 56
SURREY — A little bit of Jello, just enough Josh and a whole lotta Jalen.
Triple-J was the winning concoction served up Friday by North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks, who advanced to next week’s Subway Bowl quarterfinals after posting a convincing victory over North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
Jello Juatco, Seaquam’s bulldozing Grade 11 fullback, toted 20 times for 77 yards and two rushing majors, while quarterback Josh Haydu was on the money, providing the offensive balance by going 13-of-19 for 172 yards, including a touchdown pass to Jalen Philpot.
And Jalen was exceptional, rushing 19 times for 175 yards and three more majors in the victory as the Seahawks advance to face the winner of Friday’s tilt between Terry Fox and Belmont next weekend.
The Seahawks then leaned on their defence to provide the rest of the offence as Ayden Liebich and Tyson Philpot each took 50-yard interceptions to the house.
“Josh Haydu managed the game very well today,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand of his pivot who found five different receivers on the day. “We can be a difficult team to match up against when we can spread out the ball.”
As they can when they get short fields and get great push from their offensive line which coupled to great effect in building a 21-3 lead at one stage of the first half.
Seaquam’s main defensive priority was to stop the Royals’ all-everything Grade 11 Keelan White, and limiting him to 165 all-purpose yards and one touchdown is as good as anyone has done this season.
“The defence did a very good job on Keelan,” said Chand. “He is a great player and we were able to neutralize him with the Philpot twins. And our defensive line, I liked that they were able to get pressure on the passer, and force him to release it quickly.”
Evan Currie, however, did connect on the Royals’ first series of the game, with a 50-yard completion to Jake Bennett that set up Tate Williams’ 35-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Joey Sadian scored the Royals other TD on a 10-yard run while James Mooney recorded 20 tackles from his middle linebacking spot.
Dedaar Jhooty with five tackles and two sacks led the Hawks defence, while Chase Malenstyn also recorded a sack.
NANAIMO DISTRICT 0 at No. 4 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 55
SURREY — If the goal is to be playing your best football late in the season, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers are delivering.
Running back Derek Best carried nine times for 175 yards and touchdowns of 29, seven, 23, 31 and 22 yards, while quarterback Trey Jones and Mike Mugabo also scored along the ground in a win over the Islanders.
Jones, who split duties with Walter Dingwall, also threw a 30-yard TD strike to Josef Drysdale.
“We got mowed down and out-athleted,” said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson. “Our game plan was to control the clock and keep the score close. We fumbled our second play and then threw a pick our next series. But this gives us a look at what we need to do to compete at this level.”
Dawson Marchant led the Panthers’ defence with seven tackles and an interception. Bachouch Michael and Graeme Godard had five tackles each.
“The defence and special teams gave us short fields early on,” said LT co-head coach Kurt Thornton. “Our offensive line and Derek Best were absolute beasts early in the game and both of our quarterbacks were solid. This was one of our cleanest games execution- and penalty-wise which is a great sign. We are getting healthy and the boys are looking forward to the next level of playoffs.”
Lord Tweedsmuir will face the winner of Friday’s late contest between Mission and South Delta next week at B.C. Place.
LANGLEY 18 at NO. 4 JOHN BARSBY 46
NANAIMO — The Langley Saints opened with a flourish, scoring on the game’s first drive, but the host Bulldogs re-trenched and took a 40-6 half time lead en route to a decisive opening-round victory.
Barsby scored on its first drive when tailback Dave Wicks went 65 yards for a score, and capped it when safety Steen Rasmussen scored off an interception return.
“Kudos to the ball-hawking linebackers and defensive backs,” said Bulldogs head coach Rob Stevenson of a group that produced three interceptions and two pick-6 scores.”
The victory sets up an semi-final level clash in the quarters next week against No. 2-ranked Vernon, finalists a season ago.
SAMUEL ROBERTSON 0 at CLARENCE FULTON 40
VERNON — Maybe it’s the new way to get physically prepared to play a football game.
Greater Vernon Athletic Park was covered by a huge snowfall, and what kind of gracious hosts would the Maroons be if they didn’t do their best to get the field in the best shape they could?
“Honestly, we shovelled more than we practiced this week,” admitted Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “We showed a lot of mental toughness against a scrappy SRT team. I was really impressed with how our kids came out and performed today. It was tough weather conditions and our kids were mentally prepared for it.”
The Maroons completed just two passes on the day but both went for majors.
Ryan Rumsey threw a 17-yard strike to Caden Doyle while Ike Olson went 28 yards to Teigen Derkach.
Rumsey rushed 15 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns, while Olson carried 13 times for 61 yards and two more.
“Our defense carried us again,” said Scheller of a unit led by the three tackles of JJ Heaton. “I can’t say enough about their hustle and pursuit to the ball. We are tackling well and our defensive staff has them in the right place at the right time. JJ Heaton was super tough in the interior of our defense. Carson Harrower had his best game of the year at linebacker, and Koalden Gudeit-Oakden was tough in the secondary. Really the whole defensive unit is playing very well.”
It was Fulton’s third shutout of the season, however the degree of difficulty increases next week in the quarterfinal round against undefeated and No. 1-ranked Windsor.
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