(APOLOGIES TO MY LOYAL READERS, AS WELL AS COACHES AND PLAYERS. COMPUTER ISSUES HAVE FLARED UP. I HOPE TO HAVE THINGS FIXED AND BE ABLE TO PRESENT THE REST OF THE WEEKEND IN BC HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL AT SOME POINT ON SUNDAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE)
Welcome to Week 1 of Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report.
It’s a heavy Friday slate with 15 games scheduled. Seven more are scheduled for Saturday.
Hope you’ll keep re-visiting us here at VarsityLetters.ca all weekend long for updates from around the province.
MISSION 14 at NEW WESTMINSTER 42
NEW WESTMINSTER — It may have been an evening when things were not firing on all cylinders for the host Hyacks (2-1).
Yet if there is one ingredient B.C.’s No. 2-ranked Triple A team has on its roster, it’s the ability to strike big and strike quick.
“We didn’t feel like we did a great job of executing our offence,” said Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji, whose team nonetheless built a 28-7 halftime lead en route to winning its Homecoming Game at Mercer Stadium. “We were able to take advantage of the fact that we have explosive players who can make explosive plays.”
A three-touchdown performance from newcomer Sebastien Reid highlighted the big-play night.
On the game’s first drive, Reid snared a 15-yard scoring strike from quarterback Kinsale Phillip, who enjoyed his most productive outing thus far with three TD passes on the night.
Reid then hauled in a 65-yard scoring pass from Phillip, and then made the score 20-7 when he took a punt return 78 yards to the house.
Running back Sammy Sidhu peeled off a 40-yard run to the end zone to cap the first-half scoring.
In the second half, Finn Stark’s 18-yard TD catch from Phillip and a 16-yard scoring run from Michael Kingsley accounted for the rest of the New West scoring.
Phillip had thrown for one TD over the team’s first two games, but getting into a groove with three on Friday is something the coaching staff was hoping to see.
“We needed to get more comfortable early with our passing game,” said Lalji. “We have wanted to make a bit of a point with it. Given the strength of our league, we need to be more balanced.”
New Westminster enjoys a bye this coming week while Mission plays at South Delta on Sept. 16.
WEST VANCOUVER 24 at CENTENNIAL 6
COQUITLAM — Ben Corbett passed for 180 yards and two scores, settling into a groove behind a promising offensive line as the visiting Highlanders dumped the host Centaurs.
Meanwhile. Connor Chapman, who also happened to catch a TD pass, rushed for 135 yards in the victory.
“This was a great win under the lights to start the season,” said West Vancouver head coach Pooya Dourandish. “We opened the game moving the ball well on the ground with some powerful running, our run game opened up the pass game and we were clicking on offence in the first half.
“Defensively we were flying around the field and played as a team, there seemed to be two to three guys in on each tackle. I am super proud of our guys coming together and buying in to the message we have been preaching throughout camp.”
Centre Sebastian Paisley, in his first year of football, helped anchor that offensive line.
Matt Lane and Adib Vahedi had strong games in the secondary for the winners, with Lane capping the win by making a late-game interception on the Highlanders’ goal line.
VERNON 42 at ROBERT BATEMAN 7
ABBOTSFORD — In a long, turnover-filled game, No. 3-ranked Vernon still had plenty of highlights to build on as part of a sound win over host Bateman.
*Grade 11 tailback Charles Lemay put on an MVP-like performance after rushed for three touchdowns (17, 25, 12 yards) and 115 total yards, adding 67 yards in receptions on offence, then made 10 tackles, and a sack and a strip, the latter leading to a fumble-recovery touchdown to end the first half.
Grade 11 quarterback Thomas Hyett shook off an opening-drive interception to go 19-of-24 for 288 yards and two touchdowns (30, 25 yards).
Senior Brad Hladik looks like he is taking over where his older brother (Ben Hladik – 2016 AA MVP) left off by hauling in 12 receptions for 214 yards.
The fourth member of the quartet, Perez Vermeulen, was relegated to kicking duties in 2016 as he recovered from soccer concussions. In his debut as a non-kicker, he registered six tackles and intercepted two passes – returning one 52 yards.
The Panthers led 20-0 at the end of the first half
“It was a game filled with a lot of mistakes. We probably had 150 yards in penalties and turned over the ball five times,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “However, we made up for them by creating some turnovers ourselves (four fumble recoveries and two interceptions) and making big plays through the air.”
With Hyett at the controls, Vernon completed eight passes of 25-plus yards, and also rushed five times for 10-plus yards.
“I thought our offensive line play was much improved from our week 0 scrimmage,” he continued. “They consistently gave Tommy time to throw and created some big holes for Charles. It was nice to be able to move the ball on the ground with some consistency.”
Bateman’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter as quarterback Logan McDonald hit Sam Davenport with a 15-yard strike.
“Our offence threatened a number of times but we really did have trouble holding on the ball today,” admitted Bateman head coach David Mills. “We moved the ball well for good chunks of this game but fumbles and interceptions deep in the Vernon end hurt us.”
Running back Brock McCartney rushed for 151 yards in the loss.
A Dylan Roach interception on the opening drive of the game got the Bateman defence in a nice early groove.
“Vernon is a very good, well coached team,” said Mills. “It’s not by accident they are ranked No. 3 in the province. We made a number of mistakes today and they made us pay for all of them. But, there is a lot to take away.”
SOUTH DELTA 70 at SQUALICUM 85
BELLINGHAM — That is no typo.
In what is likely the highest scoring game ever involving a B.C. high school football team ever played, the No. 3 Triple-A ranked South Delta Sun Devils fell 85-70 to the host Squalicum Storm in a game played at Civic Stadium.
South Delta quarterback Michael Calvert cemented his reputation as a dynamic gridiron slinger, passing for 654 yards and throwing seven touchdown passes on the night. He was picked off once and sacked three times.
Again, those numbers aren’t typos.
“My arm wasn’t tired, I could have kept on throwing it,” Calvert told Varsity Letters as he boarded the bus for Tsawwassen after the three-and-a-half hour marathon in which he attempted 54 passes (41-of-53).
“It was crazy,” he continued, “but after our first drive, their defence never adjusted. So I just kept throwing it. I felt so calm in the pocket and I was able to make all of my reads.”
Calvert threw three touchdown passes to receiver Billy Matwichyna (65, 10, 10 yards), one to Jacob Kirk (11 yards), one to Andrew Kraft (17 yards) and two to Ben McDonald (24, 75 yards).
McDonald also scored on a 100-yard kick-off return, while Kraft added majors on runs of 34 and 24 yards.
Calvert also rushed for 70 yards, giving him 724 all-purpose for the game.
South Delta led 42-35 at the half, but were held to 28 points in the second half.
“Michael had one of the best performances by a quarterback that I have ever witnessed in 25 years,” said Sun Devils head coach Ray Moon. “There were times when he was wrapped up at the waist and he still completed passes. The coaches on the other team told me that Michael is one of the best quarterbacks they have ever seen.”
The stats were so ridiculous, you could hear the incredulity in Moon’s voice as he reported the numbers off a scribbled sheet in the parking lot of the stadium after the game.
“Everyone’s exhausted after this one, the kids are just falling into the bus,” said Moon who later reported that McDonald had seven catches for 242 yards, and 342 all-purpose (as well as a team-leading 12 tackles), while Matwichyna had eight catches for 196 yards. Kraft had eight catches for 142 yards and also rushed for 44 more.
Everyone except Calvert.
NOTRE DAME 34 at ABBOTSFORD 7
ABBOTSFORD — In its first game sans-Steven Moretto, East Vancouver’s Notre Dame Jugglers unleashed a two-fanged running attack.
Teon Alexander-Amour and Brice Pumares carved up key stretches of real estate, especially in the red zone Friday, as Notre Dame beat Double A No. 1 Abbotsford 34-7 in its first game since losing Subway Bowl 2016 last December to Terry Fox.
Doing his part to make up for the void left by Moretto, the team’s dynamic quarterback, Alexander-Amour rushed for three touchdowns, one on a two-yard run that capped a drive in which Pumares proved dominant.
Alexander-Amour also rushed for first-quarter scores of 15 and five yards.
Pumares scored his lone major from five yards out.
Backup tailback Flixzl Reyes closed out the Jugglers’ scoring with a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.
A key defensive play?
Notre Dame’s Cameron Mah was able to strip the ball from Abby star running back Samwel Uko and return it 50 yards.
Notre Dame plays its homecoming game this Friday (5 p.m.) at Burnaby Lakes against Holy Cross. On the same day, Abby hosts St. Thomas More (3:15 p.m.).
W.J. MOUAT 25 at CARSON GRAHAM 49
NORTH VANCOUVER — Touchdown Charlie enjoyed a career day Friday, leading the host Eagles to a decisive win over Abbotsford’s visiting Hawks.
McMillan went 20-of-30 for 269 yards and five touchdowns, and also ran for another major in the win.
“I was really proud of how the boys executed and played together as a team,” said Eagles head coach Brian Brady. “There’s a long way to go but our boys are trending in the right direction through hard work and their focus. We weren’t sure what Mouat was going to run this week and I’m really proud of how the boys were able to adjust on the fly.”
Among the highlights, Liam Scott caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw for one score.
Joseph Spooner caught six passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.
Liam Clark rushed for 57 yards, made five tackles and had a fumble recovery.
Adam Larisch also registered five tackles and made a fumble recovery.
The visiting Hawks showed a more pronounced youth but head coach Travis Bell sees better times ahead.
“We’re leaving this game extremely optimistic about moving forward,” said Bell. “I am extremely proud of our inexperienced offensive line for how they executed today. Nathan Hausermann (16 carries, 150 yards, two touchdowns) and Eddie Escobal (six carries, 84 yards) ran great, and Ezra (Garcia) played well at quarterback (6-of-7, 96 yards, one TD).”
Hauserman had a monster game with almost 250 all-purpose yards after returning a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
Blake Gervais caught a touchdown pass.
On defense, Arman Dhaliwal had seven tackles, two knockdowns and a fumble recovery. Amani Dyck had six tackles.
“We know we have areas that we need to clean up,” added Bell. “Take away our four fumbles on simple hand-offs and the score could have been very different. In some respects it was obvious that this was our first game and Carson had one already under their belt. Defensively, we have a new system and a new coordinator that we’re really excited about but it’ll take time for the boys to fully understand it and execute it without thinking so much, but we are confident they will.”
Next Friday, Mouat hosts West Vancouver (7 p.m.) while Carson Graham hosts its annual Buchanan Bowl the next day (1:30 p.m.) against Handsworth.
No. 4 MT. DOUGLAS 27 at ARGYLE 6
(adds Argyle Pipers details, 8 p.m.)
NORTH VANCOUVER — Victoria’s Mt. Douglas Rams not only scored all of their points unanswered, they did so without use of the forward pass.
In a throwback triumph of sorts, Ben Pierik rushed for two scores and Zairech Kremler another, while Connor Clarke added pick six major as Triple A’s No, 4-ranked team opened their season on the road against North Vancouver’s Pipers.
“Argyle played a strong game and really tested us on the perimeter,” said Mt. Douglas head coach Mark Townsend. “We need to improve in several areas including our discipline. We took far too many penalties on both sides of the ball. There is some work to be done.”
Behind a steady offensive line, Pierik rushed for 123 yards and scores of 35 and 10 yards to put the visitors up 13-6 at the half.
In the third quarter Clarke managed to turn an interception into a 25-yard major and a 19-6 lead.
In the fourth, Kremler closed out the scoring with a two-yard TD run.
Clarke finished the day with a pair of interceptions while Soren Hallschmid’s seven tackles led the winning defence.
Peter Primeau had six tackles while Phil Grohovac had three.
Argyle had opened the scoring on Mac Ward’s nine-yard pass to Devin Ohea, who finished the game with seven catches for 75 yards. He also add 15 tackles on defence.
Ward passed for 107 yards while Jordan Bauer, in his first-ever football game, managed two sacks.Logan Proctor and Nick Richardson also shone for the Pipers on defence.
“Mt. Doug is such a well-coached team,” said Argyle head coach Wayne Theobald. “We kept it close for a half, and it was exciting to take a 6-0 lead, but theiry large-and-physical line just wore us out.”
The Rams will now play B.C/’s No. 1-ranked team.
“Now we turn our attention to the always-tough, powerhouse squad from Terry Fox,” said Townsend whose Western Conference Rams will tangle with the Eastern Conference Ravens, ranked No. 1, in a 4 p.m. game Sept. 15 in PoCo.
NOTRE DAME (Cal.) 30 at VANCOUVER COLLEGE 17
VANCOUVER — Nathan Hawes broke the century mark along the ground and gave his team a late lead but in the end, visiting Notre Dame of Calgary rallied to beat the host Fighting Irish in its season opener Friday afternoon at O’Hagan Field.
Hawes, who rushed for 101 yards, put VC on top 17-10 when he scored on a one-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame, however, blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, sparking a 20-0 game-closing run to win 30-17.
Vancouver College quarterback Eric Zychlinski went 18-of-33 for 158 yards, including a game-opening one-yard pass to Owen Ker for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Zachary McRae hit a 28-yard field goal as the two teams went to intermission locked in a 10-10 tie.
Ker led the pass-catching corps with six garbs for 71 yards and a score.
James Greig, Hawes and Jason Galvez all finished with six tackles for the Irish who get back into action against No. 5-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir of Surrey in a Sept. 16 game at O’Hagan Foeld (1:30 p.m.).
Irish historian and stat man Bruce Jagger believes that Friday’s opener was only the second time in 89 years of VC football that it has faced a Canadian foe not from the this province.
The only other time?
Either 1945 or 1946 against Winnipeg-St. Paul’s.
OTHER SCORES REPORTED
Lord Tweedsmuir 47 Lakewood 28
John Barsby 26 Nanaimo District 14