LANGLEY — Welcome to the Saturday night final edition of the B.C. high school football report.
Our season-opening one-day grace period for Friday night games in Week 1 allows us to publish a total of three game reports today.
G.W. GRAHAM 14 at ST. THOMAS MORE 12
BURNABY — The G.W. Graham Grizzlies varsity team, in its 10th season of existence, registered its first victory over AAA competition.
“It’s a true milestone for this program,” said Grizz head coach Luke Acheson of the Chilliwack-based squad, which got all it could handle from a host Knights team playing on its own campus grounds before a crowd of about 800 fans. “I was confident this group of players could make the adjustment to AAA and they proved it today with a very gritty win over a quality opponent.”
Running back Samuel Mannes led the way on offense for the Grizzlies with 18 carries for 103 yards, and after rushing for the second of his two majors on the day early in the second half, had staked his team out to a 14-0 lead.
The Knights, however, dug down deep and came within a converted two-point attempt of tying the game.
STM quarterback Josh Faria, who rushed for 78 yards on the day, threw touchdown passes to Marcus Giovainazzo (72 yards in receptions) and Denayden Lee-Daniels to fuel the rally.
“They’re big, tough and have some snarl to them,” said Jared Power of the Grizzlies following his first game as Knights senior varsity head coach. “They will definitely be a very competitive team in the East this year.”
STM was flagged for over 200 yards in penalties on the day, yet despite the setbacks, Power lauded the way his team responded to a 14-0 deficit.
“We had a really poor first half, so there is a lot to clean up but I was proud of our team in the second half,” continued Power, who got seven tackles apiece from Brandon Johal and Evan Mak, and six more from Callum Rogers. “We didn’t hold our heads down and fold, we grit our teeth and gave ourselves a chance to tie it late in the game.”
The G.W. Graham defence was stout when it needed to be.
Linebackers Brayden Macdonald and Logan Tocher led all tacklers with 10 each. Defensive lineman Vinny Branauer had six tackles, a tackle for a loss, a sack and a fumble recovery while Colton Mocon and Cade Kelly added six tackles each. Linebacker Gage O’Neill also had a sack and seven tackles.
“We were very happy with today’s effort” noted defensive coordinator Ian Parks. “It was pretty sloppy out there in the rain but the boys did a great job of securing tackles and playing in position. The pressure from our front four was relentless like last week as well.”
Grizzlies’ quarterback Lucas Feaver was 13-of-21 for 102 yards through the air while Tyson Kelly led all receivers with six catches for 54 yards.
“These were tougher conditions for offense for sure” noted Acheson, “but we managed to sustain some long drives with excellent running by Samuel and an efficient short passing game.”
SOUTH KAMLOOPS 13 at SOUTH DELTA 34
TSAWWASSEN — The host South Delta Sun Devils put up just shy of 500 yards of offence Saturday but needed to score its final two touchdowns in unanswered fashioned to gain separation from the visiting Titans.
South Kamloops opened the scoring when quarterback Jesse Peters connected with Deegan Falsetta for a 7-0 lead.
South Delta’s replied with three majors of their own, taking a 21-7 lead behind the generalship of quarterback Kenny Scott and running back Jesse Mitran.
Scott, who rushed for one score, passed for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
Mitran rushed for 176 yards, and among the Sun Devils’ other touchdown scorers was Josh Cloete who found the end zone along the ground.
The Titans second touchdown came on a pass from Peters to Ashton Yamaoka.
Peters led the offence with 44 yards rushing and 135 yards passing. On defence, the Titans were led by linebacker Grayson Peters with nine tackles.
VERNON 12 at RUTLAND 13
KELOWNA — A blocked point-after attempt by Rutland carried the day Friday as the Vernon Panthers experienced all the emotions available when potential victory becomes a very sudden defeat all within a handful of seconds late in the fourth quarter.
With time running out, Panthers’ quarterback Jake Farrell hit Roan Reid with a 21-yard touchdown pass to pull Vernon within a point.
The Panthers went for two points and the victory, and for a few moments appeared to have succeeded when Scott Hoffman carried the ball for the two-point convert attempt across the goal line.
A holding penalty, however, negated the play, and Vernon elected to go for the tie with a single after the ball was moved back 10 yards.
Rutland’s strong safety Liam O’Flynn came up big to block the kick before the Voodoos took four knees to drain the what remained of the game clock.
“It was an excellent night for our younger players,” said Rutland head Peter McCall.
Rutland took an early 7-0 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ty Walker to receiver Mekhi Emerenini, with the convert booted by Reid Thompson.
Vernon’s Hoffman scored off a toss play from 12 yards out, and the missed PAT kept Rutland on top 7-6.
In the second half, Rutland’s Walker found the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown run, but a blocked PAT kept Vernon within 13-6, setting the stage for the game’s tense fourth-quarter finish.
Farrell went 11-of-15 for 127 yards and a touchdown pass. Reid and Joe Murphy, made five catches each and for all intents and purposes, split a combined 109 receiving yards right down the middle.
Hoffman carried 15 times for 70 yards and one score, Reid led the defence with eight tackles, while Landon Janke and Kolby Thorpe had six each.
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