Welcome to Week 2 of Varsity Letter’s B.C. High School Football Report.
Plenty of non-conference action scheduled tonight. As well, six AAA conference clashes highlight the schedule.
ABBOTSFORD 6 at No. 3 NEW WESTMINSTER 40
NEW WESTMINSTER — A defence that held the opposition to only 76 total yards and limited them to 1-for-10 on third-down conversions is one that is clearly firing on all cylinders.
Throw in Ajang Chol’s 25-yard first-quarter pick-six, and Shaye Rathjen’s third-quatter, 39-yard fumble recovery major, and there is no doubt that the 2,300-plus fans who jammed Mercer Stadium Friday in the Royal City for Hyacks Homecoming left with a very big collective takeaway: All went home happy.
“It really was a dominant defensive performance by our guys,” Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji agreed after New Westminster (2-1, 1-0) won out of conference against the visiting Abbotsford Panthers. “Our offence didn’t need to do much because we always seemed to be playing on a short field.”
Hyacks’ quarterback Kinsale Philip, who totaled 151 yards through the air and along the ground, flashed for a 48-yard TD run to open the game.
Chol’s pick made it 13-0 at the end of the quarter, before Philip connected with Chol on a 52-yard strike that made it 19-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Philip called his own number from the Abby one-yard line, and Rathjen followed with his defenwive major to make it 34-0.
Abbotsford responded with a 90-yard kick-off return major but the Hyacks got that one back in the fourth, rounding out the game’s scoring on a nine-yard run by Mahtab Garcha.
“Evan Nolli and Vishaan Narayan got a really good push on seemingly every play, but everyone we rolled through there played well,” added Lalji, whose Hyacks get back to league play Friday at Handsworth. “Kinsale and Shaye cleaned a lot of things up and our DBs got their hands on a lot of balls. Ajay’s early pick six really got us going.”
One of the evening’s highlights came when the Hyacks unveiled their 2017 championship banner atop the press box where it becomes a permanent fixture.
No. 3 MT. DOUGLAS 36 at HANDSWORTH 19
NORTH VANCOUVER — Dante Carbone has one of the best sets of hands in B.C. high school football.
On Friday, as his No. 3-ranked Rams (2-0) hit the road to face the Handsworth Royals (1-1), those hands were as deadly on defence as they were on offence.
Carbone not only caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Gideone Kremler, he had a fumble recovery, an interception and five tackles as solid efforts in all three phases of play were needed to hold back a talented Royals’ team.
“We had very good play in all aspects of the game, offense, defense and special teams, and we were somewhat improved in our discipline,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend.
Kremler, who finished with 167 yards passing and four touchdowns, also threw a 20-yard pass to brother Zairech Kremler for a 28-7 halftime lead.
Zairech Kremler also rushed for a three-yard major.
Handsworth’s Keelan White had six catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for one score. Steele Young had opened the scoring for Handsworth on a 93-yard catch-and-run play.
Theo Benedet led the Royals’ defense with seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
“Keelan White presented many challenges for us in the contest, and you have to appreciate his talent, athleticism and power,” said Townsend. “He is one heck of a football player and his future is extremely bright.”
Aiden Bertuzzi continued his strong defensive play for the Rams, recording four tackles and a sack. Peter Primeau had three tackles, while Kai Harris picked up two tackles and a fumble recovery. Nelson Carnell celebrated his birthday with a tackle and an interception.
“Mount Doug showed their strength with powerful running game and strong aerial attack,” said Royals head coach Richard White. “They had a ferocious defence which kept our team in check.”
SOUTH DELTA 34 at CARSON GRAHAM 18
NORTH VANCOUVER — Ben McDonald threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns, and rumbling Andrew Kraft added another pair of majors along the ground as the South Delta Sun Devils (1-1) built a 34-0 lead en route to a comfortable win over North Vancouver’s Carson Graham Eagles (0-2).
“Not one of South Delta’s most crisp games, but we’re tackling batter and we’re starting to throw the ball better,” said Sun Devils head coach Ray Moon after McDonald completed 18 of 30 passes. “It’s a work in progress with such a young team.”
South Delta led 20-0 at halftime, as receiver Evan Paterson made four catches for 106 yards.
“Disappointing result but I really like the way we finished it off in the end,” said Carson Graham head coach Brian Brady. “We need to get the ground game going and we’re taking steps to a more well-rounded performance each week.”
The Eagles were down to their third-string pivot, but Grade 10 Lucas Granger shook the early jitters and showed some moxy.
“Once he got going, Lucas got in a good rhythm,” said Brady of Granger who went 19-of-34 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. “He’s going to be a good one.”
Kevean Pashandi had four catches for 104 yards and a score, while Liam Scott had four catches for 75 yards.
Ethan Smith forced a fumble and scored off a pick-six play while Mahyar Hosseini had nine tackles.
RUTLAND 28 at NANAIMO DISTRICT 17
NANAIMO — Rutland game details unavailable
SPECTRUM 7 at SULLIVAN HEIGHTS 6
SURREY — Bryden Holt’s 35-yard punt return major snapped a scoreless game in the second quarter and proved to be just enough to carry Victoria’s Spectrum Thunder (1-1, 1-1) to a road win over the expansion Stars (0-3, 0-2).
With two minutes left, Caden McTaggart’s touchdown pass pulled the Stars to within a point. Sullivan Heights, however, came close but ultimately failed to secure a two-point convert pass for the victory.
The Stars even got the ball back at midfield with 50 seconds remaining but couldn’t score the winning points.
“Our defense was stellar all day,” said Spectrum head coach Darren Vaux, after the Thunder held the Stars to negative rushing yards on the day, led by middle linebacker Harrison Kuromi whose 12 tackles included five for a loss of yardage.
“It was a definite step in the right direction, and I can’t wait for next week,” said Sullivan head coach Gord Randall, whos team is in Vancouver a week Saturday to face Eric Hamber.
Spectrum is back to the Valley for a game Friday in Chilliwack against the Sardis Falcons.
SARDIS 20 at EARL MARRIOTT 34
SURREY — Byron Ruvalcaba found a new football home in the offseason, and on Friday, on his new home field with his new team, he led his school to its first-ever AAA conference victory.
The former Hugh Boyd Trojans’ pivot threw scoring strikes to Isaiah Edwards and Sam LaRoue, and also called his own number for another as the Earl Marriott Mariners beat the first-year Sardis Falcons 34-20. The Trojans’ football program folded over the off-season.
“We got punched in the mouth early,” said Sardis head coach Adam Smith. “We showed some toughness today, but they executed better than us, and they deserved to win.”
Cole Parker connected on both of his field goal attempts for the winners while Dean Meurrens caught a convert.
Nick Butler caught six passes, including a pair for scores, while D.J. Stephens had eight tackles and a 90-yard interception return to set up a score.
W.J. MOUAT 33 at ERIC HAMBER 20
VANCOUVER — Sometimes the final score doesn’t come close to telling the full story.
The W.J. Mouat Hawks are sitting pretty with a 2-0 record in the Pacific, but they needed to muster all of their self-belief to pull out a win Friday on the road against the Griffins, last season’s B.C. Tier 2 champions.
Hamber led 8-0 after the first half and then went up 14-0 in the third quarter before the Hawks scored 33 straight points.
“A tale of two halves,” admitted Mouat head coach Travis Bell. “Full credit to Hamber for how they came out in the first half ready to go. We certainly did not. Botched snaps, fumbles, failed defensive assignments were plentiful in the first. But down 14-0 in the third, our guys could easily have folded the tent. They sucked it up, showed some great grit.”
Hawks’ running back Nathan Hausermann is showing himself to be one of the province’s most productive back in the early going, carrying 12 times for 118 yards and two scores.
Keenan Barker caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from pivot Tyran Duval, and Ebiye Okoko-Chomseng led the defence with three picks, one returned for a score, and nine tackles.
“We need to learn from our poor start and hopefully become a better team because of the adversity we faced early on this game,” said Bell.
The Griffins saw good poise from Grade 11 quarterback Tom Shen in his second start.
“There were lots of positives for us to build on from this week,” began Hamber head coach Bobby Gibson, “including good intensity and a bit of an attitude in the first half. But we need to learn how to play four quarters.”
Shen was just 8-of-21 but threw a touchdown to Ryan Vijayaretnam. Jack Heath rushed for 89 yards and two scores. Jake Goodwin paced the defence with 10 tackles and a sack while Moistafa Hekal had five tackles and a sack.
No. 1 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 0 at LYNDEN (Wash.) 23
LYNDEN (Wash.) —An 11th-hour change to their script forced Surrey’s top-ranked Panthers to start back-up Kaiden Lilley at quarterback.
In the end, Lilley went 10-of-25 for 120 yards, and the offence endured some key drops which could have altered the proceedings, ultimately settling for 23-0 loss to the always excellent Lions.
“We struggled in the second quarter with field position and ended up giving up a safety and two touchdowns to a strong Lynden team,” admitted Tweedsmuir head coach Kurt Thornton whose team opens Eastern Conference play this coming Friday against Centennial. “Our defence was able to bear down in the second half.”
In fact, it kept Lynden off the scoreboard as Yosef Drysdale led the Panthers defense with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Kyle Dodd and Jesse Goedman each had six tackles and a sack. Colton Cameron and Davis Lutterodt each had five tackles.
MISSION at MERIDIAN (Wash.)
MERIDIAN (Wash.) — Game details unavailable
MT. BOUCHERIE at WENATCHEE (Wash.)
WENATCHEE (Wash.) — Game details unavailable
WEST VANCOUVER 20 at No. 2 BALLENAS 30
PARKSVILLE — Rainy and wet?
The conditions at Beban Park played right into the hands of the host Ballenas Whalers and their run-based game attack.
Three of Whalers’ quarterback Ben Chomolok 12 rushes went for touchdowns, all part of his 110 yard rushing afternoon as AA No. 2-ranked Ballenas (2-0, 0-0) tripped up the pass-reliant Triple A West Vancouver Highlanders.
Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn was pleased for the most part at how the team played.
“We executed well in all phases of the game and our kids were really aggressive and playing physical tough football, which is our brand of football,” said Conn, who added “we need to be more disciplined. Too many penalties, blown assignments, and guys just losing their cool now and that stuff can really hurt us later in the year. The good news is that it’s easy to see and fix.”
Ballenas, which got 18 carries for 158 yards and a score from running back Demar Hohnstein, led 15-7 at the half.
West Van quarterback Ben Welsh made play after play with his arm and legs, extending plays and finding open receivers, ending the day with two rushing scores and a passing major.
“Defensively, we struggled against their size and power but stepped up and made stops at points throughout the day,” said West Van head coach Pooya Dourandish, whose charges had pulled to within 15-13 early in the second half. “Our linebackers had a tough time flowing to plays so our secondary had to make a lot more tackles then I’d prefer.
“Tough to lose this one but I am very proud of our guys for grinding it out until the final whistle,” added Dourandish. “The team showed grit and determination with guys battling through injuries and giving full effort until the end.”
Safeties Matt Lane and Alex Jones were key in the Highlanders’ secondary.
Kolby Jack led the Ballenas defence with seven tackles, while Steven Boley had five tackles and Adrien Friesene had four.
SAMUEL ROBERTSON at No. 5 ST. THOMAS MORE
BURNABY — Game details unavailable
LANGLEY 21 at No. 3 JOHN BARSBY 34
NANAIMO — Cam Wright, as part of a 158-yard passing day, threw scoring tosses to Philipp Eberhardt (39 yards), Zach Taylor (26 yards) and Steen Rasmussen (50 yards) as the host Bulldogs topped the visiting Langley Saints.
“Langley is big, fast and aggressive,” said Barsby head coach Rob Stevenson. “I’m glad this was a Week 2 game because when they put it all together, they are going to be a nightmare when November playoffs roll around.”
Until that time, the Bulldogs can relish in the fact that they have a special teams unit with a good deal of promise, highlighted by Rasmussen’s second touchdown of the day, an 80-yard kick-off return to the house.
Defensively, the ‘Dawgs were led by inside backer Jacub Gillman’s eight tackles. Free safety Ricardo Zavala-Torres had five tackles and was inspirational for the second game in a row with several physical run stops.
“We have to go back to grade school on some of our tackling as well,” added Stevenson whose team begins Western Conference league play this Saturday at Howe Sound. “Everything is, however, fixable and the future looks bright. There were lots of contributors on both sides of the ball.”
ROBERT BATEMAN 21 at WINDSOR 35
NORTH VANCOUVER — The defending champs were gutted by graduation, yet in case you thought the Windsor Dukes were shy of the right pieces this season, think again.
Grade 11 running back Ryan Werbowski keyed his team to an early 14-0 lead, and on the day carried 27 times for 198 yards and four touchdowns as his team opened the season with a 35-21 win over Abbotsford’s visiting Timberwolves.
Windsor led 20-7 at the half, but Bateman scored early in the third quarter to tighten the score to 20-13. From there, the Dukes ground things out.
Mitch Townsend, Colby LaLonde and Jeremy Sinclair had exceptionally strong performances blocking up front for Werbowski, as well as Jacob Groves (47 yards) and Aidan Gallagher (20 yards) as the Dukes rushed 48 times for 273 yards on the day.
“Windsor was able to establish a running game and rode that to the victory,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “It really was a clash of contrasting styles. Windsor did a great job of running the ball and dominating the line of scrimmage with their big, athletic offensive line and tight end. We did a good job in the air with our receivers and our quarterback.”
Logan McDonald was once again productive for the Wolves, throwing a pair of scoring strikes to Ryan Sztuhar and one to Markus Rauch.
Sam Davenport was also impressive in all three phases, including a big kickoff return to set up a touchdown.
Defensively the Dukes were again led by returnees Townsend and Sinclair.
CLARENCE FULTON at OMAK (Wash.)
OMAK (Wash.) — Game details unavailable
KELOWNA 40 at SALMON ARM 13
SALMON ARM — Full game details unavailable
COLLEGE HEIGHTS 12 at KELLY ROAD 12
PRINCE GEORGE —The Kelly Road Roadrunners were served a heaping helping of adversity as they opened conference play Thursday against rival College Heights.
The ‘Runner lost starting senior quarterback Josiah Harder on the opening drive of the game, but forced overtime when Grade 11 Curtis Zavaglia stepped behind centre, and tossed a game-tying 11-yard TD pass to T.J. Nyberg with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
Each team scored in the shoot-out round, Zavaglia knotting the score after the Cougars had taken a brief lead, hitting Logan Devauld for the score.
Zavaglia was picked off three times, going 4-of-11 for 82 yards, but was able to carry seven times for 96 yards.
Kelly Road running back Colton For had 14 carries for 109 yards.
Defensively, Kelly Road’s linebacking duo of Trenton Griffith (6 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery) and Brandan Watt (8 tackles, 1 sack) were tone setters. Senior safeties Devauld and Nic Wilson both managed red-zone interceptions.
1 p.m. — Notre Dame at Seaquam
1:30 p.m. — Belmont at Vancouver College
1 p.m. — Vernon at Terry Fox
2 p.m. — Prince George at G.W. Graham, Argyle at Valleyview
2:30 p.m. — Westsyde at Frank Hurt
7:30 p.m. — South Kamloops at Nechako Valley
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