It’s our final wrap up of the week’s action with a look at Saturday’s abbreviated schedule.
But before we continue with the game reports, our hearts go out to the family and friends of St. Thomas More Collegiate senior varsity coach Bernie Kully who passed away peacefully late Saturday evening.
So dedicated was he to the involvement of youth in our great game, and so compassionate was he to all who played, coached or just loved to be a part of B.C.’s incredibly tight-knit football community.
It’s an understatement to say that he will be missed.
Rest In Peace, Bernie.
No. 2 NEW WESTMINSTER 20 at VANCOUVER COLLEGE 14
VANCOUVER — The New Westminster Hyacks had just enough gridiron karma to remain undefeated in Western Conference play.
That’s because of quarterback Kinsale Philip’s four completions, three went for touchdowns Saturday at O’Hagan Field.
The Hyacks’ defence did the rest as New West (2-0) hunkered down over a scoreless second half to beat the host Fighting Irish (0-2) by a 20-14 count.
“Our run defence was outstanding and we really didn’t give them much, although our offence certainly didn’t do its part” said New Westminster head coach Farhan Lalji. “We just missed on a number of plays. You have to give VC credit. Traditionally, their defence gives us more trouble than any other, but that said it still feels like we haven’t found our rhythm yet on that side of the ball.”
The Hyacks opened the scoring in the first quarter when Philip threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Finn Stark for a 6-0 lead.
The Irish answered with back-to-back majors to take a 14-6 lead in the second quarter.
Before the break, however, Philip connected on a 22-yard scoring strike to Matthew Lalim, and then a 10-yard TD pass to Sammy Sidhu.
Both defences carried the day.
The Hyacks managed 218 yards of offence compared with 201 by the Irish.
“Overall we still have a long way to go in terms of discipline and playing a complete game,” said Lalji. “But at least were able to still find ways to win in a tough conference.”
For the second straight week the New Westminster defence finished with three interceptions, and just like last week two went to Sebastien Reid and one to Taran Birdi. Reid also had a pick-six called back in the fourth quarter.
Next week, New Westminster plays at Seaquam (2-0) while Vancouver College plays at South Delta (2-0) in a pair of notable Saturday afternoon contests.
BALLENAS 20 at WEST VANCOUVER 22
WEST VANCOUVER — Ben Corbett’s third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a dandy of a delivery to receiver Ethan Johnston with just 16 seconds remaining, capped the home team’s second rally of the day and carried the host Highlanders past Parksville’s Ballenas Whalers.
West Vancouver, which will open Pacific Conference play this Friday against Nanaimo District, got a good dress rehearsal for the start of league, rallying from an early 14-0 deficit, and then a 20-16 deficit with under two minutes remaining.
“This was one of the most exciting games I have been a part of, and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys for stepping up, playing together and clawing out a win,” West Vancouver co-coach Pooya Dourandish. “Our offence was a treat to watch in the second half and defensively we bought into a real team mentality, with three or four guys in on every tackle.”
The contrast in styles was extreme.
Ballenas had three 100–yard-plus ground gainers and totalled over 400 yards by foot, while the Corbett and the West Van offence just kept passing the ball.
“West Van has a great passing game and we need to keep working on our positioning and reactions,” said Ballenas coach Dan Smith. “But overall, I’m happy with our competitiveness and how we never gave up. We just left too much time on the clock for their offence.”
Whalers’ quarterback Ben Robinson scored on runs of 25 and 26 yards for a 14-0 Whalers’ lead and Ballenas led 14-8 at halftime.
Robinson, off a sneak with just under two minutes remaining, put his team ahead 20-16, setting the stage for Johnston’s winning grab.
Corbett went 22-of-41 for 257 yards and three TDs, rallying from an early interception. Ben Welsh caught nine passes for 93 yards.
Defensively for West Vancouver, inside backers Ben Croasdale with nine tackles and Ryerson Wallace with eight, paced the defence. Welsh also had eight tackles.
For Ballenas, quarterback Robinson was one of three Whalers to rush for over 100 yards. Robinson carried 14 times for 180 yards, Kolby Jack 14 times for 112 yards and Logan Pepper 10 times for 108 yards.
Matt Giroux and Ethan Marquis had seven tackles apiece for the Whalers while Jack added six.
“On a day where we fell into a hole early on, our guys showed an incredible level of mental toughness and fought hard to get out of this one with a win,” added Dourandish. “I can not say enough about how proud that made us as a coaching staff.”
Double A Ballenas will prepare for its biggest rivalry game of the season when it hosts Nanaimo’s John Barsby Bulldogs in the annual Border Battle Friday.
ARGYLE 42 at HOWE SOUNDS 0
SQUAMISH — Mac Ward threw a pair of touchdown passes to Devin O’Hea and ran for another, leading North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers to a convincing shutout win over Howe Sound.
Ryan Agyagos and Phillip Mooder combined to rush for 143 yards and scored one touchdown apiece for the Pipers while Jared Baigent returned an interception 10 yards for another score.
“Howe Sound has a lot of inexperienced players.” said Argyle head coach Wayne Theobald, “but they are well coached and play hard. Today was a good day for us as many of our inexperienced players got some live action and responded well.”
Seb Watts anchored the Argyle defence with a team-leading 10 tackles.
WESTSYDE 33 ERIC HAMBER 0
KAMLOOPS — The Westsyde Blue Wave will carry a 3-0 record into its Okanagan Conference opener this coming weekend against Vernon after a decisive win over Vancouver’s Griffins.
Blue Wave quarterback Devon Konst went 13-of-18 for 229 yards and a touchdown while Grade 10 back-up Derek Wrable threw a 46-yard scoring strike to receiver Kelsey Bentz.
A.J. McInnis led the receivers with eight catches for 114 yards, while Treydon Boose rushed for 64 yards and a score.
“While the score looks pleasing, there are so many issues we have at this point in time with our team,” said Westsyde head coach Cory Bymoen. “We need to be much more physical. We need to be more committed. Our intensity has to dramatically change and it begins and ends in our practices. Playing Vernon next week is a drastic step up in competition and, as of now, we have our work cut out for us to even compete with them.”
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