Welcome to the Saturday edition of the B.C high school football report.
SOUTH DELTA 34 at NO. 5 VANCOUVER COLLEGE 35
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver College Fighting Irish had enjoyed plenty of comfortable winning margins en route to a perfect 4-0 start in the Western Conference this season.
But don’t think that any off that that means they don’t have the wherewithal to win a close game should the situation dictate.
On Saturday, in a tight contest against a talented and desperate South Delta team, just such a moment came in the fourth quarter on the heels of a third straight rushing touchdown by its dynamic running back Daesaun Johnson.
After Johnson’s 13-yard scoring run had put the Irish on top 33-26, Irish quarterback Eric Zychlinski ran in a two-point convert, and the cushion was just enough as the Sun Devils came back with a 12-yard TD run by quarterback Ben McDonald and successful two-point convert.
South Delta’s ensuing kick-off was fumbled inside the five-yard line by the Irish and the ball rolled into the end zone where a Vancouver College player fell on it. The Sun Devils narrowly missed tackling him for a safety which could have won the game.
Johnson was clutch for Vancouver College, scoring back-to-back Irish majors on identical 44-yard runs before adding his 13-yarder.
“We overcame a lot of adversity to get that win,” said Fighting Irish head coach Todd Bernett. “It was a battle of two teams who know exactly what their identities are, and we both stuck with that through the entire game.”
The victory pushed the Irish to a perfect 5-0 atop the West. Archbishops Trophy rival Notre Dame sits at 4-0.
Colin Dolynski on a one-yard run in the first quarter and then in the second, Jason Soriano with a 30-yard scoring run, accounted for Vancouver College’s first two touchdowns.
Basil Schincariol carried a further 19 times for 83 yards in the victory, one which saw Matt Hoag (eight tackles) and Jevon Chahal (six tackles) lead the defence.
For South Delta, quarterback Ben McDonald went 26-for-47 for 250 yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed 13 times for 91 yards and three scores.
“I know Ben McDonald was great,” said VC’s Bernett, “but his will and fighting spirit were even greater than his ability. It was like playing Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers.”
However for the Sun Devils, three losses in their first four conference tilts puts them in a tight spot with four more games remaining.
“It’s a challenge,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon, whose team fell to 1-3 ahead of next week’s road game at Handsworth. “I think we’re one of the better fifth-place teams in the conference.”
“We didn’t play our best against Mt. Douglas( 40-14 loss), we had a real battle with New Westminster (20-6 loss) and then it comes down to one point against Vancouver College. Right now, we’re fighting for our playoff lives. We’re playing good ball, but we’re just falling a little short.”
CARSON GRAHAM 30 at SEAQUAM 28
NORTH DELTA — Brian Brady worried all week that his Carson Graham Eagles (2-4, 2-3) would be carrying a “Buchanan Bowl hangover” into Saturday’s conference road clash against Seaquam (1-4, 1-3)
Finding equilibrium following the emotional zenith reached in last Saturday’s 33-18 derby triumph over Handsworth wasn’t going to be easy.
And not surprisingly, a chemistry-building Seaquam team coming off a bye week was crisp early on, going up 14-0 in the first quarter and building that advantage to 21-0 in the second.
Right about then, the theme of the week of practice for the Eagles began to kick in, and it was all about what Brady had dubbed ‘Juice Week’, a working title for bringing enthusiasm to everything his players did.
“So I introduced them to the Ultimate Warrior,” Brady said post-game of the late-1980s WWF wrestler. “We showed videos of him. We always referred to him and his contagious energy. We made this reference again at half and the boys came out a different team.”
So much so that the Eagles were able to flip the game’s re-set button against a Seahawks team which was gashing the Carson defence with a pair of 100-yard plus rushing efforts.
Just before halftime, Carson quarterback Charlie McMillan connected with Logan Weidner on a three-yard touchdown throw, and the ensuing two-point convert made it 21-8 at the break.
Then, the Eagles scored on the first play of the second half as McMillan went 70 yards to Ethan Smith. Promptly, they then recovered their own ensuing onside kick, which led to a Smith field goal.
McMillan’s third scoring toss, a 14-yard strike to Liam Scott, made it 24-21 in the third quarter,
In the fourth, however, Seaquam continued to find success along the ground, rushing for its fourth major of the game and taking a 28-24 lead.
McMillan, however, threw his fourth strike of the game with 2:15 remaining, hitting Darius Andrade for a 42-yard connection and the victory.
“We are a very young team and we showed it today,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand. “We lost our composure and took too many penalties and had some very key turnovers which changed the momentum of the game.”
Nonetheless, the pieces are all there for a Seahawks team which earlier this season, lost by five points to a Notre Dame team which Friday ending the 15-game B.C. win streak of the defending Subway Bowl champ and No. 3-ranked New Westminster Hyacks.
Seaquam rushed for over 350 yards on the afternoon.
Antonio Pamintuan carried 29 times for 257 yards and three touchdowns, while Christian Carlon Diaz had 12 carries for 106 yards.
Hawks’ pivot Jay Mather even got in on the act with a rushing score of his own.
“I was very pleased with our offensive line and the holes they were able to open up,” said Chand of a starting group that Max Sache, Chase Malenstyn, Ishaan Chand, Siraj Dhaliwal and Jas Sanghera.
Carson’s McMillan, in sick bay just 10 days ago, was on point for the second straight Saturday, this time going 11-of-19 for 257 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith caught four passes for 134 yards and a score, while Scott caught three for 57 and a TD.
Defensively for the Eagles, Mahyar Hosseini led the winners with 10 tackles. Smith had eight in addition to forcing a fumble while Parker Henderson Burt had four tackles and a sack.
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