Welcome to the Saturday edition of Varsity Letter’s B.C. High School Football Report.
First a scoreboard, and then our games reports, including two late Friday filings.
AAA WESTERN CONFERENCE
New Westminster 28 at Seaquam 13
Vancouver College 28 at South Delta 32
AA PACIFIC CONFERENCE
Argyle 27 at Holy Cross 21
AA NORTHERN CONFERENCE
Nechako Valley 14 at Prince George 18
AA NORTHERN CONFERENCE
12:30 p.m. — Kelly Road at College Heights
WESTERN CONFERENCE AAA
No. 2 NEW WESTMINSTER 28 at NO. 4 SEAQUAM 13
NORTH DELTA — A run game that enjoyed a something of a renaissance and a defence which got stronger as the game progressed.
If you were looking for signs Saturday as to the health of B.C.’s No. 2-ranked AAA football teams, the New Westminster Hyacks were worthy of a definitive thumbs up.
“Our defence played very well in the red zone and we were finally able to get our running game going,” said Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji after the New Westminster rallied from a first-half deficit to hand the No. 4-ranked and host Seaquam Seahawks a 28-13 setback. “The biggest thing is that in the second half, we looked like the team that we can become.”
Taran Birdi set the pace for the New Westminster defence, finishing with a pair of interceptions, including a third-quarter, drive-snuffing back-breaker in which he made an end-zone interception and returned it 81 yards.
On offence, Sammy Sidhu gave the ground game all the traction it would need, not only rushing 15 times for 187 yards, but scoring all four of his team’s touchdowns via the ground game.
“It was good to see Sammy go,” said Lalji after Sidhu bookended two five-yard TD runs with scoring gallops of 37 yards to begin and 74 yards to close. “He was so explosive.”
Seaquam, blessed with its own dynamic offensive weapons, led 13-12 at the half, as quarterback Josh Haydu threw a TD strike to Tyson Philpot and handed off to Jalen Philpot for another score along the ground.
“We did a good job of rallying and tackling,” said Lalji. “The twins get a lot of touches. You can’t ever eliminate them but you can try to contain them.”
Jalen Philpot, the running back, still carried 12 times to hit the century mark.
Haydu went 19-of-31 for 271 yards, with seven of those completions snagged by Tyson Philpot for 137 yards.
“But Seaquam is more than just the Philpots,” added Lalji. “(Haydu) is a very accurate passer. We had to work for this. It was our first time playing a game at Seaquam, so it was not only the fact we were playing a good team, there was an unfamiliarity there for us to contend with. It was a real quality win for us.”
Added Seaquam head coach Navin Chand: “We definitely just competed with one of the best teams in B.C. high school football. I am proud of my guys.”
VANCOUVER COLLEGE 28 at No. 3 SOUTH DELTA 32
TSAWWASSEN — Billy Matwichyna has a connection with Michael Calvert that goes beyond instinctive.
The Sun Devils’ receiver par excellence proved a nightmare to the Vancouver College defence, catching four touchdown passes from quarterback Calvert as No. 3-ranked South Delta rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the visiting Fighting Irish by a count of 32-28.
“Vancouver College came in with a great game plan for us, and we must have trailed for a good three-quarters of the game,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon. “We were a little flat but we still found a way to come back. It was a great one for our fans.”
What South Delta showed was even when you limit the overall explosiveness of Calvert, who nonetheless went 19-of-33 for 192 yards, he still makes big plays, like his 29-yard TD strike to Matwichyna in the final three minutes.
The pair also connected on strikes of 28, four and eight yards.
Resilient VC led 7-0 to open the game, 20-12 at the half, 20-18 after three quarters, and then 28-25 in the fourth quarter.
ARGYLE 27 at HOLY CROSS 21
SURREY — Declan Confortin caught a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from quarterback Mac Ward and Ryan Agyagos added to the second-half uprising with a 14-yard scoring run as North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers rallied with a game-closing 21-0 run over the final two quarters to beat the host Crusaders 27-21.
Devin O’Hea, who scored Argyle only first-half major off a 30-yard pick-six, came through with a fourth-quarter interception as well, this one snuffing out a potential Holy Cross scoring drive.
“Devin O’Hea is a special player and he keeps on coming up big for us,” said Argyle head coach Wayne Theobald. “It was a good sign by our entire team to not give up after our poor first half and pull out a very tough win.”
O’Hea finished the day with 10 catches for 113 yards and also recorded 10 tackles on defence, a team-high he shared with Jacob Green.
“I was happy with a lot of things we did, “ said Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau, after quarterback Nate Hunt fired TD strikes to Geoffrey Viana and Jamal Osei-Anim. “We just made mistakes that we were unable to recover from.”
PRINCE GEORGE 18 NECHAKO VALLEY 14
PRINCE GEORGE — In a game in which duelling pick-six touchdowns neutralized each other, Braden Read’s steady game in the backfield helped turn the tide as the Prince George Polars topped the Nechako Valley Vikes.
Reed carried nine times for 102 yards and scored a key third-quarter touchdown.
Polars’ safety Noah Williams finished the game with two interceptions, including one he turned into his team’s first touchdown. He also added five tackles as the PGSS defence did its best to slow Vikes’ pivot Corbyn Brown.
AAA WESTERN CONFERENCE
BELMONT 13 at MT. DOUGLAS 28
VITORIA — Sebastian Hansen returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown, and the Mt. Douglas Rams’ offence took care of the rest with three short rushing touchdowns in a 28-13 win over city rivals, the Belmont Bulldogs.
“Players from both teams left it all on the field,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend, who team at one stage led 16-0. “It was a very competitive contest.”
Zairech Kremler led Mt. Douglas with 102 yards rushing, including a six-yard touchdown run.
Ben Pierik rushed for a pair of two-yard scores for the winners.
Gideone Kremler, making a steady return from injury, threw for 91 yards in his time at quarterback. Dante Carbone led the pass catchers with 78 yards in receptions.
The Rams defense was solid, forcing three turnovers on the day, and had collecting four sacks.
Ivan Xu and Zairech Kremler each had five tackles, including a sack. Aiden Bertuzzi also added five tackles. Hansen and Soren Hallschmid each had four tackles and an interception while Jake Ounsted had four tackles and two sacks.
CLARENCE FULTON 45 at SOUTH KAMLOOPS 7
KAMLOOPS — Vernon’s Maroons (1-0) opened Okanagan Conference play by leaning on all three phases in their win over the host Titans.
Despite the windy conditions at Thompson River University, Fulton scored via the rush, the punt return, the interception return and the field goal.
They even added a safety.
“As a coaching staff we were really happy with our effort and performance and it was our most dominant performance of the season,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller whose team led 39-0 at half and improved to 4-1 overall. “Offensively, we got a lot of big chunk plays. We did not run many plays, but had a lot of explosive plays.”
Senior running back Ryan Rumsey, who carried 11 times for 127 yards, scored on a five-yard run in the second quarter, a 65-yard interception return in the third and a 70-yard run in the fourth.
“Rumsey had a great game and ran very hard,” said Scheller. “His vision as a tailback keeps improving, and he is a force for us on offense.”
Cole Hunter scored on a 30-yard run, J.J. Heaton blocked a punt for a safety, Evan Trottier kicked a 20-yard field goal, Caden Doyle returned a punt 75 yards to the house and quarterback Ike Olson called his own number on an 80-yard scoring run. Trottier also kicked four converts.
“I also really liked the speed of our defense,” added Scheller of a unit led by Nate Banga who recorded a team-leading four tackles and also had two interceptions. “We were rallying to the ball very well and hitting hard.”
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