It’s Friday night, and time for our weekly tradition: Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report.
Please continue to check back here throughout the evening as we update action from around the province.
First a scoreboard, followed by the game reports!
AAA WESTERN CONFERENCE
Vancouver College 58 Carson Graham 25
No. 5 Seaquam 41 Belmont 27
No. 1 New Westminster 44 Notre Dame 27
AAA PACIFIC CONFERENCE
West Vancouver 30 Rutland 18
AAA EASTERN CONFERENCE
No. 4 Terry Fox at Mt. Boucherie
Mission 21 W.J. Mouat 10
No. 3 St. Thomas More 24 Lord Tweedsmuir 19
AA WESTERN CONFERENCE
No. 4 John Barsby 31 Pitt Meadows 6
No. 1 Windsor 41 at Argyle 20
Hugh Boyd 30 Ballenas 20
AA EASTERN CONFERENCE
No. 3 Abbotsford 48 Pitt Meadows 7
No. 5 G.W. Graham 27 Robert Bateman 16
Samuel Robertson at Langley
AA OKANAGAN CONFERENCE
Vernon 1 Valleyview 0 (forfeit)
South Kamloops at Westsyde
AAA WESTERN CONFERENCE
NOTRE DAME 27 at No. 1 NEW WESTMINSTER 44
NEW WESTMINSTER — Good football teams have a knack for making big, timely plays and early on, that’s just what the New Westminster Hyacks did in their first game since 2009 as B.C.’s No. 1-ranked Triple A team.
Kinsale Philip connected with Broxx Comia on the game’s second play, and the 65-yard touchdown strike had the Hyacks up 7-0 before the visiting Notre Dame Jugglers knew what had hit them.
After Philip called his own number from a yard out, strong safety Sammy Sidhu took a 55-yard fumble recovery to the house for a 21-7 lead.
The Hyacks, in fact, had pushed their lead out to as many as 24 points before Notre Dame tallied on a 35-yard Brice Pumares run, pulling to within 31-14 at halftime.
Comia on a 17-yard run and Zachery Northgraves with a 39-yard field goal scored for the Hyacks in the second quarter.
“Over the first 20 minutes, we’re up 31-7 and we felt very good about how we were playing,” said Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji. “We’re in control. But then some of the discipline problems that plagued us earlier came back and bit us. That and some uncharacteristic turnovers allowed them to get back into the game. Fortunately, our offensive line was exceptional tonight. Our offence and athletes were able to generate enough to always maintain enough of a lead. But we’re just not close to being the team we can be yet in terms of playing for 48 minutes.”
The Hyacks had one more big-play score in the second half.
Sebastien Reid scored on an 80-yard kickoff return following a 35-yard TD strike from Jugglers’ quarterback Will Clarke to Dylan Rachel.
Sidhu capped the New Westminster scoring with a nine-yard run.
Notre Dame’s other points came on a 51-yard pass-and-run from Clarke to tight end Pauljeet Dhami, and on a 12-yard pass from Clarke to Rachel.
“New West was by far the better team tonight,” said Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly. “They executed very well and also capitalized on some poor special teams play by our team. Defensively they had a good plan to close down our attack on a regular basis. I thought we did well to come back and make a game of it in the second half but it was too little, too late.”
Philip finished the night 8-of-15 for 206 yards, Comia catching three passes for 106 yards and Reid five passes for 100 yards.
Sidhu carried 14 times for 80 yards and also led the team with eight tackles, one more than Severio Asaba. Lucas Sabau carried 10 times for 69 yards.
VANCOUVER COLLEGE 58 at CARSON GRAHAM 25
NORTH VANCOUVER — It may not have been a shoot-out, but it was still the most prolific offensive performance turned in by the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in almost a quarter century.
Zachary McRae and Nathan Hawes combined to rush for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns in Vancouver College’s 58-25 win over the host Carson Graham Eagles.
“Our run game was fantastic today and we needed to keep scoring because Carson Graham has a dynamic offense,” said Irish head coach Todd Bernett after his charges scored their most points since 1993. “We got big plays early from Nathan Hawes and Chris Kongbo and that gave us momentum. Our defense was challenged by downfield throws and effective running to the edge, but we were able to get enough stops to prevent a true shootout.”
The Irish led 16-7 after the first quarter after a 70-yard yard kick-off return by Chris Kongbo, a safety and a one-yard keeper by quarterback Eric Zychlinski.
Hawes added a 90-yard interception return for a score as part of a second quarter that also included Zychlinski’s four-yard TD pass to Justin Lopez and McRae’s one-yard TD scamper. VC led 38-19 at the break.
Hawes from two yards and McRae from 30 found the end zone in the third quarter along the ground, while Queruben Sarabia rushed for a three-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Carson Graham quarterback Charlie McMillan went 21-of-37-for 222 yards and four touchdowns. Nick Rich caught eight of those passes for 80 yards and three majors, while Joseph Spooner caught five for 85 yards and another TD.
McRae carried 20 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns to lead Vancouver College while Hawes carried 13 times for 130 yards and one score.
James Grieg with 13 tackles and Jasin Galvez with nine led the Irish defence, while Mahyar Hosseini eld the Eagles with 11 tackles.
“There were some things we got better at but still need to work at playing a full game in all three phases,” said Carson Graham head coach Brian Brady. “Vancouver College showed up today ready to play, were well coached and played a complete game.”
No. 5 SEAQUAM 41 at BELMONT 27
LANGFORD — Josh Haydu went 11-for-16 through the air, passing for 193 yards and one score, while also rushing for another as North Delta’s Seahawks (5-1, 3-1) got back on winning side of the ledger against the host Bulldogs (2-3, 1-3) after losing its first game of the season last week to New Westminster.
“I really liked the fact that we were able to come out today and really establish a pretty balanced attack,” said Seahawks head coach Navin Chand after his team rushed for 317 yards and passed for 205 more, the 522-yard total indicative of the offensive muscle the team has shown all season.
Running backs Jalen Philpot and Jello Juacato teammed with Haydu to give the ground game its legs.
Philpot had 12 carries for 183 yards and scored two touchdowns, while Juacato toted 10 times for 64 yards and two more majors.
Tyson Philpot caught six passes for 125 yards and also scored a touchdown.
Defensively, Gavin Murray, Tyson Philpot and Chase Malenstyn had six tackles apiece with Murray’s total including a pair of sacks. Brody Clark finished with an interception.
AAA EASTERN CONFERENCE
No. 4 TERRY FOX 35 at MT. BOUCHERIE 6
KELOWNA — Jaden Severy piled up 195 yards of offence, scoring two touchdowns in the process as the visiting Ravens got back on the winning track with a win over the host Bears.
“It was a great bounce back game tonight for us after an emotional loss last week,” said Terry Fox head coach Martin McDonnell, referencing the team’s loss as the former No. 1 team to then-No. 5 St. Thomas More. “It’s always difficult to travel up to the interior but the boys played their hearts out today. We battled some extra conditions with a late start, but the kids responded and had a fast start.”
Javaun Jacobsen rushed for one score and also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Albert Aracena. Cade Cote was solid on defence with five tackles.
LORD TWEEDSMUIR 19 at No. 3 ST. THOMAS MORE 24
BURNABY — Tyler Eckert’s 50-yard run to the edge of goal line set up his own two-yard scoring run in the third quarter as the host Knights rallied to beat Surrey’s visiting Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
“I knew Tweedsmuir was going to be a very tough opponent this week, and (Panthers’ running back) Derek Best had an outstanding game for them,” said STM head coach Steve De Lazzari. “He was difficult to stop at times and had some great runs on our defence. They were a very tough and physical team and their defence also had an outstanding game. They made us work for every yard we gained on offence.”
Eckert, whose short TD run made it 22-13 for STM, finished with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
STM quarterback Dario Ciccone hit David Osho with a 28-yard TD strike in the first half, while the Knights also collected a pair of safeties.
Kaishaun Carter and Jonah Fridfinnson each had eight tackles for the winners while Sam Steele had seven, and Eckert and Mateo Carteri six apiece.
“It’s a win that we will take great satisfaction in especially considering we were missing two of our starting offensive linemen,” added De Lazzari.
AAA PACIFIC CONFERENCE
WEST VANCOUVER 30 at RUTLAND 18
KELOWNA — The comeback kids did it again.
For the second time this season, the West Vancouver Highlanders fell behind by two scores to the opposition.
And for the second time this season, they had enough to come back and win.
Quarterback Benjamin Corbett threw a pair of touchdown passes to Ethan Johnston and then rushed for two touchdowns himself, as the Highlanders (4-2, 1-1) evened their record in the Pacific standings.
Ryerson Wallace led the Highlanders defence with 10 tackles while Keelan Hondro, an undersized linebacker stepped into a starting role and was around the ball all evening.
“Our defensive line bought into our game plan and took care of their gaps, and that allowed our linebackers to flow with speed,” said West Van co-coach and defensive coordinator Pooya Dourandish. “Keelan seemd to have an impact on almost every play.
“Unfortunately we didn’t leave the game as healthy as we came in, which wasn’t very healthy,” he continued. “But our team showed an exceptional amount of grit and mental toughness fighting together to win a big road game.”
AA EASTERN CONFERENCE
PITT MEADOWS 7 at No. 3 ABBOTSFORD 48
ABBOTSFORD — Winless over three weeks of conference play, the Panthers (2-3, 2-0) are showing just how battle tested they are in the East.
“We wanted to start aggressive right out of the gate and establish our running game early,” said head coach Jay Fujimura after running back Samwel Uko rushed for an 85-yard touchdown on his first touch of the contest and then returned a punt 60 yards for a major score on his second touch. “I was pleased with our efforts, especially in the first quarter.”
Uko finished with 250 all-purpose yards. He carried 15 times for 210 yards and three scores, caught one pass for 15 yards, returned two punts for 95 yards and a TD, and returned a kick-off 10 yards.
As part of a day in which Abby managed to garner 310 yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage, running back Like Szmutko carried twice for 68 yards and a major, while quarterback Ethan Anderson went 7-of-11 for 121 yards and one TD.
All of it happened behind an offensive line led by the likes of Taylor Peltier and Jeff Vanderwerff who really stepped up this week to make the run game pop.
On defense, Johnny Stevenson led the way with seven tackles and a forced fumble recovery. Vanderwerff also had seven tackles and two sacks from his spot at nose tackle while Sahil Sahota had four tackles and two sacks. Anthony Phan had five tackles, a pair of interceptions and a touchdown.
Conor Laverty scored the lone Pitt Meadows touchdown.
“We came out of the gates flat on our feet and Abbotsford made us pay with great O-line and running back play,” said Pitt head coach Bubba Montabello. “We finally settled down and tackled and played good football but it was far to late to climb out of that hole especially against a team with the talent Abbotsford has.”
AA WESTERN CONFERENCE
BALLENAS 20 at HUGH BOYD 30
RICHMOND — Four full quarters of effort proved to be the winning recipe the Boys of Troy and with the undefeated, No. 4-ranked John Barsby Bulldogs on the horizon this coming weekend, Hugh Boyd’s Trojans knew it was time to play their best game of the season.
Quarterback Byron Ruvalcaba threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to slotback Zach Jackson as the Trojans won a fourth-quarter filled with fireworks against Parksville’s Ballenas Whalers.
“A huge win for our team,” said Hugh Boyd head coach Bill Haddow. “Ballenas has really had our number over the past few years. The win in nice, and especially after they really embarrassed us last year.”
Ruvalcaba threw touchdown passes to both Jackson and Shakur Lopez to carry the Trojans into the fourth quarter with a 14-7 lead.
Another TD grab by Jackson, a 35-yard rushing touchdown by Reace Mok and a safety off an errant Ballenas snap all contributed to the late surge by the winners.
“It’s definitely time to move on,” said Haddow. “I can’t take these close games week after week. I’m sure I’ve sheared a few years off of my life this year.”
No. 1 WINDSOR 41 at ARGYLE 20
NORTH VANCOUVER — Ryan Baker turned a tight game into a decisive victory for B.C.’s No. 1-ranked Double A team.
The Windsor Dukes’ quarterback loosened the uncomfortable 21-12 grip his team held over the crosstown rival Pipers in the third quarter by first throwing a 65-yard touchdown pass to Sean Werbwoski, then scooping up a fumble recovery and returning it 65 yards for another score.
“Ryan Baker is such a talent,” said Pipers’ head coach Wayne Theobald. “Every time they needed a big play, he delivered. He was the difference today. We hung tough in the first half but those two big plays early in the third quarter really sunk us.”
And thoise aforementioned plays were prefaced by the Windsor defence’s ability to stop Argyle on downs after the Pipers had moved inside the Dukes’ 10-yard line.
Baker was 13-of-16 for 225 yards and two TDs to Werbowski, who caught six passes for 132 yards. Baker also rushed for 104 yards and two scores while Werbowksi and Julien Perri also rushed for majors.
Argyle quarterback Mac Ward threw three touchdown passes in the loss, including a pair to Devin O’Hea.
Defensively, the Dukes were led by the return of defensive end Mitch Townsend who recorded six tackles, including a sack. Baker had five tackles, and receiver/defensive back Ben McMichael played a huge role on both sides of the ball for a Dukes’ team which is challenged for depth across the board. Despite the fact O’Hea caught two TD passes, McMichael did a superb job in coverage against the opposition’s ace receiver.
“We needed our skill players to have a better performance this week and they rose to that challenge,” said Windsor head coach Jim Schuman. “Hopefully we can build on that for next week.”
HOLY CROSS 6 at No. 4 JOHN BARSBY 31
NANAIMO — Cam Wright threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to Ethan Laing as the No. 4 John Barsby Bulldogs (6-0, 2-0) kept Surrey’s Holy Cross Crusaders (0-5, 0-2) winless on the season.
After a scoreless first half, Wright threw a 50-yaRd TD strike to Kole Postema and then a three-yard scoring strike to Laing for a 12-0 lead. Holy Cross scored its only of the major just before the break on a 30-yard TD catch by Gabe Takeawoa, who also made an interception on defence.
The Bulldogs’ tailback Steen Rasmussen scored on a 55-yard toss in the third quarter, and in the fourth, the home team added points off a pair of two-yard scores.
The first came on an off-tackle run by Dave Wicks to cap a 70-yard drive, and the second on Wright’s short pass to Laing.
Defensively, Barsby linebackers Colin Nutting and Zach Taylor each had an interception and Andrew Ranftal recoverd a fumble.
“Our defense played very well against the run in the second half,” admitted Barsby head coach Rob Stevenson. “In the first half, the Holy Cross offensive line was giving us fits with some great double teams inside. Special teams were strong today for us, but we took way too many penalties and have to clean up our act to have a chance against a very solid and dangerous Hugh Boyd squad next week.”
Added Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau: “Again a tale of two halves. We had a very good first half and our mistakes in the second hurt us.”
Linebackers Connor Hurley and Christian Exley did a solid job in slowing the Bulldogs’ run game.
AAA PACIFIC CONFERENCE
HANDSWORTH 17 at NANAIMO DISTRICT 12
NANAIMO — The host Islanders blocked a Handsworth field goal with under four minutes remaining, but followed by surrendering a game-deciding pick-six as North Vancouver’s visiting Royals (1-0) topped Nanaimo District (1-1).
“We were able to find some traction in the third and fourth quarters,” said Islanders head coach Nate Stevenson, “but that late interception was unfortunate. It was a tough game, well contested by both sides. A hard one to think about long range as it looks to be one loss and you are out of the dance in the Pacific.”
Handsworth Grade 11 Keelan White scored both of his team’s touchdowns in the win, finishing his day on offence with 117 yards rushing, 102 yards in receptions, and 140 yards in the return game.
Nanaimo District quarterback Maren Bradbrooke finished with 124 all-purpose yards and rushed for two scores of one yard and 13 yards.
An interception return in the third quarter set up White’s first touchdown and gave the Royals a 10-6 lead. Bradbrooke then answered, capping an 80-yard Isles’ drive with a 13-yard TD run, but the extra-point failed and NDSS led 12-10.
Handsworth’s later push into NDSS territory ended with a blocked field goal however White picked off Bradbrooke and returned it for the winning score.
Evan Currie, with two interceptions and nine tackles, led the Handsworth defence. He also stepped in to play quarterback in the second half and threw for 70 yards.
Defensive ends Hugh Dawson and Theo Benedet each sacked Bradbrooke while Tate Williams kicked a 40-yard field goal.
Finn Bradbrooke led the Isles with seven tackles from his strong safety spot. Zephyr Melnyk and Clayton Hennessy had six tackles apiece while Seb Deggan had a sack among his five tackles and returned a fumble recovery 38 yards.