Welcome to the Saturday edition of Varsity Letters’ B.C High School Football Report.
KELOWNA 13 at MISSION 36
MISSION — An early scoring drive wasn’t enough to rattle them, and when they found their stride, the Misson Roadrunners looked every bit a team ready to go to 4-1 in the tough Eastern Conference.
“We knew that they had a good quarterback who could take over games and he did that on their first drive, converting on a couple of third-and-longs,” said Mission head coach Danny Jakobs of the Owls’ Isaaac Athans.
“But after that initial drive we did a better job of pressuring him and keeping him in the pocket.”
Mission responded with an opening touchdown drive of their own, capping it when quarterback Jackson Trask called his own number from three yards out.
“As the game wore on we really controlled the clock with some extended drives,” said Jakobs. “Kelowna was well prepared and it was tough going against a very competitive front.”
With Mission holding a 16-7 lead, Trask hit receiver Tyson Bongo for a 40-yard touchdown on the last play of the half.
On the day, Keegan Royal continued his great year with 102 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Cody McMahon had 13 carries for 98 yards and a score while Matt Roadhouse had four carries for 32 yards and a another major for the Roadrunners (4-3, 4-1)
“We felt very confident with our plan on defence to counter their double-wing offence,” Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright explained of his Owls (2-5, 1-4). “We knew it was going to be a battle to stop. We could not stop it in the second half.”
The Owls lost Athans late in the second half to injury and also lost their star linebacker Tyler Klotzbach in the first quarter.
“When you lose two of your leaders, it definitely hurts,” said Cartwright.
The Owls did struggle getting their passing game going, getting just 39 yards through the air.
Running back Storm Buck, however, rushed for 138 yards and scored both of the Owls’ touchdowns.
“At the end of the day, we as a team need to reflect on how we approached this game and ask ourselves the tough questions,” said Cartwright whose charges play host to red-hot St. Thomas More this Friday at the Apple Bowl.
“Our kids are really starting to understand the mental preparation part of the game,” Jakobs said of his ‘Runners. “They are putting a ton of time in watching film to get ready for games.”
Mission plays host to No. 1 Lord Tweedsmuir on Saturday.
SEAQUAM 3 at SOUTH DELTA 6
TSAWWASSEN — Despite giving the defensive performance of its season against one of the province’s most dynamic quarterbacks, the Seaquam Seahawks (1-6, 1-5) couldn’t get the ‘W’ they so desperately sought against the South Delta Sun Devils (3-3, 3-3).
“I am very proud of the effort put forward by the team today,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand, whose team kicked a field goal to lead 3-0 at the half and made that score stand until the late stages.
That’s when Sun Devils’ quarterback Ben McDonald hit Ethan Troniak with the winning 22-yard touchdown pass.
“It was definitely our best defensive performance of the season to limit South Delta to only six points,” said Chand afterwards, applauding his graduating seniors — Ryan Sim, Max Sache, Chase Malenstyn, Antonio Pamintuan , Brody Clark and Jacob Anderson — for their effort.
“It was not one of our better performances,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon.
McDonald went 15-of-31 for 187 yards and also rushed for 94 yards. Evan Paterson topped the receivers with 94 yards in catches.
Andrew Kraft had seven tackles and two sacks for the winning defence.
Seaquam plays at New Westminster on Friday, while South Delta hosts Notre Dame on Saturday.
WINDSOR 35 at No. 2 BALLENAS 21
PARKSVILLE — Ben Chomolok found a way to pass the ball Saturday against visiting Windsor, yet a lack of balance from the hometown Whalers (4-2, 1-2) and tremendous execution from the defending B.C. champs added up to a win for North Vancouver’s undefeated Dukes (4-0, 3-0).
Windsor’s Ryan Werbowski rushed 22 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns, including a 71-yard scoring run early in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Dukes’ quarterback Dimitri Volev had a superb day passing, going 12-of-15 for 200 yards, often at critical times, throwing three touchdowns.
Two of those TD strikes went to Jeremy Sinclair who caught seven passes for 118 yards.
“We were happy with our passing attack,” said Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn. “Ben threw for 268 yards and Scotty (Williams) caught seven passes for 160 yards and all three of our touchdowns.
“But we were frustrated that Windsor shut down our run game,” added Conn. “We had too many errors by our kick returners bobbling the ball, too many penalties, but you have to give credit to Windsor. Their coaches did a great job, especially with their offense, finding ways to make big plays happen on the perimetre.”
Windsor head coach Jim Schuman watched as his defence helped the Dukes beat their first ranked foe of the season.
“Defensively we had a great team effort,” said Schuman. “Our vets really played to their potential today.”
Defensive end and offensive tackle Darren Baker stepped out of the shadow of his older brother, 2017 title-winning QB Ryan Baker, with a great day up front on both sides of the ball. Mitch Townsend, Sinclair and Werbowski all led the tackling effort.
“We continue to get steady improvement from our young and first-year talent,” added Schuman of corners and receivers Malcolm Ouchi, Jacob Groves and Aiden Gallagher. “All competed and performed well despite the fact it was their first intense rivalry game.”
Added Conn of a Whalers’ team that has now lost in the conference in back-to-back weeks: “They are the defending B.C. champs for a reason and we need to look at what we did well and what we need to improve on, and make a late push to get into the playoffs and get rolling as well as I know we can play.”
HOWE SOUND 0 at No. 3 HOLY CROSS 28
SURREY — A three-game conference win streak has Surrey’s Crusaders (5-1, 3-1) sitting in a position for top spot in AA’s best circuit.
On Saturday, Holy Cross ran into a very tough group of Howe Sound Sounders (1-3, 1-3), turning the ball over twice in the red zone and going to the half in a scoreless draw.
However the finishing touch of Grade 11 receiver T.J. Fujimura was the second-half elixir the hosts needed en route to a comfortable win.
“Howe Sound played really tough the entire first half but we went into half time and we were able to make the necessary adjustments which helped us get into a really good rhythm offensively,” said Crusaders’ head coach Conrad Deugau.
That all started when senior pivot Andrew Hunt hit Fujimura in the third quarter for 67-yard touchdown.
Hunt then found Jonathan Takeaowa on a 17-yard slant for the major score, and later Fujimura again on a 45-yard pass-and-run.
Fujimura added a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap off a great day.
“Defensively, we were a force off the edge,” said Deugau after Grade 11 book-end defensive ends Uyi Ologhola and Kekeli Agbenu combined for nine sacks, with senior Matthew Fraser cleaning up things in the middle of the line.
The win clinches a playoff berth for the Crusaders, who step out of conference this coming Friday by hosting AAA expansionists and Surrey neighbours Sullivan Heights.
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