LANGLEY — Friday Night’s lights are shining once again.
Welcome to Varsity Letter’ weekly Friday night special, our look around the province at all of our senior varsity high school action.
Please keep checking back throughout the evening for more updates.
SEAQUAM 29 at NEW WESTMINSTER 42
NEW WESTMINSTER — Broxx Comia and the Hyacks were in a rush to snap a rare two-game conference losing streak on Friday night at Mercer Stadium and they wound up doing it in style.
Comia carried just five times but gained 146 yards, scoring the game’s first two touchdowns on runs of 83 and 58 yards.
On the night, the Hyacks — coming off a bye week after losing the previous two weeks to Vancouver College and Notre Dame — gashed North Delta’s Seahawks (0-7, 0-6) for 355 yards on the ground.
“It was nice to finally get a win again,” said Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji as his defending Subay Bowl champs get set to play their final regular-season game next week. “It feels like it’s been a while. And it’s especially nice to win on Seniors Night. Our offence was fairly explosive in the first half. We scored on our first touch and went from there.”
Payton Myers on a 58-yard run made it 21-0 in the second quarter before Seaqaum finally answered.
The teams then went on to trade scores before the break, the Hyacks’ touchdown coming on a seven-yard pass from Payton Myers to Ajang Chol.
Behind majors from Kingsley (17-yard run) and Taran Birdi (68-yard pick-six), New Westminster went up 42-15 in the fourth quarter before pesky Seaquam added two late touchdowns to round out the scoring.
“We do need to be more disciplined going forward,” added Lalji. “We will not be able to give back any yards and points next week against Mt. Douglas or any team we face in the playoffs.”
Myers rushed for 83 yards and Kingsley 81 yards. Evan Nolli’s six tackles led the winners on defence.
ABBOTSFORD 14 at No. 4 TERRY FOX 45
COQUITLAM — The Terry Fox Ravens (7-2, 4-2) got back into the win column in impressive fashion.
Liam Cumarasamy carried eight times for 127 yards and four touchdowns, while Jaden Severy carried 11 times for 158 yards and two more majors in a convincing win over the Abbotsford Panthers (5-3, 3-3), the victory coming on the heels of a 28-21 loss last week to St. Thomas More.
“Tonight we played with a lot of grit a lot of passion,” said Ravens’ head coach Martin McDonnell. “We played for each other. You could really tell that the guys were into the game tonight.
“Jaden and Liam ran the ball extremely well and were really tough, we’re so proud of the effort and looking forward to our game against Centennial next week.”
Jalem Catlin rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns in the loss for the Panthers, Luke Szmutko led the team in tackles with six.
“Fox dominated the offensive line and we had trouble with gap control all night,” said Panthers’ head coach Jay Fujimura. “They have three really good backs behind that line and played downhill on us all game.
“I thought we played well on offence in spurts and were able the move the ball, but it was tough to come up with points in the end.”
Things get no easier for the Panthers. They close out the regular season by hosting No. 1 Lord Tweedsmuir this coming Friday.
No. 2 ST. THOMAS MORE 51 at KELOWNA 14
KELOWNA — Michael Simone and Marc Abboud set the table, and Julian Valerio scored on both offence and special teams as the St. Thomas More Knights (7-1, 5-1) beat the host Owls (2-6, 1-1-5).
Abboud carried nine times for 140 yards, including the Knights’ first touchdown of the game off a one-yard run after the Owls had opened the scoring.
STM quarterback Dario Ciccone scored the next two touchdowns, on runs of seven and 27 yards, but both majors came off of big, ground-eating plays.
The first came off a drive that included a 50-yard catch by Simone, while the second came on a drive that included a 43-yard run by Abboud.
Valerio scored his first major off a nine-yard run resulting from a blocked punt by Daniel Auld, then capped things with his second off a 35-yard counter. Auld had five sacks on defence.
Matthew Lemp’s 30-yard fumble recovery TD, and a safety by Andrew Takacs accounted for the rest of the STM scoring.
“Our offense had some struggles and we didn’t manage the go ahead score until just before the half,” said STM head coach Steve De Lazzari, whose team was facing a Kelowna squad missing its dynamic young starting quarterback Isaac Athans.
Grade 11 Elijas Fedorick took his place in command of the huddle.
“Kelowna gave us a great battle in the first half and we have to give a tonne of credit to coach (Chris) Cartwright and the Owls with their execution and level of compete with some key players missing.”
On the defensive side for the Knights, Colin Dalla Vecchia has six tackles, Simone and Jack Wagner with five each and Kaishaun Carter with two tackles and two sacks. Alex Cordeiro was good on six PATs.
“It’s been our struggle many times this season and keeping the intensity in the second half has been an issue.” said Cartwright, whose team will close the regular season next week against crosstown rival Mt. Boucherie. “It really comes down to the players believing that they can. I’m going to continue to support our leaders to take ownership in this as it is the kids that need to demand the effort from each other.”
No. 1 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 28 at MISSION 0
MISSION — They are one win away from being Perfect Panthers.
After a 28-0 win over the host Mission Roadrunners (4-4, 4-2) Surrey’s No. 1-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (7-1, 6-0) have only a road date next Friday against the Abbotsford Panthers standing between them and an undefeated Eastern Conference season.
But Friday’s shutout win was by no means an easy one.
“Mission’s offence took a real physical toll and we feel fortunate to come away with the shutout,” said Tweedsmuir head coach Kurt Thornton whose team didn’t score until late in the second quarter. “Our defence played great and the offence made the plays we needed to get the job done. Some of the linemen really ground it out today. I was very proud of this team today.”
The Panthers opened the scoring, capping a long drive with a one-yard sneak by quarterback Trey Jones for a 7-0 halftime lead.
On the second play of the second half, Jones hit Josef Drysdale with a 60-yard TD pass.
Kojo Odoom later scored on a 32-yd run, before Kaiden Lilley wrapped up the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown run.
“Lord Tweedsmuir was a big physical team and today they won the line of scrimmage,” said Mission head coach Danny Jakobs. “We just could not get any sustained drives and I give them full credit for being very prepared and more physical than us. It was a good test for us and we have to be able to play at a high intensity for a full game.”
Noah Anderson carried 13 times for 92 yards while Drysdale made good on all four of PATs.
Graeme Godard, Colton Cameron and Nathan Gernon each had eight tackles and Kyle Dodd six for the winners.
Godard and Adison Sadler each blocked a punt.
Taylor Fleming led the way on defence for Mission with six tackles while Easton Stapleton registered the team’s only sack.
Alec Bolland carried 11 times for 61 yards and Keegan Royal had 11 carries for 31 yards.
The Roadrunners will close out the regular season on Friday at No. 2 St. Thomas More.
SARDIS 0 at W.J. MOUAT 43
ABBOTSORD — Dynamic players make dynamic plays, and the W.J. Mouat Hawks showed Friday they have their share of them.
“This game was one of big plays for us,” said Hawks head coach Travis Bell, whose team can clinch a playoff berth with a victory next week against West Vancouver. “We were able to block a first quarter punt and recover it for a touchdown, return a second quarter interception for a touchdown, and score a few touchdowns on long plays.”
All combined, it was enough to give Mouat (6-1, 6-1) its fourth straight win.
Expansion Sardis (3-4, 3-4), after three straight conference wins, has now dropped its last three.
Hawks’ quarterback Tyran Duval passed for 147 yards including TDs to Nathan Hausermann and Everett Carter.
Hausermann also rushed 10 times for 103 yards and a score while fellow backfield mate Ebiye Okoko-Chomseng carried eight times for 89 yards and a pair of majors.
Carter finished with three catches for 79 yards, including his 62-yard TD grab.
“I was impressed with Mouat’s execution and discipline all night,” said Sardis head coach Adam Smith. “Travis has everyone bought in and it shows. We got beat on every aspect of the game and beat bad. As (John Barsby) coach (Rob) Stevenson said a few weeks back, ‘It starts at the top’ and I take full blame for this. I need to help these guys prepare better next week.”
Mouat’s Ethan Erickson had four tackles, a sack, and a touchdown after recovering the ball on teammate Keenan Barker’s blocked a punt. Barker also had five tackles and Dhag Mora finished with a pick-six.
ERIC HAMBER 3 at NANAIMO DISTRICT 28
NANAIMO — A sixth straight conference win kept the host Islanders (7-1, 6-1) in the driver’s seat for the Pacific crown with one more week of play remaining.
Halfback Sal Raap-Kopiyka opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run and closed it by catching a 30-yard strike from quarterback Finn Bradbrooke.
Inbetween, Bradbrooke went 33 yards to Clayton Hennesy for a score, and after the Griffins booted a field goal, Anthony Comas turned the ensuing kickoff into a major score.
“Our defence played lights out tonight,” said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson of a unit which managed three picks, including a pair from Comas, and strong linebacking play from Jamie McColm who had four tackles.
“I was pleased with our passing game tonight,” added Stevenson. “Bradbrooke (7-16, 129 yards) was able to connect with several different receivers and get the ball out quickly. Our O line played a great game and kept the pressure to a minimum. Hamber showed with a smaller squad but they played game to the final whistle.”
Added Hamber head coach Bobby Gibson, whose team held NDSS to just 95 yards rushing on the game: “Our guys showed a lot of heart, never quit and can keep their heads high.”
Hamber closes out the season next Saturday at home to Sardis. Nanaimo District can claim the division title with a win next Friday against winless Sullivan Heights.
WEST VANCOUVER 44 at SPECTRUM 0
VICTORIA —Opening the Pacific Conference season against toughies Nanaimo District and Rutland saddled the West Vancouver Highlanders (5-3, 4-2) with an 0-2 mark.
A stretch of four winnable games started them in the face, however, and on Friday they ran the table after traveling to the provincial capital to top the host Thunder (2-5, 2-5).
“They were undermanned but they were tough,” said West Vancouver head coach Pooya Dourandish of Spectrum. “It was impressive to see such a young team with little depth fight for the whole game.”
Spectrum opened on offence, and instead of punting from their own goal line, elected to concede a safety.
Highlanders’ receiver Aidan Izadi returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, and that set the tone for a first half filled with big plays.
Quarterback Ben Welsh threw a pair of TD strikes to receiver Matt Lane, and also connected with Connor Chapman for another.
Chapman later returned the second-half kick-off for a major.
Lane later caught his third TD pass of the game from back-up pivot Nolan Zen.
SULLIVAN HEIGHTS 6 at AA No. 3 HOLY CROSS 36
SURREY — The Holy Cross Crusaders (6-1, 3-1) kept their form and fortunes in tact Friday.
One week ahead of its huge, regular season-ending game at Windsor, the Crusaders collected a comfortable 36-6 win over the AAA expansionist Sullivan Heights Stars (0-9, 0-6).
The Crusaders can go to 4-1 with a win over Windsor, and would wind up tied with John Barsby. However Holy Cross holds the tiebreaker by virtue of its 21-6 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 13.
If Windsor wins, it would go to 4-1, however the Dukes lost 38-12 to visiting Barsby on Friday, and thus the Bulldogs would hold that tiebreaker.
Holy Cross quarterback Andrew Hunt rushed for one score and threw for another in the win, while Silas Marchan rushed for one score, and also caught the first senior varsity TD pass of back-up pivot Grayson Wilson-Palm’s career.
Running back Jack Laurin also rushed for a score.
“It was a good day to get all our guys in and it was a great team effort,” said Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau. “Everyone played their role and we executed well. Most importantly, our Grade 12’s won their last home game they will ever play.”
Last season, the Crusaders won their last game of the season, but it was also their only win of the entire campaign.
SAMUEL ROBERTSON 0 at ROBERT BATEMAN 57
ABBOTSFORD — To hear Robert Bateman head coach David Mills tell it: “It was a day when everything went our way.
“I am proud of our execution today,” continued Mills of his Timberwolves (4-2, 2-0). “SRT was down a few key players, but they battled hard all game. This was the last game at the school for our seniors and we sent them out with a bang.”
The win also gives the Wolves their first home playoff game in program history, although because they play on a turf field they can’t truly host.
Quarterback Logan McDonald went 11-of-14 for 122 yards and four touchdowns and even caught one of his own from Ty Martens on a short pass.
Martens caught just two passes for a total of six yards, but each went for touchdowns, and they accounted for the Wolves’ first two scores of the game.
In addition to his 10-yard pass to McDonald, Martens also threw a 23-yard scoring strike to Jordan Fayant, and made an interception.
“We were very efficient in all three phases of the game today, but we will have to clean up a few things ahead of next week’s important game against Langley and then into playoffs,” said Mills.
No. 4 JOHN BARSBY 38 at No. 2 WINDSOR 12
NORTH VANCOUVER — John Barsby head coach Rob Stevenson couldn’t have asked for much more from his Bulldogs (6-2, 4-1) in their final regular season game.
“It was a very inspired performance in all three phases of the game against a very sound and well-coached Windsor football team,” said Stevenson after his charges produced the performance of their season thus far to hand the Dukes (4-1, 3-1) their first loss of the season.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys,” the coach continued, “what a great way to finish the regular season.”
Quarterback Cam Wright went 7-of-13 for 269 yards a pair of touchdowns, including an electric 97-yard throw to slot receiver Steen Rasmussen.
On the ground, the Bulldogs turned 32 rushes for 241 yards with multiple ball-carriers producing three touchdowns.
“Defensively we swarmed to the ball,” said Stevenson of a unit led by linebackers Zach Taylor with 13 tackles and one sack and Jacub Gillman with eight tackles.
“Barsby as usual was well prepared and played with great enthusiasm, ball pursuit, tackling and execution,” said Windsor head coach Jim Schuman. “As a team we learned that we have to improve our daily habits and work on improving our fundamentals and understanding of basic football concepts.”
Defensively, Windsor was led by linebackers Mitch Townsend (12 tackles) and Jeremy Sinclair (8 tackles). Dukes’ quarterback Dimitri Volev completed 14-of-26 passes for 156 yards.
“We will get back to the basics with the hope that we will provide a very good Holy Cross team a more competitive game than we did today,” said Schuman.
WESTSYDE 0 at NO. 1 VERNON 42
VERNON — The Vernon Panthers have proven that they can win through the air.
Friday, on a night where strong winds blew through Greater Vernon Athletics Park, the Panthers showed that they can also win a battle in the trenches.
With workhorse tailback Charles Lemay carrying the ball 15 times for 245 yards, five of which went for 20-plus yards, the Panthers (6-1, 3-0) moved to within a game of closing out Interior Conference regular season play with a comfortable win over Westsyde.
“Our offensive line did a great job moving bodies upfront today,” said Panthers head coach Sean Smith. “They played with confidence that we could get behind them and get large chunks of real estate.”
Smith called those hogs — Liam Alder, Mark Delasen, Brady Szeman, Jackson Thomas and Nathan Vasconcelos — the team’s MVPs.
“Of course, Charles did his part as well,” Smith began of Lemay. “I told them before the game that we were going to have to get our big boy pants on today… with the winds affecting the passing game and Westsyde having a big fullback and talented tailback, we knew that it was going to be physical. I was very happy with how we responded to that type of game on both sides of the ball.”
Vernon scored on all four first half possessions, and limited the Blue Wave to two first downs to take a 27-0 lead.
Lemay had four majors on the ground (1, 25, 55, 40 yards) while Drew Mackenzie and Caden Danbrook hauled in touchdown receptions from seven and 25 yards respectively. Quarterback Thomas Hyett completed 5 of 11 passes for 88 yards and two TDs.
The Panthers would add two majors in the second half to extend the lead to 42-0 in running time.
Defensively, newcomer A.J. Maher led all players with five tackles while Lemay, Danbrook and Trey Defoor contributed four each.
“This was another good test for our defence to see how we could stack up against a power team,” Smith said. “I thought our defensive line and linebackers passed with flying colours.”
Vernon closes out the regular season this coming Friday against crosstown rival Clarence Fulton.
SOUTH KAMLOOPS 40 at VALLEYVIEW 9
KAMLOOPS — A second-half rising carried the Titans (4-3, 1-2) to their first conference win of the season.
Clinging to a narrow 12-9 lead at halftime, South Kamloops scored its final 28 points unanswered to keep the Vikes (0-6, 0-4) winless.
“At halftime we challenged our guys’ ability to execute and they responded,” said Titans’ head coach J.P. Lancaster. “We were really happy to get some good production on offence. It felt like things finally clicked.”
Grade 11 quarterback Eric Crawford ran for a touchdown, and also threw touchdown passes of seven- and 36-yards to Hayden Fidanza and Callum Gorman respectively.
Running back Mike MacDonald rushed for a pair of scores and finished with 78 yards on nine carries.
Cohen Freeze rounded out the scoring with a pair of field goals.
SALMON ARM 7 at CLARENCE FULTON 14
VERNON — Evan Trottier threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Nate Foster and four yards to Ethan Schiman as the Maroons (4-4, 2-1) beat the Salmon Arm Golds (0-5) to get back to the .500 mark in advance of its Interior Conference regular-season finale this Friday against No. 1-ranked, crosstown rival Vernon.
“This was a dog fight for us,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller whose team scored its 14 points unanswered after falling behind early. “We seem to have a knack for playing close games. We had a bad first half, we were flat on offence and defense. Defensively we played better in the second half and it kind of gave us some momentum.”
Liam Gombrich shone along the defensive line, while linebackers Quinn Williamson and Dayton Ingenhaag each managed seven tackles.
1:30 p.m. — Notre Dame at South Delta, Handsworth at Vancouver College
1 p.m. — Earl Marriott at Rutland
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