Welcome to Saturday night’s edition of Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report.
AAA WESTERN CONFERENCE
No. 2 SOUTH DELTA 14 at No. 5 SEAQUAM 22
NORTH DELTA — What better way to signal the impending start of the second season in B.C. high school football than to show that you can win with the kind of defence which can take an offensive juggernaut completely out of its rhythm.
In the Battle of Delta, Saturday at Seaquam Secondary in North Delta, that’s precisely what the host and No. 5-ranked Seahawks (6-1, 4-1) did with a 22-14 win over the No. 2-ranked South Delta Sun Devils (7-2, 5-1).
“Our running game was lights out today,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand, whose team played keep away with nine minutes of fourth-quarter possession to nurse their eight-point lead. “We ate up a lot of clock which meant South Delta did not have the ball as much as they normally do.”
Seaquam started the game with a tone-setting sack of Sun Devils’ quarterback Michael Calvert in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead.
The Seahawks built their lead to 16-0 before South Delta running back Andrew Kraft was able to respond with a 20-yard TD run. The Hawks, however, answered back with another major before the break on a field-length drive and took a 22-6 lead into the half.
South Delta’s Jacob Kirk picked off Seaquam quarterback Josh Haydu and returned the miscue 45 yards for the second half’s only scoring play.
“We’ve had a number of bad games in a row and I’m not liking what’s happening,” said Sun Devils’ head coach Ray Moon. “We’ve got to get a lot smoother. We’ve got a big one coming up (against No. 1 New Westminster) and we’re going to work hard.”
Jalen Philpot was exceptional for the winners, the senior running back carrying 23 times for 152 yards and a touchdown, and also returning an interception 40 yards to the end zone.
Haydu also rushed for a score as the Seahawks, with Jello Juatco’s 84 yards boosting their total, finished with 287 yards along the ground.
“Our defensive line did a great job putting pressure on Michael Calvert,” added Chand of four sacks and multiple hurries. Tyson Philpot led team in tackles with nine while Dedar Jhooty (2) Gavin Murray and Rahul Chandra were all credited with sacks.
MT. DOUGLAS 26 at VANCOUVER COLLEGE 13
VANCOUVER — You can colour this one Kremler.
Mt. Douglas’ talented twins played leading roles as the Rams (4-4, 3-3) won a key road test Saturday against the Fighting Irish (2-7, 1-5).
Starting quarterback Gideone Kremler threw three touchdown passes, while running back Zairech Kremler rushed for one score and then caught a pass for another.
That, coupled with a defence led by the 14 tackles of Soren Hallschmid who also had an interception, continued to fuel the late-season momentum for the perennial title contenders.
Gideone Kremler went 72 yards to Sebastian Hansen to open the scoring, before Zairech, who rushed for 91 yards, scored on a two-yard run for a 12-0 lead.
Vancouver College came back to take the lead, pulling to within 12-6 when quarterback Eric Zychlinski threw a 14-yard touchdown to Owen Stewart, the going ahead 13-12 when Zachary McRae converted Nathan Hawes one-yard scoring run.
Gideone, who threw for 229 yards on the day, engineered the rally by first hitting Zairech with a six-yard TD toss, then going 13 yards through the air to running back Ben Pierik.
“Our defense was superb throughout the contest, and everyone on defense deserves a game ball against that very explosive Van College offence,” said Rams head coach Mark Townsend who paid praise to Hallschmid, Aiden Bertuzzi, Jake Ounsted, Ben Pierik, Ivan Xu, Hayden Naylor, as well as a host of others.
The Rams held the Irish to 63 rushing yards on 41 carries
Bertuzzi played his best game of the season registering 10 tackles and two sacks. Ounsted was again outstanding with seven tackles and two sacks. Pierik stepped up and played his best game of the year, and had six tackles, a sack and a blocked pass. Xu recorded seven tackles and Naylor had six tackles and an interception.
“Still some things we need to clean up on offense but overall, a good team win in a very competitive and physical game with Vancouver College,” said Townsend, whose charges wrap up the regular season next week against Seaquam.
Hawes led the Irish ground game with 17 carries for 39 yards, while Justin Lopez was the top receiver with three catches for 55 yards. Gavin Lunny led the defence with 12 tackles.
AA WESTERN CONFERENCE
HOLY CROSS 0 at BALLENAS 16
PARKSVILLE — Scoreless at the half, there was more than a feeling that a conceded third-quarter safety by the Holy Cross Crusaders (0-6, 0-3) was going to be enough for the host Whalers (2-6, 1-3) to win 2-0.
Tenth grade quarterback Ben Chomolok, however, capped Ballenas’ first scoring drive of the day when he scored on a one-yard run.
Teammate Damon Thompson later scored on a 32-yard run and that’s how it ended.
“This is a much better indication of how we play the Whaler Way,” said Ballenas head coach Dan Smith, “with many guys contributing. We made fewer mistakes and didn’t commit the kinds of penalties that have cost us games earlier this season. We were missing several starters but other guys stepped up and played great.”
Matt Giroux led the defense with eight tackles and Josh Rice added seven.
Clayton Hurst led the team in receiving and added a key interception to snuff out a Holy Cross late drive.
“We played really well defensively,” said Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau. “It was one of our best outings to date. The entire defence was firing today. I’m really happy with that. Offensively we struggled but we showed a lot of improvement. We just couldn’t capitalize on key opportunities.”
Both Holy Cross starting quarterback Nate Hunt and his Ballenas counterpart Ben Robinson sat out with injuries.
Ballenas can clinch a playoff berth, but to do so would have to upset No. 1 Windsor on the road this coming weekend.
AA OKANAGAN CONFERENCE
No. 2 VERNON 14 at CLARENCE FULTON 7
VERNON — The Panthers (6-1, 4-0) have not lost a league game since 2010 but on Friday night, the crosstown rival Clarence Fulton Maroons (5-2, 3-1) came as close as anyone has.
Leading 14-0 and looking to establish a three-score lead, a field goal attempt by Perez Vermeulen clanked off the post, cueing an Ike Olson-led comeback attempt.
The Maroons’ pivot hit Caden Doyle in stride for a 50-yard touchdown which pulled the unranked underdogs to within a score at 14-7 with under two minutes remaining. However the ensuing onside kick was not recovered and Vernon held on for the win.
“In the end, Vernon was the better team tonight,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “They took control of the line of scrimmage in the second half on both sides of the ball, and won the field position and time of possession battle.
“We did not do enough offensively to win the game,” he continued. “We had 209 yards of total offence and that is not enough. We did not do a good enough job of controlling the clock. We should have passed more and that is my fault as play-caller. Doyle was a standout again for us. He is a threat to score every time he has the ball.”
The game was scoreless until the third quarter when Vernon pivot Thomas Hyett hit Zack Smith with a 16-yard TD pass.
Charles Lemay, who rushed 27 times for 147 yards, put the Panthers up 14-0 when he scored from six yards.
“This was a great game played by both sides,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “I think both defences played outstanding today and there wasn’t a lot of open space out there for either team on offence. I was concerned about whether my boys would be able to match up to the physical style of play that Fulton plays, but they stepped up to the plate and impressed me with their tackling and sound gap responsibility. We left 17 points on the field and got inside their five-yard line twice without getting a point which really hurt us.”
Trey Defoor led all Vernon tacklers with a team season-high 10 solo tackles.
“I told Trey before the game that he was going to be our defensive MVP today because they were going to run a lot of misdirection his way,” said Smith. “For a defensive tackle to get 10 tackles is a testament to his film study and technique work this week because he had to do a lot of reading and reacting in tight quarters with very little time to spare.”
Olson went 10-of-15 for 153 yards in the loss, whole Doyle caught five passes for 125 yards. Quin Williamson led the defence with 10 tackles.
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