LANGLEY — Welcome to the second season.
The Subway Bowl playoffs opened on six fronts at both the Triple-A and Double-A tiers on Friday and we’ve got reports from all six games. Five more game follow Saturday.
SUBWAY BOWL PLAYOFFS
KELOWNA 7 at MT. DOUGLAS 35
VICTORIA — Even the Sharpe Brothers — Sterling and Shannon — never got to play on the same team together.
Mt. Douglas’ Kremler Brothers not only get to take to the field on offence together, on Friday, as the Subway Bowl playoffs opened in the provincial capital, the pair played a bigpart in all five of the Rams’ touchdowns in a win over the visiting Kelowna Owls.
Zairech Kremler totalled 314 yards in passing and rushing, opening his night with a 22-yard rushing major in the first quarter, then capping it with 73- and 56-yard scoring runs in the second quarter..
Quarterback Gideone Kremler, who threw for 174 yards, connected with Zairech on a 96-yard TD strike and also hit Eddy Shala for a 36-yard major.
Sam Mosky rushed for a further 70 yards in the victory.
“We were very concerned about Kelowna because they have an explosive team, aggressive defence and are well-coached,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend whose team now hits the quarterfinal round and gets a matchup against the red-hot St. Thomas More Knights next week.”We are happy to come away with the win but there are some areas to clean up including penalties.”
Aiden Bertuzzi led the charge for the Rams’s defence with seven tackles and a sack. Cole Bunting made six tackles and a fumble recovery. Dante Carbone and each of the Kremlers recorded four tackles apiece, while Sebastian Hansen and Shala both made interceptions.
“It was a tough loss,” said Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright. “I’m disappointed with what type of game it turned out to be. My heart goes out to our senior players who played their last game.”
W.J. MOUAT 14 at NOTRE DAME 56
BURNABY — Will Clarke was feeling under the weather so the Notre Dame Jugglers looked to back-up quarterback Matt Glover to take them over the top and that’s precisely what the senior jack-of-all-trades did as part of a resounding win over Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Hawks.
After running back Teon Alexander-Amour went 75 yards to the house on the game’s first snap, Glover — also a defensive back, punter and kicker — threw a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Jerrell Cummings and then added another score on a five-yard run in the second quarter.
Cummings’ touchdown receptions came on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter, one of from 30 yards and the other from 25 yards, en route to a 35-0 halftime lead.
The Jugglers added four more majors in the second half, including a 95-yard kick-off return to begin the third quarter by Cummings,a 50-yard strip-and-score by linebacker Cameron Mah and six-yard run by Levi Austria.
“It was unusual to line up against my old team and friends at Mouat,” said Kelly who formerly built the Hawks into a perennial title contender over a long and distinguished career in Abbotsford that concluded when he joined the staff of the SFU Clan as an assistant in 2015.
“They played well overall but were victimized by a familiar foe: turnovers,” Kelly continued of Mouat. “We can relate because that was us last week against VC. Mouat has some quality athletes and (head ocach) Travis (Bell) is doing a nice job with them.”
For W.J. Mouat, Ebiye Okoko-Chomseng carried nine times for 77 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Tyran Duval had nine carries for 50 yards and a score.
Duval was also 7-of-15 for 69 yards. Keenan Barker caught four passes for 41 yards.
“Not our best effort, and against a quality opponent those can turn for the worse pretty quickly,” said Bell. “That being said, our guys have a lot to be proud of. I think we had a great effort in the second half. We are optimistic about the future of our program and hope to be able to compete with programs like Notre Dame in the not too distant future.”
The Jugglers go on to face the winner of Saturday’s 5:30 p.m.weekend finale between Terry Fox and Carson Graham at SFU, in next week’s quarterfinals.
ABBOTSFORD 7 at NEW WESTMINSTER 44
NEW WESTMINSTER — The host Hyacks made their first step into the post-season a successful one, knowing full well they needed to find their stride quickly if they want to keep their season alive next week.
“It was a good start to the post season, but now we’ll really need to play our best game of the season against the number one ranked team in the province,” said New Westminster head coach Farhan Lalji, whose team will move into the quarterfinals next week against Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers. “They are talented across the board and they are the team to beat.”
New Wesminster got ready by limiting the eastern Fraser Valley’s run, run, run Panthers to 116 yards on 41 carries en route to a convincing victory.
The Hyacks, who uncharacteristically closed out the regular season by losing three of their last four Western Conference games, are starting to get back to health.
A healthy Kinsale Philip, in his second game back from injury, turned in a solid defensive effort with a team-leading seven tackles.
The team’s starting quarterback, he also led the Hyacks on consecutive scoring drives to open the game, the first capped by running back Broxx Comia’s 35-yard touchdown run, and the second off his own one-yard run for a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Comia, in fact, was a real finisher.
As part of a game in which he carried six times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, he made it 22-7 New West in the second quarter with a three-yard run, then caught a 36-yard TD pass from Philip to make it 30-7 at halftime.
The scoring was rounded out in the third quarter, Shaye Rathjen’s 41-yard interception return score, followed by Himmat Garcha’s 15-yard rushing major made the 44-7 final complete.
Abbotsford’s 116 yards along the ground was the extent of its offence as it went 0-for-3 through the air.
“Abbotsford committed to running the ball and competed hard,” said Lalji. “Broxx was very explosive whenever he touched the ball and Kinsale is starting to get more comfortable in his second game back. He was one of a number of kids who turned in a good defensive effort. Evan (Nolli), Vishaan (Narayan) and Matthew (Lalim) all stood out.”
NANAIMO DISTRICT 14 at ST. THOMAS MORE 27
BURNABY — The St. Thomas More Knights drew, for their opening-round playoff match-up, perhaps the province’s most-improved AAA team over the course of the regular season.
Yet even though the Pacific Conference champion Nanaimo District Islanders played a tough, hard-nosed game, the Knights were still able to blend what for their offence has become a trademark of big-play passing efficiency and tough running.
Eastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year Dario Ciccone threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Nacario, and Julian Valerio followed with a 40-yard rushing major for a 14-0 lead after the first quarter en route to a 13-point win and a berth in next week’s quarterfinals.
St. Thomas More will next meet the winner of Saturday’s game in the provincial capital between Kelowna and Mt. Douglas.
In the second half Friday, Ciccone rushed seven yards for a third-quarter major, later completing deep balls to both Vasco Repole and Nacario on a drive capped by a 10-yard Rickey Parsons 19-yard scoring run.
“It was a hard-fought contest,” said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson, whose quarterback Finn Bradbrooke finished off a banner high school career by rushing 20 times for 156 yards and both of his team’s touchdowns, each of which came after the Knights had built a 27-0 lead in the final quarter.
The pivot turned an option play into a 65-yard run to the end zone, then later scored off an 11 yard run.
Bradbrooks’ effort earned the praise of STM head coach Steve De Lazzari.
“Full credit to Nanaimo District,” he said. “They competed hard all game and Bradbrooke was an elite player who ran the ball extremely well.”
The Knights’s defence got a huge boost with the return from injury of two-way star Sam Steele, whose nine tackles and presence gave the defence the kind of depth and toughness that helped the hosts pitch an opening there quarters of shutout football at Burnaby Lakes.
“We kept hammering away at the edges but the breaks just wouldn’t materialize, NDSS’ Stevenson added of a season which closed with an 8-2 overall record. “We could get some momentum going but not enough to hit the end zone. STM has a fast and flowing defence that gets to the ball well. It wasn’t until the second half that things started to move. Still, it was a great effort put out by our D. We had a good scout going in and it played out well.”
Colin Dalla Vecchia led all Knights’ tacklers with 12 followed by Daniel Auld with 11.
“This was Sam Steele’s first game on both sides of the ball, and his influence was immediately felt,” said De Lazzari. “It was great to finally have him back.”
Ciccone, Valerio and Marc Abboud combined to carry just 16 times but the trio provided 184 yards two scores behind a healthy 11.5 avg. ypc.
SOUTH DELTA 45 at MISSION 22
ABBOTSFORD — The South Delta Sun Devils’ nick-of-time win streak not only saved their regular season.
On Friday the Sun Devils pushed that win streak to four games by hitting the road and outscoring the host Roadrunners in the opening round of the Subway Bowl playoffs at Mouat Secondary’s turf field.
In fact the last time the Sun Devils lost was back on Oct. 6 when they gave the Vancouver College Fighting Irish the toughest push of their season before falling 35-34.
Now, the Sun Devils will meet the Irish again, this time with the winner earning a spot in the provincial semifinals.
Quarterback Ben McDonald went 10-of-24 for 116 yards, numbers below his norm, yet the slinger still threw for four touchdowns. He also carried eight times for 60 yards.
On South Delta’s first snap, McDonald went 60 yards to Ethan Troniak for a touchdown. He also threw strikes of six and 13 yards to Evan Paterson, the latter also scoring on a 40-yard fumble recovery.
Andrew Kraft, who carried 16 times for 145 yards, rushed for a 40-yard touchdown. Colton McDougall rounded out the scoring when he caught a three-yard touchdown pass from McDonald.
“Mission is a team with a never-say-die attitude and they fought to the final whistle,” said South Delta head coach Ray Moon, whose team led 38-8 at halftime.
“We worked hard all week to try to defend their unusual offence and it paid off with a lot of team-tackling against their double-wing,” added Moon after Kraft registered seven tackles and two sacks.
McDonald added five tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery, while two of Brett Hauser’s four tackles went for negative yardage. Paterson had three tackles in addition to his fumble recovery TD.
Linebacker Brad Racette-Wilson led the Islanders defence with six tackles and a fumble recovery while corner Clayton Hennessy has four tackles and a sack.
BALLENAS 21 at LANGLEY 14
LANGLEY — The Ballenas Whalers made their biggest defensive play on the final snap of the game Friday at McLeod Stadium, stopping the host Saints on a rush at the two-yard line to preserve victory.
“Another great Langley-Ballenas game,” said Whalers’ head coach Jeremy Conn of what was a re-match of last season’s AA JV title tilt, also won by the Vancouver Island school.
“Both teams knew each other well and made adjustments all game,” continued Conn, whose all-weather Whalers, at one stage of the season ranked No. 2, continue in the elements next week in the quarterfinals at No. 1-ranked Vernon.
Demar Hohnstein carried 25 times for 119 yards, rushing for touchdowns of five and three yards as the Whalers led 14-7 at halftime and 21-7 after the third quarter.
Quarterback Ben Chomolok hit Nate Robinson with a 38-yard touchdown pass for the Whalers’ other major score.
Hohnstein’s eight tackles led the winning defence with Steve Boley adding six more.
On the same side of the draw, Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies play at Prince George’s Kelly Road Roadrunners on Saturday (2 p.m.).
On the other side of the draw are the opening week’s only other Double-A contests. Both scheduled for Saturday.
Windsor heads to Vernon to face Clarence Fulton, while South Kamloops is at Prince George’s Masich Stadium to face the host Polars.
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