LANGLEY — Welcome to Nov. 5 Friday Night Lights edition of Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report.
Please keep checking back on this posting over the course of the evening for breaking game reports from contests being played all over the province.
No. 3 MT. DOUGLAS 35 at ST. THOMAS MORE 6
BURNABY — Any better way to end the regular season and prepare for the playoffs than on the heels of a defensive performance that forced for turnovers and played shutout first-half defence?
That was the way Victoria’s Mt. Douglas Rams capped a 6-2 conference campaign Friday at The Lakes.
Rams’ Grade 11 defensive lineman Sahej Sidhu had his best performance of the season, leading the way with eight tackles in a convincing win over a gusty, host group of St. Thomas More Knights (2-5).
“We got out classed today by a Mount Doug team that seems like they’re hitting their stride at the right time,” admitted Knights’ head coach Jared Power.
Rumbling running back Miltiadis Koulelis rushed for 109 yards and touchdowns of six and 20 yards, while quarterback Hunter Swift rushed for a two-yard major as apart of his own 61-yard effort on the ground.
Swift also threw a 32-yard TD strike to Malik Gagne-Smith who had five catches for 67 yards, part of a day in which he accumulated 108 yards by foot and via air. Giovanni Linuzzi added three receptions for 56 yards.
The Knights were faced with more injury adversity Friday when its workhorse quarterback Josh Faria went down with a shoulder injury early in the second half.
Senior Costa Taraviras (8-of-14, 130 yards, one TD) stepped into the fray, and in his final game with the program, kept his team moving via the passing game.
“We have had a tumultuous year in terms of injuries and game results and I am so proud of how our guys have continued to keep coming back after every one,” said Power, “and of course it was awesome last game for a senior to step in at QB and have a good showing.”
Denayden Lee-Daniels caught four passes for 85 yards in the loss.
Defensively for Mt. Douglas, Morgan Steves added seven tackles, while T.J. Daw, Ben Meunier and Nelson Way had six apiece.
The Rams had interceptions from Jayden Kohler-Scott, Bronson Pheiffer, TJ Daw and Jacob Greenway.
For STM, Jeff Pacholko had 12 tackles and a sack while Quinn Walters made nine tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
“For the second week in a row our kids played with a lot of energy and toughness,” said Mt. Douglas head coach Mark Townsend. “We need to carry this momentum into the challenges of the playoffs, and must continue to improve at every opportunity.”
CENTENNIAL 24 at No. 4 TERRY FOX 28
COQUITLAM — The Terry Fox Ravens have spent the entire season showing how complete a football team they are.
On Friday, its crosstown rivals made a very solid case that after years of trying, they’re getting darn close.
“Centennial (4-3) gave us all we could handle, and they are a well-coached team,” said Fox head coach Tom Kudaba after his Ravens completed a perfect 7-0 Eastern Conference campaign with their win.
“I know it was an exciting game for the fans and I am happy for our players that they showed some mental toughness and character,” he added. “It was a hard game and we found the intestinal fortitude to persevere through it.”
It was a game in which Ravens receiver Mathieu Gale took a 90-yard kick-off to the house in addition to making eight catches for 209 yards and two more scores.
It was also a game in which Centennial running back Ziad Sabry scored on runs of one and two yards, carrying 21 times for 87 yards against an unyieldingly-tough Ravens’ D led on this night by Alex Gagnon (13 tackles, two sacks, one pass-knockdown).
“We knew we were in for a fight and I am proud of how we battled all night,” said Centennial head coach Dino Geremia.
Terry Fox quarterback Owen Sieben went 12-for-24 for 246 yards, throwing three touchdown passes while Gavin Whittingham rushed for 87 yards on 25 carries against an equally-stingy Centaurs’ defence.
Offensively, Centennial got an inspiring performance by Malcolm Cameron who took a huge step at quarterback, going 12-for-18 for 143 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Beswick, the latter finishing with five receptions for 106 yards. Beswick also shone on defence with an interception, a pass break up and two tackles.
Connor Jones, William Zhang and Cade Thorington all made five tackles apiece along the defence..
“We will regroup and get ready for the playoffs,” said Geremia. “We are excited about hosting a first round playoff game.”
No. 5 G.W. GRAHAM 18 at LORD TWEEDSMUIR 12
SURREY — Locked in a 12-12 deadlock with the host Panthers (4-2), G.W. Graham put its bid for a second-place finish in East in their most reliable set of hands.
Towards the end of the third quarter, the Grizzlies embarked on a 99-yard drive which eat over seven minutes of clock and featured a whole lot of running back Samuel Mannes, eventually taking an 18-12 lead which would wind up standing as the fourth quarter ended.
Mannes, the league’s leading rusher, carried 38 times for 217 yards and a score.
“He was the offence today” noted head coach Luke Acheson, “…well him and the fantastic group of O-linemen creating space for him to run. It was one of those hard-fought games and Sam’s running was the slight edge we needed to get past a very tough Panthers team.”
The Grizzlies defense held for the remaining minutes of the fourth quarter snuffing out two strong Panther drives deep in GWG territory.
GWG defensive end Vinny Branauer had 2.5 sacks to finish with what is likely an all-time provincial regular-season record high of 33.5 sacks.
“I am not sure if any other defender has racked up those kind of numbers, but as usual he is the engine of this defense!” noted defensive doordinator Ian Parks. Defensive back Raiden Mastin picked up a Panthers’ fumble and returned it 30 yards for the other Grizzlies TD.
Quarterback Lucas Feaver was 10 for 10 for 67 yards and ran for a touchdown as the visitors took a 12-0 lead.
The Panthers came back to tie the score as quarterback McCord Leeson hit Jace Atkinson on a 52-yard strike, and Reggie Elie ran for a score.
Defensively Manav Sandher and Jaxon Allen gave strong performances in the loss for Lord Tweedsmuir.
HANDSWORTH 14 AT SARDIS 27
CHILLIWACK — Get ready for what looks like one of the most awaited high school football games played within the Chilliwack city limits.
That’s right, a pair of expansionists of varying vintages in the G.W. Graham Grizzlies and the new kids on the block, the Sardis Falcons, will square off next week in the opening round of the Subway Bowl playoffs.
The matchmaker’s delight came together quickly, as the Falcons topped the Handsworth Royals at Exhibition Stadium, following on the heels of the Grizzlies who beat Lord Tweedsmuir 18-12 earlier in the day in Cloverdale.
“We look forward to playing cross-town rival G.W. Graham next week in the playoffs,” said Sardis head coach Sukh Parmar. “They are very skilled football club, and we’ll have to be very good to keep it close.”
More than anything, the game will represent the level of gridiron talent being produced within the region, and it also reflects a positive light on the number of dedicated personnel involved with the two programs, many of which formerly helped the Grizzlies program get off the ground in its formative years and are now doing the same at Sardis.
On Friday, Sardis got three touchdowns from senior quarterback Aidan Saunders, one of which the pivot himself caught off a deflection of his own pass attempt before returning 15 yards for the score.
The others were a pair of one-yard keepers by the quarterback.
Grade 10 linebacker/running back Billy Hunter was outstanding, not only carrying for a 10-yard score, but making a pair of interceptions as a constant tackling presence in the Handsworth backfield.
“We had a tough time holding on to the football,” Parmar admitted, “but we did generate several interceptions.”
Seniors Billy Hunter and D.J. Stephens had a pair each while Ben Frost had one.
FRANK HURT 0 AT NANAIMO DISTRICT 12
NANAIMO — Quarterback Brady Doyle’s five-yard scoring run off a first-quarter option play combined with halfback Griffin Metz’s two-yard dive across the goal line in the second quarter lifted the host Islanders (1-5) to its first win of the conference season Friday over the visiting Hornets (0-4).
Metz finished with 12 carries for 110 yards, while Zeya Kinloch carried 11 times for 83 more for the Isles.
Outside linebacker Miko Dominelli paced the defence with five tackles and two sacks, while defensive end Hugo Macconachie had three tackles and a sack.
“I’m proud of the guys out there tonight, both Hornets and Islanders,” said NDSS coach Nate Stevenson. “It was good to see both teams Grade 12s, four from each team, take the long walk together after the game. I know there is a massive game tomorrow over in Vancouver between two unbeaten schools but this one, between two winless squads, was for all concerned who played, just as important.”
No. 3 CARSON GRAHAM 12 at No. 2 ROBERT BATEMAN 46
ABBOTSFORD — The host Wolves (6-1) clinched second place in the conference, winning the battle at the point of attack against North Vancouver’s Eagles (5-2) in what promised to be one of the best games of the entire AA schedule.
“Great team win for us today,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “Our offensive line and running backs put their hard-hats on today and went to work… Logan Thiessen, Dakota Kehler, Ethan Benson, Dawson Henriks, and Hugh Clifford, those five guys set the tone for the day.”
Micah Barker had a huge day on the ground working from behind that bunch, opening the scoring on a run, then later snaring a pass of a screen for a score, just one of four TD strikes thrown on the day by pivot Nolan Watrin (9-of-17, 127 yards). Barker finished with 30 carries for 252 yards
Nolan Dochuk was on the receiving end of two of them, while Braeden Tuchscherer also caught a touchdown pass.
Watrin called his own number on another, giving his team a 27-6 lead to start the third quarter. Earlier, Austin Harter, a first-year senior, had scored on a short run for a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
“We didn’t get off the bus today,” disappointed Eagles’ head coach Brian Brady said afterwards. “At this point in the season you’d like to see a better attitude and effort from your team. Credit to the Bateman coaching staff and team for establishing a physical brand of football.”
Tuchscherer, AJ Nguyen, and Quan Michaels all played very well on the defensive side of the ball for the winners.
Carson Graham quarterback Logan Mellish had to earn his 184 yards of combined passing and rushing yardage. He threw a scoring strike to Griffin Withers who caught five passes for 65 yards. Aiden Nemeth caught another five for 59 yards.
Carson’s linebacking trio of Charlie Huntingford (10 tackles), Vytor Oliveira (nine) and Ryan Corda (seven) combined for 26 tackles.
With second in the Coastal now in the bag, Bateman will head into its final week of play set to face West Vancouver. It would then face the winner of next week’s John Barsby-Carson Graham in the opening round of Subway Bowl playoffs.
ARGYLE 0 AT JOHN BARSBY 34
NANAIMO — Over the course of the past few games, Rob Stevenson didn’t need a stethoscope to realize that something special was beating at the heart of his Bulldogs’ football squad.
“For a couple weeks now we could feel this coming,” Stevenson said after host John Barsby played, what by all accounts, was its most complete game of the season.
“We have been in close games, won most of ‘em and lost a couple,” he continued. “There was however, the feeling that we just have not quite been able to play up to our true potential. As a staff we have been saying ‘Soon fellas, soon, you guys are gonna pop and when you do, it is going to be big.
“Today, we popped,” he said after the Bulldogs (5-2) topped the visiting Pipers (3-5).
Ches Rednour-Bruckman found three different ways to the end zone, scoring on a 17-yard run, off a 30-yard catch-and-run, and a 75 yard kick-off return.
Wingbacks Colby Fuchs from 18 yards and J.D. Mazur from 13 yards, added the Bulldogs’ other majors while kicker Adam Chalmers was not only four-for-five on PATs, but also excellent with his placement on kick-offs.
“We played solid football for four quarters in what was our best team performance yet with scores coming on special teams, offense via ground and air and our defense really picking-up its mental and physical game,” said Stevenson, the latter forcing three turnovers along the way. “Couldn’t be happier for our Grade 12’s playing in such a game for their last game on Barsby home dirt! Proud of em all.”
Defensively, cornerback Lucas Laukkanen led the squad with 10 tackles and an interception. Linebacker Mazur had nine tackles and a blocked field goal, while rush end Seamus Inglis registered eight tackles.
Inside linebacker Ryder Mount had eight tackles and a sack while cornerback Rednour-Bruckman shut down the first Argyle drive with a red-zone interception that really swung the game’s momentum in Barsby’s favour.
WEST VANCOUVER 34 at WINDSOR 8
NORTH VANCOUVER — Mathieu Theil’s answer to a little early adversity?
West Vancouver’s quarterback went to the air, throwing for 353 yards and five touchdowns, including a pair to Cam Trusler, the latter finishing with 76 yards in receptions and an interception on defence as the Highlanders (2-5) beat the host Dukes (0-7).
Diar Khodaddy, Tomo Hursthouse, and Jonny Corbett also caught touchdown strikes from Thiel, who also fed tight end Lucas Perezto the tune of 104 yards in receptions.
Running back Bruce Jones rushed for 129 yards.
RUTLAND 3 at AA No. 5 VERNON 24
VERNON — It was Seniors Night on Friday for the Vernon Panthers, and is Grade 12s shone in convincing fashion en route to a win over the visiting Rutland VooDoos.
Kolby Thorpe led the stingy Panther defence with a pair of timely interceptions, while fellow senior Landon Janke tallied seven tackles including three for a loss as Vernon now prepares to face the visiting Prince George Polars on Nov. 13 (2 p.m.) in the opening-round of the Subway Bowl playoffs at Greater Vernon Athletic Park.
Terry Johnson had his best outing as a Panther collecting seven tackles and put pressure on the opposing quarterback all game.
Roan Reid opened the scoring on a perfectly placed deep ball by Grade 11 quarterback Jake Farrell. The Panthers would add another major in the second when tailback Scotty Hoffman caught a wheel route up the sideline. Field goals by both teams made the score 17-3 at the half.
Then, a penalty filled third quarter saw the game grind to a halt.
“We had 125 yards in penalties this game and most of them were in the third quarter,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “This definitely has to be an area of emphasis for our team going forward. It sucked any momentum we had on our third-quarter drives.”
The fourth quarter saw Hoffman run one into the end zone from six yards out to put the Cats up by 21 points.
“I told the boys this game would be a good measuring stick to gauge how much we’ve improved since the first game of the season… when we lost to Rutland by a single point,” Smith said afterwards of what he reinforced to his players. “A 21-point win was nice. I think it showed that we’ve come a long way and that we’ll be a tough out in the playoffs. The good news is that I think we haven’t reached our potential yet and still have room to improve in a lot of areas…hopefully we can keep it moving in the right direction next week against Prince George.”.
Farrell went 11-of-25 for 114 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers got a combined 81 yards rushing from its three-back committee of Hoffman, Kolby Thorpe and Joe Murphy.
Landon Janke had seven tackles, including three for loss, while Terry Johnson also made seven tackles. Grayson Statham had six tackles and a sack, and Kolby Thorpe two interceptions.
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