LANGLEY — The Vancouver College Fighting Irish, St. Thomas More Knights, Abbotsford Panthers and Robert Bateman Timberwolves all came away victorious as another week of BCHSF came to a close.
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No. 1 NEW WESTMINSTER at No. 3 VANCOUVER COLLEGE
VANCOUVER — Todd Bernett was not going to deny the early truth of his team’s biggest win of the season.
“Defensively, we made multiple plays that kept hope alive during a very rough start,” the Vancouver College head coach said after his No. 3-ranked Irish (4-1) eventually steadied themselves and blanked the No. 1-ranked New Westminster Hyacks (4-1) on Saturday afternoon at O’Hagan Field.
The two teams each trail undefeated South Delta (5-0) which now sits alone atop the Western Conference standings with two more weekends of play remaining in advance of the Subway Bowl playoffs.
After the Irish running back Daesaun Johnson broke off a 22-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, the Hyacks looked ready to equalize when they recovered a VC fumble at the Irish 10-yard line.
New West thought it had scored on a second-down pass but the Hyacks’ receiver was ruled out of bounds.
So New West settled for a field goal, which was then promptly blocked.
Vancouver College then completed a long pass in the final minute before the intermission to set up Johnson’s 30-yard touchdown run.
“It gave us momentum to eventually climb out of a field-position hole and take that halftime lead,” said Bernett.
Quarterback Alex Nyvlt on a one-yard run in the third quarter, and then Johnson with his third major of the game, this one on a five-yard rush, wrapped up the scoring.
“Our defensive coaches can be very proud of their units today,” added Bernett, who got 11 tackles apiece from Colin Dolynski and Matt Hoag and seven more from Jackson Findlay.”We were disciplined and opportunistic by creating multiple turnovers and being stout on fourth-down attempts.”
The Irish held New West without a first down in the second half.
“It was an extremely disappointing performance offensively,” said Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji. “Our defence played great in the first half and gave us good field position, but we couldn’t do anything with it. I have to give full marks to VC. We knew they would have a good game plan and be sound defensively. We were going to need to finish blocks and we didn’t do that. It was as bad an offensive performance as I could have imagined.”
Hyacks’ quarterback Payton Meyers threw three interceptions on the game, two collected by Parsa Heydarzadeh and one by Jackson Findlay.
For the Irish, Johnson was spectacular, carrying 18 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Jayden Cheong rushed 12 times for 82 yards.
“Daesaun Johnson was an amazing playmaker,” confirmed Bernett. “He ran out of defenders’ grasps multiple times, many of them at or near the line of scrimmage. Eventually, bigger plays opened up, but Daesaun earned those big plays by running with grit and proper aiming points early on in the game.”
Lalji remembers the way his team re-trenched and played itself into the Subway Bowl final after a similar result last season.
“Last year, our VC loss was the turning point in our season in a positive way,” said Lalji who got 11 tackles (three for a loss), plus two sacks and a forced fumble from standout Deakon Young on Saturday. “I expect this to be the same. We haven’t been playing well but we’ve still been winning. Sometimes the best lessons are the hard ones. This will expose some guys and force them to stand up and work harder.”
No. 5 ST. THOMAS MORE 31 at SEAQUAM 22
NORTH DELTA — Nick Osho takes as good as he gives, and when you transfer that old saying to the football field, it defines a guy who makes big plays on both sides of the ball.
St. Thomas More’s talented running back and outside linebacker simply did it all, and in concert with the all-for-one effort of his teammates, Burnaby’s No. 5-ranked Knights (5-0), unranked to start the season, are now sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings with an undefeated record.
Not only did Osho rush for all five of his team’s touchdowns in a win over North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks (3-2), his team needed each and every one of them.
In fact you might say, his last one came right when they needed him most.
Osho’s second and third scores of the game, TD runs of two and 12 yards, put STM up 19-7 at the half, and when he went 80 yards to score his fourth on the first play of the second half, things look pretty solid with a 25-7 lead.
Yet Seaquam refused to fold, scoring back-to-back majors and pulling to within 25-22.
Late in the game, however, with Seaquam scrimmaging deep in their own end, Osho made a strip sack which teammate Sean Oreta would recover. Just a few plays later, from four yards out, Osho’s fifth major of the game insured a comeback was not in the cards for the home team.
It was, in fact, the perfect book-end.
On Seaquam’s first offensive play of the game, Osho stripped a Seaquam player, recovered the fumble, then ran it in from 14 yards out.
Kaishaun Carter led all tacklers with nine tackles on the day, including a pair behind the line of scrimmage..
Bryson Vanloo and Osho had five tackles each while Rickey Parsons had four tackles and an interception.
Tate Friesen had a pair of tackles, a couple of key knockdowns and a key interception towards the end of the first half.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way our boys played today,” said STM head coach Steve De Lazzari. “Seaquam is an outstanding football team and they outsized us at numerous positions on the field today. However, we executed our game plan and battled hard all the way through to come out with the win.”
For Seaquam, Christian Carlon-Diaz carried 22 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns, with the other major coming on a pass from quarterback Jay Mather to Brandon Johnson. Justin Eng led the Seahawks’ defence with eight tackles while Johnson had seven.
“It was very good battle against a solid team today,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand. “STM is definitely strong in all aspects of the game. We continue to have miscues on special teams that are costing us dearly.”
TERRY FOX 6 at ABBOTSFORD 28
ABBOTSFORD — The host Panthers (3-2) climbed back up over the .500 mark in conference play, willing a short-staffed crew to victory over a tough-minded Terry Fox Ravens squad.
“We were really banged up this week, without eight starters and Jalem playing, but not 100 per cent,” prefaced Abby head coach Jay Fujimura, whose running back Jalem Catlin, the provincial rushing leader who had missed what basically amounted to the last six-plus quarters after suffering an in-game high-ankle sprain, dressed and rushed for 123 yards and a five-yard touchdown, the latter capping a 55-yard drive which opened the scoring.
David Coronado of the Panthers then picked off the ball and took it back 50 yards for the score. On the next possession, Haidyn Vermeulen intercepted the ball and carried it 15 yards for the Panthers’ second defensive score of the game.
Ethan Elliott caught a touchdown pass to get the Ravens (1-4) on the board, but Abby got that one back when a high snap on a Fox punt gave them the ball at the four-yard line, setting up a keeper for pivot Austin Martin.
“We played a much better team game despite a lot of new players (filling injury holes),” said Fujimura. “Terry Fox played an aggressive defence and gave us problems but we followed the game plan and ground out the win.”
Vermeulen rushed for 56 yards, caught a 45-yard pass and made a team-leading nine tackles.
The Ravens came into the game with similar injury woes, depleting an already short bench.
Linebackers Angelo Chalmers and Alex Malcic, 10th grade Isaiah Cooper, and fellow 10th grader Gavin Whittingham were all standouts in the loss, the latter a running back who played up with the seniors after scoring four TDs in Fox’s 41-6 JV win over Abby earlier in the week.
“So there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ravens’ head coach Martin McDonnell. “Hopefully we get some of our injured guys back for a very good Kelowna team (next week) and for Centennial the week after.”
No. 5 ROBERT BATEMAN 34 at FRANK HURT 0
SURREY — Ty Martens had himself a day.
The Robert Bateman quarterback threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Phoenix Moller on his team’s opening drive Saturday against the host Hornets (0-4).
In the second half, he ran in three more for scores, and with Moller’s 17-yard scoring run, the Wolves (1-1) capped a decisive victory.
“Our guys came out strong,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “It’s nice to see some ‘bounce back’ after a tough game (42-6 loss to Langley) last week. We benefitted from our defence getting us the ball in good field position a lot of the time today. It was good work all around.”
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