VANCOUVER — It took a global pandemic to halt B.C.’s most enduring high school football rivalry series, yet when the annual Archbishops Trophy game kicks off for the 64th time this Saturday, its combatants will not only each be undefeated, they will continue to hold down the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in Varsity Letters’ B.C. Big 5 Triple-A rankings.
All of that became official Saturday at O’Hagan Field as No. 1-ranked, defending B.C. champion Vancouver College improved to 6-0 in the Western Conference with a resounding 42-0 shutout of the visiting South Delta Sun Devils (2-4).
On Friday, Notre Dame did its part to preserve the script lines, traveling to Victoria and extracting a 41-0 win over Belmont which moved its record to an identical 6-0 in conference play.
“Great fall day for football on O’Hagan Field,” said Irish head coach Todd Bernett in welcome response to the heavy rains which have hampered the sport over the past month-plus in the Lower Mainland.
“It helped us to play a cleaner game today and eliminate any excuses for turnovers… and it brings the game to a more level playing field for both teams.”
Vancouver College’s Alex Zychlinski continued to show his growth as the team’s starting quarterback and on Saturday, his partnership with receiver Thomas Roberts added up to not only a touchdown connection in each of the first three quarters, but five catches for 121 yards.
Roberts hauled in touchdown passes of 15, 37 and later 15 yards from Zychlinski, who also connected with Iain St. Arnault from 11 yards out.
“Thomas Roberts has been good for us all season, but today with his five catches and three touchdowns he showed that he can be a problem for opponents to defend,” said Bernett. “And Alex Zyclinski played a strong game with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He was huge in helping us convert some fourth downs with his arm and his feet.”
Zychlinski also ran for a two-yard major. Lachlan Scardina’s 41-yard pick-six in the third quarter rounded out the game’s scoring.
Tristan Burrell had two sacks as part of the shutout, while Louis Poulain and Ryan Shi each made fumble recoveries.
Matteo Trasolini with seven tackles, Arjan Bhullar with five, and Chris Joseph with four all helped the defence with its clean sheet.
“Today, once again, Ron Turner had our defense totally prepared,” said Bernett of the team’s veteran defensive coordinator. “The kids feel comfortable and confident with the scheme, and Ron is able to get them in position to play fast and free.”
This coming Saturday’s Archbishops Trophy game is schedule for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Notre Dame.
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