With solid play in all three phases of play, Hyacks' head coach Farhan Lalji was satisfied with the performance of his team in the provincial capital on Friday. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football

FINAL EDITION: Varsity Letters’ 09.20.19 Friday Night Lights B.C. High School Football Report

Welcome to the final edition of Varsity Letter’s Friday Night Lights B.C. high school football report. We’ve got the lowdown from all 14 games played today around our province.

Be sure to visit us often throughout the weekend. We’ll have Saturday’s package as well right here at VarsityLetters.ca




COQUITLAM — Three players went over 100 yards in combined rushing and receiving Friday as the visiting Panthers blanked the host Ravens in the the Eastern Conference opener for both teams at Percy Perry Stadium.

Noah Anderson had 123 yds rushing, Haydn Stomperud had 84 yards on the ground and 28 through the air, and Tremel States-Jones had 75 rushing and 29 receiving.

Still, head coach Kurt Thornton wasn’t fully ready to celebrate.

“We had over 450 yds of offence but penalties continue to hurt us,” said Thornton after LT was penalized for over 100 yards and had a touchdown taken off the board. “I’m happy with the win. Any time you beat Fox it’s a good day for LT. But, I feel like we really need to clean the penalties up or it’s going to cost us.”

Panthers’ pivot Terrel Jones was 7-of-11 for 141 yards, including a 45-yard strike to Jaxon Stebbings. 

Stomperud with a two-yard run, States-Jones from six yards out, and Jones on a sneak in the fourth quarter accounted for the other Tweedy majors.

Nathan Gernon and Kyle Dodd led the winning defence with five  tackles each.

Terry Fox took some solace that in their rebuilding season they trailed just 13-0 at halftime.

“Hopefully the young guys will stick in there because they are improving,” Ravens’ head coach Martin McDonnell said.

Ethan Gino Gino had a pick and sack in the loss, while Kyle Huish played well on both sides of the ball in addition to handling the punting chores.


COQUITLAM — Drew Lirag took two interceptions to the end zone Friday, but it still wasn’t enough for the Centennial Centaurs to offset a show of power football by North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks in the Eastern Conference opener for both teams Friday.

“We established our running game today with a solid performance by our offensive line,” confirmed Seaquam head coach Navin Chand, who dialled up 16 running plays that Christian Carlon-Diaz churned into 176 yards rushing and two majors.

“They also gave QB (Jay) Mather lots of time to throw the ball,” added Chand of line’s ability to help its pivot. Mather went 10-of-14 for 169 yards and a touchdown, as well as rushing for a score of his own.

The only blemish were Lirag’s two pick-six interceptions, but from a Seaquam standpoint, its defence didn’t allow a score.

Justin Eng led the unit with 10 tackles while Manny Sahota had seven more. Kason Randawa had a pick and Taaj Jhooty a fumble recovery.

“It was a tough loss,” admitted Centennial head coach Dino Geremia. “Our offence had a tough time getting anything against a very stingy Seaquam defence.”

ST. THOMAS MORE 18 at MISSION 6 (adds Mission stats, quotes)

MISSION — A long drive into the eastern edge of the Fraser Valley, followed by a helping of the host’s double wing-t offence was a lot to digest early for Burnaby’s St. Thomas More Knights.

Yet coming off last weekend’s forfeit loss to Vancouver College, the Knights managed to score all of their points unanswered to win the Eastern Conference opener for both teams on Friday.

After falling behind 6-0 on Mission quarterback Josh Bucholz’s 47-yard touchdown strike to Saxon Kernahan off a well-executed play-action pass, STM struck back on a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony De Lazzari to Jack Wagner.

De Lazzari finished 5-of-10 passing for 95 yards with Wagner hauling in two catches for 50 yards and Rickey Parsons making two catches for 40 yards.

Nick Osho was a welcome addition returning to the backfield after missing last week, carrying the ball 17 times for 150 yards and scoring a 30-yard touchdown in the second half.

Zack Kebede also had a rushing touchdown for the Knights in the second half.

“We are certainly in a rebuilding phase at Mission and we were happy with the fight in our new players that were playing for the first time at the varsity level,” said Roadrunners’ head coach Danny Jakobs.

On the defensive side of the ball, STM was thrilled to get Wagner back for his first action since the season-opener in Hawaii.

“He had an outstanding game from his inside linebacker position,” said Knights’ head coach Steve De Lazzari of Wagner, whose eight tackles led the way.

“Full credit goes to Mission,” the coach added. “They battled hard all game, and the ground-and-pound style of their offence is challenging to stop. Our attention will now shift to Terry Fox for next week, when we should be having a few more players return from injury.”

The Mission defence was led by Cody McMahon  who registered seven tackles and a sack. Andrew Armstrong and Kernahan each came up with picks. On offence, Matt Roadhouse carried 13 times for 98 yards.


KELOWNA — The host Owls set themselves up for a dramatic victory, however a late field goal went wide left to end a narrow loss to the visiting Panthers in the Eastern Conference opener for both teams Friday at the Apple Bowl.

“We knew going into this game that Kelowna was going to be very tough,” said Abby head coach Jay Fujimura who got 348 yards rushing and two touchdowns from star running back Jalem Catlin. “They are big and fast and have some really explosive athletes on the edge and boundary. So the game plan was to try to keep their offence off the field as much as we could.”

Catlin’s first of two rushing touchdowns on the game helped put Abbotsford on top 6-0 at half time.

Kelowna fought back to tie the score on a deep touchdown pass to receiver Kieran Koltun.

The Panthers, however, were able to do themselves a huge favour when Catlin scored on a 45-yard touchdown run and then added the two-point covert for a 14-6 lead.

Colby Miletto scored for Kelowna to make it 14-12 off a crossing route, but Abby’s Gio Folka made a huge defensive play by stopping the subsequent two-point covert attempt.

The Owls, however, moved the ball all the way down to the Panthers’ seven-yard line, setting the stage for their attempted winning field goal.

“It was a real test of wills in the trenches and we needed to fight for every yard,” said Fujimura.

Conner Meher led the winning defence with seven tackles while Thomas Levings and Jordan Hogg had four tackles apiece. Hogg added a sack.



BURNABY — The host Jugglers employed a stingy defence on the turf at Burnaby Lakes, and parlayed that with an aerial-fueled 30-point second-half explosion to defeat Belmont 44-0 in the first Western Conference regular season games for both teams.

Two short touchdown runs by quarterback Carmelo Renzullo and a two-point reception by tight end Ian Marin gave Notre Dame a 14-0 halftime lead.

Notre Dame’s passing game then proceed to come to life in the second half as both Renzullo and Grade 10 Aiden Domino threw touchdown passes to wide receiver Matt Battad.

Renzullo’s went for 30 yards while Domino’s was for 28 yards, as Battad finished his day with six catches for 133 yards and two majors.

Renzullo and Domino combined for 13-of-20 passing for 225 yards.

Defensively, the Jugglers got fine performances from several players: Massimo Ryan had five tackles, Ian Marin had four tackles, Austin Longstaff had three tackles including a safety in the third quarter and a sack later in the third.

Kaelen Bosa had two tackles and two pass breakups. Lucas Santalucia had two tackles.

Notre Dame’s other touchdowns in the fourth quarter were scored by Domino on a short QB wedge and backup fullback Pedro Cabanas on a four-yard run.

Kicker Joey Cannova was good on four-of-five extra point attempts, while kickoff specialist Brandon Torresan had three touchbacks.

“We had a good week of practice and were well prepared for Belmont,” said Jugglers’ head coach Denis Kelly. “It was a good team win as many players contributed fine performances. We now face a tough test in New West and must be at our very best next Friday.”

No. 4 NEW WESTMINSTER 33 at No. 3 MT. DOUGLAS 21 (adds Mt. Douglas stats, quotes)

VICTORIA — Friday’s rematch of last season’s Subway Bowl Triple A championship final went the way of the Hyacks.

Last December, it was the Rams who doubled up New Westminster 48-24, but in the Western Conference opener  for both teams in the provincial capital, it was a Hyacks team making impact in so many key areas en route to its 12-point victory.

Austin Galbraith’s 92-yard kick-off return for a touchdown to give the visitors an 18-6 lead at the end of the opening quarter was pivotal, as were quarterback Payton Myers’ two scoring strikes, a Hyack rush defence which kept the Rams to just 37 yards along the ground, and a New West offence which kept drives alive by going 6-of-8 on third down.

“I’m very proud of our effort today,” admitted Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji. “Obviously there was a lot of motivation for this one, but resiliency is the word of the day for us. We came into this game missing a number of key players and others got banged up as the game progressed. Whoever was needed to step up did.

“Mt Douglas is a very good team and they kept battling back but our guys were always able to get momentum back in all three phases of the game,” added Lalji. “This is a very tough place to come and win and a great way to start league play.”

Greyson Planinsic’s three-yard TD run, and a one-yard scoring run by Myers made it 12-0 early.

Mt. Douglas’ Jordan Clark scored on a two-yard run, and the convert by Luciano Coombs made it 12-7.

Before the half, Myers hit Galbraith with a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 18-7.

The Rams, however, got right back into the game at 18-15 on a 16-yard TD run by Joe Lucas, accompanied by a Hunter Swift to Linden Williams’ two-point convert.

In the third quarter, Myers went nine yards to Matthew Drake for another major score.

The Rams capped the scoring in the fourth quarter when Swift found Glen Rose for a 10-yard scoring strike.

“Our team played hard to the end with great effort, which was great to see, but we gave up too many plays on the field,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend. “We knew that New West had another great team this year, and our mindset must be to see improvement at every opportunity in order to compete in the tough Western Conference. It all starts in practice with a focus to work hard by all players which we will continue to emphasize going forward.”

For the Hyacks, Planinsic rushed 12 times for 137 yards and a score, while Galbraith made a team-leading nine tackles. Himat Garcha had eight tackles and two sacks. Owen Stark made four tackles from his defensive end spot, including three for negative yardage.

“Our defensive line was very good today,” said Lalji. Pavan (Kainth), Vishaan (Narayan) and Owen really stood out. Overall I thought our tackling was very good.”

For the Rams, Swift finished 14-of-25 passing for 152 yards, with Lucas hauling in four receptions for 69 yards. Clark rushed for 52 yards and Lucas another 49.

On defense, Cole Bunting played his usual strong game and led the Rams with 12 tackles plus a fumble recovery.  Williams had six tackles, followed by Peter Primeau with five tackles.



NANAIMO — Daniel Hall made huge plays on both sides of the ball Friday, yet the hometown Islanders’ talented running back/cornerback fell just shy of helping his team rally against Chilliwack’s visiting Sardis Falcons.

Trailing 12-2 to start the third quarter and pinned on their own six-yard line, Hall ran a sweep 94 yards for the major, pulling Nanaimo District to within 12-8.

With the same score still on the board late in the fourth quarter, Hall picked off a Falcons’ pass and returned it 44 yards deep into Sardis territory.

With under three minutes left, the Islanders were able to drive all the way down to the Sardis 10-yard line, but came up short against a determined goal line stand by the Falcons as time expired.

“Proud of my team for battling adversity all night,” said Sardis head coach Adam Smith after Ramon Khosa made back-to-back sacks late to help the Falcons preserve the victory. “NDSS is a tough, well-coached team. We have lots of work because we hit double-digits in penalties tonight and that cost us two touchdowns.”  

Good thing Sardis had a lot of others things going in their favour.

Quarterback Josh Janssen threw for 303 yards and touchdowns to both DJ Stephens and Yanik Vargas. Stephens hauled in five passes for 101 yards.

As well the Sardis defence forced and recovered four fumbles.

“We were pretty sore after the Mt. Doug loss last week, and we sat five starters for this week,” said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson. “It gave us an opportunity to start a lot of new names and get them into a tight contest right away. It was great to see the players respond and their level of play rise as the game went on. I feel confident that the Islanders will be primed and ready to enter league play next week.

“Sardis came at us hard, throwing deep balls and slants as soon as they got off the bus,” added Stevenson. “Their O-line played exceptionally well in keeping our defensive pressure to a minimum.  It was a solid game, right down to the wire, and the atmosphere at the ND turf was outstanding.”

Hall was excellent with nine carries for 145 yards, in addition to making five tackles with a pair of interceptions on defence.

Outside linebacker Jamie McColm made six tackles.


SURREY — Sam La Rue went 10-of-14 for 230 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another score from 25 yards as the host Mariners overwhelmed the crosstown Stars.

“It’s wonderful to bag our first league win, but I know how it feels to be on the other sideline,” said EMS head coach Michael MacKay-Dunn. “I am happy our guys kept working on little things and executed throughout the game.”

Mateo Ferriera caught touchdowns of 10 and 60 yards, while Isaiah Edwards caught one pass for a score and ran in another off a pitch. Dean Meurens’ 40-yard touchdown catch made it 39-0 at halftime.

Cole Parker kicked converts on six of the scores, while Dante Peters, Jason Wang and Eric Mueller combined to make 17 tackles.




NORTH VANCOUVER — A balanced rushing attack that totalled 120 yards led the host Dukes to a hard-fought win over the visiting Huskies.

While Ryan Werbowski was rushing for a team-leading 51 yards, quarterback Alek Giragosian went 13-of-24 for 168 yards through the air.

Darren Baker led the defence with six tackles and one fumble recovery.


LANGLEY — The Langley Saints may well have their most talented team in program history, and that is equaling a lot of program firsts in the early part of the 2019 campaign.

On Friday, playing its third straight game to open the season at home, the Saints beat Nanaimo’s visiting John Barsby Bulldogs for the first time ever.

Last week, Langley earned its first-ever win over Terry Fox.

Once again, the home team’s offensive line was the difference maker, setting the table for a 306-yard rushing day.

“We had another great performance from our offensive line and coach Sandor Kardos deserves credit for having the boys well prepared,” said head coach Ryk Piche, who watched as quarterback Josh Goesen had 10 carries 112 yards and two scores, while also passing for another score.

Kai Thomas had eight carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns, Trenton Warren four carries for 47 yards and one score, and Harshaad Jouhal five carries for 74 yards and another major.

“The defense deserves kudos too,” said Piche. “(Defensive coordinator) Mark Wyse had the boys running on all cylinders.”

Langley led 28-0 at halftime.


PARKSVILLE — Quarterback Ben Chomolok spread the wealth and even called his own number for a score as the host Whalers doubled up on Abbotsford’s visiting Wolves.

Chomolok completed passes to nine different receivers as  part of an 18-for-23 performance, highlighted by scoring strikes on both a 19-yard fade to Nate Robinson and a 17-yard connection with Jacob Stockton.

Chomolok also opened the scoring off a two-yard sneak.

Shortly after, Ballenas recovered an onside kick by Lennart Tjarks and Demar Hohnstein punched in his first of two rushing majors from seven yards out.

Hohnstein, who would add another touchdown from 57 yards out, finished with 123 yards along the ground, despite toting the ball just five times.

Jack Giroux also added a seven-yard touchdown run in the first half.

Adrian Friesen led the winning defence with 10 tackles while Bruce McCabe had six and Steven Boley five.

“Ballenas is a very good, aggressive team and they made life very hard on us today,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “We were able to find some success in the passing game as the game went on, but it was far too little, too late.”

Bateman’s only score of the half came on a pass from quarterback Ty Martens to receiver Brandon Halsey, who finished with five catches for 107 yards.

In the second half, Martens, who finished 12-of-25 for 227 yards, threw a TD pass to Conner Martin and rushed for one of his own.

“It was a pretty good game because we executed well in most phases of the game and were able to mix it up more on offence,” said Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn. “Bateman is well coached with some great athletes so we are proud of how well the kids performed today.”



KELOWNA — The visiting Titans survived a late push, stopping Rutland on a fourth down gamble deep in their own end with two minutes left to pull out a hard-fought road win under the lights at the Apple Bowl.

Running back Mike MacDonald carried the load for the Titans, rushing 19 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns while eating up valuable clock time.

The Titans came out with a balanced attack early, erasing an early 7-0 deficit with a 24-yard Eric Crawford touchdown pass to Cohen Freeze.

Trailing 19-14 at the start of the third quarter, South Kam turned to the run game to control the clock.

Freeze added 80 yards on the ground to help keep the Rutland defence honest. Crawford added a one-yard sneak to round out the scoring.

“That was a really tough, hard-fought battle tonight. Rutland gave us everything we can handle but we were able to weather the storm and find a way to win,” said Titans head coach JP Lancaster. “We have a lot of mistakes to clean up for next week as we travel to face a really strong opponent with Robert Bateman.”


SURREY — After taking a 40-0 loss square on the chops last week against No. 1 Vernon, Surrey’s host Crusaders were looking to right the ship.

“That was a huge bounce-back win for our boys,” said Holy Cross head coach Conrad Deugau after his team held off Abbotsford’s visiting W.J. Mouat Hawks. “Our defence was significantly improved… our defensive line looked like a different group.”

Uyi Ologhola was outstanding with two sacks for the winners while Jack Laurin, Brandon Fuchs and Kaleb Dizon all managed interceptions.

Defence and specials set the table for both Crusaders’ touchdowns, rushing majors by Jack Laurin and T.J. Fujimura.

One came after Holy Cross hit an opening onside kick and the proceeded to march the field, while the other came in the third quarter, when Mouat threw its third interception of the day setting up the Crusaders’ at the Hawks’ 35-yard line.

Mouat responded to end the third with a touchdown from Dhag Mora on a three-yard jet sweep.

Over a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the Hawks ended up with the ball on their own 35-yard line with three minutes to drive the field.

Holy Cross stopped them at midfield to seal the victory.

“I thought our team improved in multiple areas this week,” said Mouat head coach Andrew Harder. “We are tackling much better as a defence and flying to the ball. On offence we just need to do a better job holding onto the ball and winning the turnover battle.”

Aidan Lal had eight tackles and two sacks in the loss while Anthony Jaruchik had six tackles and three sacks.

 Andy Ofosuhene rushed 16 times for 62 yards in defeat while pivot Tyran Duval passed for 89 yards and rushed for 21 more.



OMAK (Wash.) — On a night when making headway against a superior opponent was extremely tough, Quin Williamson was standout at tailback and linebacker for Vernon’s visiting Maroons.

“We did not play well,” admitted Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “Omak is a very good team and they are a couple of classes above us. That being said, we did not play well. We made too many mental errors to be successful. Also, we did not pick up our intensity to match theirs. We played soft at times and that is not a compliment.”

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