LANGLEY — Welcome to another addition of the 2021 Varsity Letters B.C. High School Football Report for the Thanksgiving Day long weekend.
Keep checking back on this post throughout the evening as we continue to update games from around the province and remember that the records you see for all of the teams is their conference record, not their overall record.
ST. THOMAS MORE 6 at NEW WESTMINSTER 7
NEW WESTMINSTER — On a night when ‘football’ and ‘flow’ were clearly incongruous to each other, it took some special teams magic to rouse the home crowd and help preserve a vital Western Conference victory Friday at Mercer Stadium.
Hyacks’ 6-foot, 245 pound offensive lineman/defensive tackle Robert Preda not only blocked a key point-after attempt to preserve his team’s one-point lead, he blocked the potential game-winning field goal with 3:22 left, allowing New Westminster (2-1) to escape with a one-point win over Burnaby’s visiting St. Thomas More Knights (0-3).
“He is the definition of a Hyack,” said New West offensive coordinator Andrew McKechnie after the win. “Really proud of him.We can always count on him to show up when it matters most, in those big moments.”
In a contest that lacked style points throughout, Hyacks head coach Clint Uttley summed up the night thusly: “An ugly win is better than a pretty loss any day.”
For the Knights, blue-collar quarterback Josh Faria put his team on his back.
Faria finally got the Knights on the scoreboard with his one-yard sneak in the fourth quarter.
He finished the gamed with 21 carries for 163 yards, while passing eight times for 27 more.
“We didn’t have any answers for their defense in the first half, however, in the second half, for the first time this year, our offense started to consistently move the ball,” said STM head coach Jared Power.
“I was impressed by both teams’ toughness tonight,” he continued. “Both sides raised their battle level and you could tell they both wanted this game. That’s a well-coached, physical team over there, and I was proud our kids went toe-to-toe with them physically, especially with what our kids have experienced with all our injuries early in the year.”
Quinn Walters led the Knights with seven tackles and a sack, Gavin Shaw had six tackles, and Evan Mak five more.
Lucas Steele led the Hyacks with 11 tackles while Gray Glavis had seven.
BELMONT 0 at No.2 MT. DOUGLAS 30
VICTORIA —The defensive line of the Mt. Douglas Rams continues to stifle its opponents, and that was again the case Friday at Royal Athletic Park.
The No. 2 Rams, winners of five straight to start the season, improved to 3-0 in the conference with a shutout win over the crosstown Bulldogs (1-2).
Mt. Douglas started things off on offence with a Gio Linuzzi 25-yard field goal, then capped off its first-half scoring when quarterback Hunter Swift threw a 42-yard TD strike to receiver Jacob Greenway.
A lot of ground and pound.
The Rams built on their 3-0 lead with back-to-back-to-back touchdown runs of 10, 18 and three yards by Malik Gagne-Smith, all part of a clinical 31-0 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Miltiadis Koulelis completed the scoring with a 25-yard scoring run.
“We will have to have a great week of practice and improve at every opportunity,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend, whose charges will face No. 3 Notre Dame this coming Friday. The Jugglers are set to play tomorrow (1:30 p.m.) at South Delta.
SARDIS 33 at SULLIVAN HEIGHTS 0
SURREY — Four rushing touchdowns highlighted their offensive effort Friday, yet it’s impossible not to start your discussion of Sardis football these days without tipping a hat to its defence.
“We played our brand of solid defence throughout,” said head coach Sukh Parmar after the Falcons won their third straight and improved to 2-0 in the Pacific with a decisive win over a Sullivan Heights team that had come in with its own two-game win streak on the line.
Over it three-game win streak, the Falcons have outscored its foes a combined 122-0.
On Friday, Billy Hunter rushed for touchdowns of 10 and 15 yards, while Sawyer Thether scored on a 25-yard run.
Quarterback Aidan Saunders threw a 15-yard TD strike to DJ Stephens, and also called his own number on an 11-yard scoring run.
NANAIMO DISTRICT 0 at HANDSWORTH 44
NORTH VANCOUVER — Noah Brinham’s first half set the tone and carried the Royals (1-1) past the winless Islanders (0-3) as Handsworth opened the home portion of its conference schedule at home with a resounding shutout win.
After Oliver Parr recovered the opening kickoff, Brinham rushed for what would be the first of four first-half majors, carrying 16 times for 204 yards in the process.
On the Royals’ second possession, receiver Connor Smith, playing his first game in three weeks, looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, snagging a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Preston Forgie and finishing the half with three catches for 60 yards and two major scores.
Forgie’s first half saw him pass for 145 yards and those two scores, as well as calling his own number on a two-point convert.
Keal Williams came into the game in the second half and went 4-of-5 for 75 yards and a touchdown after playing the first half at receiver, where he made three catches for 58 yards.
Griffin Snador also had a solid outing, leading the team in receiving with three catches for 75 yards.
On defence, the line played outstanding with Kevin Griffiths leading the way, while corner Josh Durnan had two pass breakups and an interception.
“They came at us hard out of the gates and we responded well but kept experiencing defensive assignment breakdowns,” admitted Nanaimo District coach Nate Stevenson, who commented that morale continues to remain high.
“We haven’t climbed the Rockies yet, nor even the Coastal Mountains but we are certainly a few steps closer to them than when we began the season,” he said. “It is a fun season, the team is full of energy, and we are certainly looking forward to some more football this October.”
Free safety Tobias Teo led the defence with seven tackles while middle linebacker Griffin Metz and cornerback Cole Prontac had five tackles apiece.
No. 5 G.W. GRAHAM 40 at W.J. MOUAT 0
ABBOTSFORD — Vinny Branauer helped keep the G.W. Graham Grizzlies atop the conference standings with another incredible defensive performance.
Branauer’s five-sack performance was the highlight once again as the Grizz (2-0) remain locked atop the conference with the No. 4-ranked Terry Fox Ravens.
“Vinny changes the game at the line of scrimmage” noted GWG defensive Coordinator Ian Parks of the Grade 11 end who now has 23 plunders through the team’s undefeated 6-0 overall start. “We made an adjustment at half-time and moved him to tackle and the pressure was relentless.”
Four of Branauer’s five sacks were in that second half from the tackle position.
On the night, the defense had five takeaways including two interceptions and a fumble recovey by outside linebacker Raiden Mastin, and one interception each by safety Josh Caverly and corner Nick Beck.
“The boys played a pretty complete game on defense – lots of players contributed” said Parks.
Linebacker Logan Tocher (five) and safety Jared Rhanborn (four) were among the leaders as Branauer also added another four tackles and a forced fumble.
On offense the Grizzlies had a one-two punch with running back Sam Mannes carrying the ball 14 times for 102 yards and a touchdown while running back Gage O’Neill had 89 yards on just three carries, including 83 yards on a touchdown run.
Quarterback Lucas Feaver was 13-for-24 for 185 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, He also carried for a score.
Josh Caverly led all receivers with four receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown. Mannes and receiver Carter Dallas added the other Grizzlies receiving touchdowns.
“We had success on the ground and in the air tonight but definitely have some things to work on to get ready for Mission,” said head coach Luke Acheson. “We took too many undisciplined penalties and had some drops, missed blocks and other issues – but it is all stuff we can watch film and correct
“Mouat played some aggressive defense and has a group of capable tacklers – they are definitely on the way up.”
Ercy Avul finished with eight tackles and a sack for the Hawks, while Hrithik Kandola had six tackles and an interception.
“That was a tough loss playing a talented, big, athletic team,” said Mouat head coach Andrew Harder. “I was proud of our boys tonight. The defense scrapped all game. I thought we did a great job stopping the run and tackled as well as we have all season. Just need to limit some explosive plays in the passing game.
“We can’t win any games with six turnovers, though,” he added. “If we can clean that up, we can give ourselves a much better chance to be in the game late.”
Nixon Unger and Ethan Lynn played strong games for Mouat defense.
KELOWNA 42 at ABBOTSFORD 0
ABBOTSFORD — The visiting Owls had slogged some tough miles on the team bus en their way to a winless 0-2 conference start.
The ride back to Kelowna, however, was a lot more enjoyable Friday after the Owls (1-2) brought out their talons and earned a shutout win over the host Panthers
“Very proud of the boys for getting this win,” said Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright, who watched as running back Jack Nyrose rushed for 119 yards and four touchdowns on the day.
“We continue to see the growth that we need to be successful, and today, every player contributed to this win,” added Cartwright.
Quarterback Joey Howroko went 6-of-9 for 79 yards, including a 47-yard TD strike to Jaeke Schlachter. Special teams also put points on the board as Ethan Irvine scored on a punt return.
Everett Schmuland lead the defense with seven tackles while Nyrose had five tackles.
LORD TWEEDSMUIR 21 at CENTENNIAL 14
COQUITLAM — Reggie Elie and McCord Leeson put forth team-leading performances Friday as the visiting Panthers (2-1) topped the host Centaurs (1-2) at Percy Percy Perry Stadium.
Running back Elie carried 24 times for 186 yards, while quarterback Leeson went 11-of-17 for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
“Give Centennial credit for being well-prepared and playing hard,” said Tweedsmuir head coach Nick Kawaza, whose defence was led by the trio of Jaxon Allen, Parker Lodewijkx, Jayden Bailey. “Again, we were happy with our execution, but not as much with our discipline. We took too many selfish penalties and that hurt our effort.”
Jace Atkinson caught a pair of touchdown passes from Leeson as part of a 69-yard receiving night. Nate Swing caught another six passes for 75 yards and a score.
Leeson also rushed nine times for 56 yards.
“After having a difficult time stopping the Tweedsmuir running attack, I was proud of our response in the second half to shut them down on defence,” said Centennial head coach Dino Geremia. “Our offense gave us a chance to win the game. We will learn from this and re-commit for the second half of the season.
Ziad Sabry scored on a six-yard run and Andrew Roselli caught a six-yard touchdown pass in the loss. Sabry finished with 11 carries for 68 yards and also returned a kick-off 55 yards. Tamani Duncan had 74 all-purpose yards and five tackles while Nathan Chambers led the defence with six tackles.
RUTLAND 37 at OKANAGAN MISSION 7
KELOWNA — Rutland quarterback Ty Walker got his team off to the start it needed en route to a win over the Huskies.
Rutland scored on their second drive of the night with a six-yard bootleg run by quarterback Ty Walker.
In the second quarter, Walker threw a 25 yard strike to Mehkai Emerenini to make the score 14-0 at the half.
In the second half, Walker ran in his second score in from 6 yards out to make it 21-7
An interception by freshman defensive back Jorel Sahay (his second of the night) late in the third quarter set up the VooDoos next score for running back Kai Brydon who rumbled in from four yards out.
In the fourth quarter, defensive tackle Matt Harris sacked OKM’s quarterback in the end-zone for the safety making it 30-7.
Brydon scored his second rushing touchdown from 11 yards out to round out the scoring.
MT. BOUCHERIE 6 at AA No. 3 VERNON 22
VERNON —The Vernon Panthers’ stingy defense led the way to a key win over the visiting Mt. Boucherie Bears. The Panthers (2-0) pitched a shutout into the fourth quarter and put the game’s first two points on the board when Mt. Boucherie (1-1) took a safety in the opening stanza.
Grayson Statham led all tacklers with 11 while Landon Janke chipped in eight.
On the night, the ‘Cats had eight tackles for loss, a sack and two interceptions.
“Our defense was lights out again today,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “No. 23 (Aiden Wiberg) was a load to take down and he brings it every time he touches the ball – so I was happy that we were able to step up to the challenge and play tough against a physical team.”
Offensively, the Panthers continued to struggle to find the end zone and get into rhythm. Despite a season-high eight penalties that put them in tough down-and-distance situations, quarterback Jake Farrell had a successful day passing the ball going 15-of-21 for 247 yards and a touchdown.
Kolby Thorpe led all receivers with a game high 78 yards on three catches, including an 18-yard touchdown catch and a circus 33-yard catch along the sideline.
“Boucherie played a lot of cover-1 and 2-man which was a good opportunity for our receivers to make some big plays,” continued Smith. “We had six passing plays over 20 yards which was a good sign for our offence. Our offensive line did a great job and gave us time to throw when we needed it. I thought they did a great job on our screen calls which resulted in 65 yards of offense.”
The Panthers opened the scoring with a first quarter safety and followed it up with a one-yard touchdown run by Scotty Hoffman. The score would remain 9-0 until Thorpe’s touchdown extended the lead to 15. Following a fourth-quarter touchdown by Mt. Boucherie, Joe Murphy would close out the scoring with a 11-yard jet sweep major.
SOUTH KAMLOOPS 38 at SALMON ARM 6
SALMON ARM — It was a night where the South Kamloops Titans toyed with the yards-per-catch continuum.
Quarterback Jesse Petered completed 16-of-32 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns as the Titans (1-1) came away with their first conference win of the season at the expense of the host Golds (0-3) at Little Mountain Park.
The craziest numbers of all, however, belonged to receivers Ashton Yamaoka (four catches, 172 yards, two touchdowns) and Grayson Peters (three catches, 95 yards, one touchdown).
Jakob Kies also made a touchdown catch and Marqus Cook booted a field goal in addition to going 5-for-5 on PATs.
Peters with six tackles and two sacks, and Chase Argue with another six tackles led the defence.
“It’s great to have the first win of the year,” confirmed South Kam head coach Brad Yamaoka. “The defence played well and both lines had strong games.”
HOLY CROSS 8 at No. 2 ROBERT BATEMAN 41
ABBOTSFORD — The Timberwolves are sitting all alone atop the Coastal at 4-0 after Wolves’ quarterback Nolan Watrin put on another aerial show.
Watrin, for the second time this season, threw four touchdown passes in a game, this time spreading the wealth among three receivers as the Wolves toppled the Surrey’s visiting Crusaders (0-3).
“It was a good team win today,” began Bateman head coach David Mills. “What I liked was good execution in all three phases of the game. Our offence clicked along all game, we sustained drives and were able to hit on a couple of big plays which helped.”
Bateman scored all of its points over the first three quarters of play.
Watrin threw two TD strikes to receiver A.J. Nguyen, and one apiece to Braeden Tuchscherer and Drew Brown in a game they led 27-0 at the break.
Watrin also scored on a one yard run, while running back Micah Barker capped another from five yards out.
“Defensively we were pretty stout for most of the game and our special teams were able to come up with a turnover,” added the coach, whose team has the small matter of playing as big a mid-season game as we’ve seen in the AA ranks in a while.
No. 2 Bateman plays at No. 1 Langley this coming Friday at McLeod Stadium in a battle of conference unbeatens.
ARGYLE 0 at No. 1 LANGLEY 42
LANGLEY — They say home is where the heart is, and if it’s truism, then it can also lead to jitters… at least where high school football home openers are concerned.
Case in point were the No. 1-ranked Langley Thunderbirds, who after facing a very good Argyle Pipers team in the first half, and feeling a little of the stage fright playing in front of its home crowd at McLeod Stadium for the first time this season, went to the halftime locker room leading 7-0.
“We struggled in the first half coming out nervous for the first time in front of our home crowd, we ended up taking penalties and fell behind the sticks,” admitted ‘Birds offensive coordinator Joseph MacLeod afterwards. “But our team stayed calm and came out for a big second half. It was a physical game and Argyle got unlucky with a few injuries to key players.”
The second half?
Thirty-five unanswered points and now three games and counting in which the defence has not allowed a point. It was a definitive statement on the course the T-Birds have taken since coming out of the blocks unranked.
Langley, which rushed for 275 yards as a team, got five rushing majors from five different players in Jordan Williams, Ryan Goesen, Jordan Tomica, Reese Griffiths and Aaron Linden, the latter’s a 52-yard run to the end zone.
Goesen also carried eight time for 108 yards and a score, and came away with a pick on defence. Shawn Morse had four tackles and a fumble recovery.
No. 4 BALLENAS 30 at JOHN BARSBY 36
NANAIMO —J.D. Mazur made his impact felt on both sides of the ball Friday in the annual Border Battle.
The John Barsby senior running back and linebacker rushed for a short touchdown, scored another off a 50-yard interception return, and also registered nine tackles as the host Bulldogs (3-1) won their biggest game of the Coastal Conference season over Parksville’s Whalers (2-3).
It was, in fact, a performance that met the favour of winning head coach Rob Stevenson.
“I think we showed great resilience and mental toughness en-route to taking the biggest step yet this year towards becoming a complete football team,” said Stevenson after the game.
“We practiced hard and we practiced smart all week and the players are visibly morphing into their better selves with each passing day. We had contributions from a larger part of our roster than in past weeks and there was tremendous spirit and camaraderie on the bench throughout. Defensively, we have improved significantly from the start of the year and that bodes well with the offense and special teams reaching for their ‘A’ game as well.”
Mazur and Rhonde Lye each rushed for two yard scores, while quarterback Parker Moscrip threw touchdown passes of 35 and 30 yards to Ches Rednour-Bruckman.
Ballenas, however, led 14-13 at the half as Ryker Sansbury hit Kyle Keanrs with a 25-yard TD strike, then later, from two yards out, scored a rushing major himself.
In the second half, Reme Conway caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Sansbury, and then Sansbury caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Jupe.
Mazur’s pick-six, however, was opportune for the hosts, putting them ahead 36-22.
In the later stages, Ballenas drove down and scored on a Jupe four-yard keeper and the successful two point run by Ayden Chambers to make it 36-30 with less than 30 seconds to play.
Dramatically, the Whalers recovered the onside kick but their last-second passing attempt for the touchdown was intercepted.
Defensively for Barsby, Adam Chalmers led the tackling chart with 12 solos and a fumble recovery from his safety spot. In addition to Mazur’s pick-six, other interceptions were made by corners Ches Rednour-Bruckman, Kai Rednour-Bruckman and inside linebacker Ryder Mount.
“That was intense, it must have been very exciting for the fans, but it was disappointing for us because we know we beat ourselves because we had too many blown assignments, penalties, and turnovers,” said Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn. “That said, hats off to Barsby. They made changes to their game plan that took advantage of what we were doing and their kids made a lot of big plays in the passing game that went along with their grinding run game. It sucks to lose but that has to go down as one of the best Border Battles I have been a part of.”
Chambers finished with 15 carries for 189 yards, Sansbury was 22-of-29 for 273 yards passing and also caught six balls for 62 and a touchdown.
On defense, Enzo Agostini led the team with six tackles and Conway and Rio Shoda-Dooher each had five tackles.
CARSON GRAHAM 22 at WEST VANCOUVER 20
WEST VANCOUVER — Whatever Logan Mellish had to do to win, well, that’s what Mellish wound up doing.
And on Friday, for Carson Graham’s 6-foot-3, 190 pound senior quarterback, it meant leading his Eagles (3-1) on a game-defining 77-yard drive in the fourth quarter, one he capped with an 18-yard touchdown path to Aidan Nemeth as the wing-helmeted North Vancouverites edged the host Highlanders (1-2).
“He is one of the toughest kids I’ve coached,” said Eagles’ head coach Brian Brady after Mellish engineered a win which keeps Carson Graham battling at the top half of the Coastal against Robert Bateman, Langley and John Barsby. “He is extremely passionate and an incredible leader. Although we were down before the last drive, our offensive line was confident and demonstrated great leadership. Proud of our composure.”
They needed it on the defensive side of the ball as well, because West Vancouver quarterback Matthieu Theil’s arm sprayed the ball like a hose.
Theil went 22-of-36 for 335 yards and three touchdowns, including one apiece to receiver Tomo Hursthouse (seven for 79 yards), and tight end Lucas Perez (six for 104). Perez also added 11 tackles, while cornerback Ryan App had two interceptions.
“We had a frustrating first-half in terms of three turnovers,” explained Brady, “but in the second half, our defence really stepped up.”
Among the highlights for Carson Graham were linebackers Ryan Corda and Vytor Oliveira who each recorded eight tackles.
Offensively, Mellish finished 11-of-15 for 117 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Mellish also carried 17 times for 93 yards, and ran for a two-point convert, all in support of workhorse running back Ashton Fink, the senior who carried 25 times for 140 yards and a score.
“This one hurts,” explained West Vancouver head coach David Hollinshead. “Carson is extremely well coached and made the plays. Proud of my guys who fought ’til the end but just came up short.”
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.