Taking a well earned breather late in the game on defence, Langley's star running back Kai Thomas rushed for 279 yards and five touchdowns in a big AA win at Robert Bateman on Friday. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football

FINAL EDITION: Varsity Letters’ 10.11.19 Friday Night Lights B.C. High School Football Report

Welcome to the Friday Night Lights early edition of Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report. 

Keep checking back over the course of the evening for updates from all games played today around the province.




BURNABY — The St.Thomas More Knights are sitting with a perfect 4-0 conference record, and with three more games remaining, have the ability to finish first within their control.

On Friday, the Knights continued to show the province’s elite how complete they can be with healthy numbers on their roster, beating visiting Abbotsford (2-2), which fell for a second straight week, this time with injured provincial rushing leader Jalem Catlin sidelined by a leg injury.

Steady as always on offence, STM’s defence shifted the football fulcrum Friday, as the unit led by Rickey Parsons caused six turnovers with a fumble recovery and five interceptions.

Parsons, who also had five tackles, returned an interception return 10 yards for a touchdown, and also had a second pick that he returned 20 yards before being brought down.

STM running back Nick Osho had 19 carries for 160 yards  and three touchdowns, including a three-yard major off the Knights’ opening possession, for a 6-0 lead.

Although Abbotsford tied it 6-6, the Knights closed out with 34 unanswered points.

Jack Wagner had seven carries for 52 yards and scored on a 31-yard scamper in the fourth quarter, while Zack Kebede also scored a rushing touchdown from one-yard out, also in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Anthony De Lazzari was 5-of-14 passing for 60 yards.

Gabe Nacario and Osho each managed third-quarter picks, two of the team’s four interceptions in the frame.

Oliver Kaustinen would also have one interception in the fourth quarter.  

Wagner, Kaishaun Carter and Bryson Vanloo also tallied five tackles apiece.

“Full credit goes to coach (Jay) Fujiumura and the Panthers,” said STM head coach Steve De Lazzari. “They were missing a number of players tonight, and especially key offensive weapon Jalem Catlin. Nonetheless, they battled hard all night.”


KELOWNA — It was Kelowna’s day on Friday at the Apple Bowl.

“We are happy for the win today,” said head coach Chris Cartwright after his Owls (2-2) blanked Coquitlam’s visiting Centaurs (0-4). “It was nice to get some consistency on offence. Our receivers played well and we were able to get a running game going. We tried some different things this week to help bring that consistency.”

Kelowna quarterback Nate Beauchemin went 16-of-24 for 229 and an eye-popping five touchdown passes to go along with one rushing major.

Storm Buck rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns as the Owls rushed for 191 yards on the day. Buck also scooped up a blocked punt by teammate Isaac Athans for a touchdown. KSS also got touchdowns from Athans, Nolan Ulm and Kieran Koltun.

“Tonight was a tough night in which our issues were exposed in all areas,” said Centaurs’ head coach Dino Geremia.

Kelowna’s defence was led by Tariq Brown’s seven tackles, sack and fumble recovery.

TERRY FOX 6 at MISSION 0 (adds Mission stats, quotes)

MISSION — Ethan Elliott rushed for 67 yards, including 12 yards for the game’s only touchdown, as PoCo’s visiting Terry Fox Ravens beat the host Mission Roadrunners to secure its first conference win of the season.

“It was a battle of attrition out there today and I was really proud of the boys for hanging in to get the ‘W’,” said Ravens head coach Martin McDonnell.

Turnovers played a big part in the game as both teams turned over the ball deep in each other’s end.

“The first score was going to be important,” said Mission head coach Danny Jakobs, whose team fumbled the ball first-and-goal on the Fox eight-yard line in the second quarter. “We needed to look after the ball which we could not do and wasted a great scoring opportunity.”

Another Mission fumble in the third quarter gave Fox great field position and led to Elliott’s decisive score.

The Roadrunners’ last drive took them down to the Fox 11-yard line with less than a minute remaining.

A pass to the half-yard line was ruled, after much debate, incomplete, denying Mission a first-and-goal on the edge of the goal line.

“I thought he caught the ball but the refs ruled otherwise and that’s football so we will regroup and get ready for a good Kelowna team next week,” said Jakobs.

Terry Fox was able to to count on its offensive front, particularly Sean Olenik, Jordan Sye, Zachary Rego,  Ethan Ginogino, Alex Malcic, and Angelo Chalmers who forces a pair of fumbles, and registered a pair of sacks.

Ravens’ quarterback Matt Lew was 13-of-18 for 216 yards.

Zach Kristmanson, Ethan Elliott, and Peter Sazhin each found themselves on the end of long completions from Lew.

“Our defense played great today and Cody McMahon (six tackles, two sacks) showed why he may be one the best defensive ends in the province,” said Jakobs. “Cody was unstoppable and it will be fun watching him play at the next level.”

Mission still managed 252 yards rushing with Saxon Kernahan rushing for 157. The Grade 11 Saxon also had an interception.



NEW WESTMINSTER — The Handsworth Handsworth Royals (1-3) brought purpose and discipline to their defence Friday at Mercer Stadium, making No. 1-ranked Hyacks work for everything they got.

In the end, however, it wasn’t enough to prevent New Westminster (4-0) from winning its fifth straight overall and its fourth conference game in a row to remain deadlocked with South Delta atop the West.

Fittingly, perhaps, the two will meet on the final day of the regular season in early November to contest the Kushnir Boot.

“Full marks to Handsworth,” said Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji of a Royals’ team which conceded just a 27-yard Alex Beschea field goal and trailed the host Hyacks just 3-0 at the half.

“They had a very good game plan and executed it very well,” Lalji continued. “Their kids played extremely hard and stayed in the game throughout. In the second half their quarterback (Brett Birch-Jones) showed tremendous athleticism and kept a lot of plays alive.

“With the opponents we have on the horizon, I don’t think we respected our opponent enough going into this game and it showed,” added Lalji. “Our defence made a lot of stops in the first half while our offence struggled. In the second half our playmakers made some plays and got us through it.”

Greyson Planinsic and Michael Udo each rushed for over 100 yards in the victory.

Planinsic, who finished with 155 yards along the ground, helped make it 11-0 with a 49-yard scoring scamper.

Udoh, who totalled 122 yards, later helped make it 19-7 in the fourth quarter on a 54-yard scoring run.

Quarterback Payton Myers threw a touchdown pass to Taran Birdi to complete the scoring.


VICTORIA — After an 0-2 start to conference play, defending Subway Bowl champion Mt. Douglas are finding their groove.

Back-to-back shutouts, Friday’s 34-0 win over crosstown foe Belmont coming on the heel’s of last week’s identical 34-0 blanking of Notre Dame, suddenly have the Rams sitting at .500.

“Our players started strong again, and played a great first half in all phases,” began Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend. “For the second week in a row, we had a huge goal-line stand in the first half.”

Senior linebacker Kai Harris played his best game of the season, and was the instrumental in pitching the shutout for the Rams while fellow ‘backers Peter Primeau and Cole Bunting also shone.

The big boost, however, came in the secondary, where Branden Turnbull returned from injury.

“He played amazing, and we know great things are on the horizon for him,” said Townsend.

Mt. Douglas’ defence recorded a pair of safeties on the night.

On the offensive side of the ball, Jackson Reid scored on touchdown runs of 30 and five yards. Glen Rose opening the scoring by hauling in 37-yard pass from quarterback Hunter Swift. Primeau rumbled in to score from a yard out and Luciano Coombs booted a 35 yard field goal.

“We have to give huge credit to our offensive line for opening up some outstanding running lanes for our backfield,” said Townsend. “Our big boys up front…Jackson McEwan, Matt Ounsted, Caleb Carrier, Logan Warde, Roman Dujela were awesome.”


BURNABY — Ben McDonald threw four touchdown passes to Evan Paterson, but it wasn’t until the final one, from 20 yards out in the fourth quarter, that the No. 2-ranked South Delta Sun Devils (4-0) had enough to hold back the pesky, host Notre Dame Jugglers (1-3).

Paterson finished with 12 catches for 207 yards on the game while Bennett Stoilen led the winning defence with nine tackles.

“The guys really stepped it up and made some great plays tonight,” said Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly of his team. “South Delta has some big-time athletes and they were clearly the more talented team, but we hung with them for most of the game.”

And how.

It took a 26-of-45 passing performance for 303 yards and five touchdowns from McDonald just to hold off the Jugglers.

Paterson caught strikes of 32, 21 and 14 yards from McDonald for a 20-8 second-quarter lead. McDonald also hit Ethan Troniak for a 14-yard touchdown and a 28-16 lead just before the half.

Yet even when McDonald rushed for a 10-yard score on a drive set up by a blocked punt, taking a 34-18 lead in the third, the Jugglers had the perseverance to rally.

A pass interference call against the Sun Devils in their end zone led to a safety for Notre Dame, closing the gap to 34-18.

The Jugglers then went on a long drive and scored before the end on the third quarter and also added a two-point convert pass to fullback Luca Brown to pull within 34-26.

Stopping South Delta on downs, the Jugglers scored on their next possession as Vincenzo Nardulli ran it in from 35 yards out, and despite a failed two-point convert, Notre Dame trailed just 34-32.

Paterson’s back- breaking 20-yard TD catch, followed by a Damon Badenhorst four-yard scoring run ultimately put the game out of reach.

Jugglers’ running back Nardulli had a great game, scoring three touchdowns while also shining at linebacker.

Notre Dame quarterback Carmello Renzullo had a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Denis Moses in the second quarter, and later also hit split end Matt Battad on a 55-yard pass play down to the South Delta two-yard line. Nardulli also threw a touchdown pass and two-point convert pass to tight end Austin Longstaff.

Oliver Wyszomirski and Antonio Cusati had interceptions in the loss for Notre Dame.


NORTH VANCOUVER — Daesaun Johnson rushed for 150 yards and all five of his team’s touchdowns as the Fighting Irish (3-1) topped the host Carson Graham Eagles (1-3) in decisive fashion Friday afternoon.

Johnson rushed 45 yards for his first major in the opening frame, then rushed for scores of five, 60 and four yards in the second quarter as Vancouver College led 29-0 at half.

“We had a big day from Daesaun Johnson and the offensive line,” confirmed VC head coach Todd Bernett who watched as Johnson scored the team’s final major from six yards out in the third quarter. “We had multiple penalties that put us in long down and distance. The run game got us out of those situations.”

On the day, the Irish carried 27 times for 257 yards and a 9.5 ypc average.

Said Carson Graham head coach Brian Brady: “We were down a handful of key starters and really couldn’t execute on either side of the ball. We’re hoping to get these guys back for next week’s game against Mount Doug. Vancouver College, as always, was tough and well coached.”

Trent Skill rushed 15 times for 56 yards and scored the Eagles’ only touchdown.

The VC defence was led by Matt Hoag’s seven tackles, as well as six more from Jackson Findlay and five from Keijaun Johnson.

“Defensive alignment and discipline with our assignments were critical today – and we took another step forward in that area,” added Bernett.




SURREY — D.J. Stephens returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, and quarterback Josh Janssen passed for six scores on the night as Chilliwack’s visiting Falcons blanked Surrey’s host Stars.

Stephens caught three touchdown passes while Sawyer Tether, Noah Saunders and Davies Mitchell caught one apiece.

“Our defensive coordinator (Mike Picken) had the unit ready to go and I thought they set the pace all night, swarming the ball to help pitch a shutout,” said Sardis head coach Adam Smith after the battle of the two second-year programs.

“(Sullivan Heights) coach Gord (Randall) had his team playing hard and working all game. That is hard to do when they have been struggling. It shows that they are buying into the program he is starting to build there. When it comes together they will be a very competitive team.” 



SURREY — Abbotsford’s visiting W.J. Mouat Hawks (2-1) cast their line and reeled in the host Earl Marriott Mariners (3-1) in South Surrey.

With the red-hot Mariners looking to go 4-0 in the conference, quarterback Tyran Duval went 18-of-23 for 254 yards, but just as importantly rushed for 34 yards and two touchdowns.

“Our athletes came into this game knowing it was essentially do-or-die with a chance to keep ourselves alive in the Pacific playoff hunt,” said Hawks’ head coach Andrew Harder. “I can’t be any more proud of our group of athletes for how they answered the bell against a well-coached, talented Earl Marriott team.

Mouat opened the bag of tricks on the opening kickoff, recovering an onside kick before eventually booting a field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Earl Marriott quarterback Sam LaRoue embodied the fighting spirit of his team over the course of the afternoon, going 11-of-14 for 254 yards, including a 20-yard TD strike to Isaiah Edwards, while also calling his own number for a 21-yard rushing score.

Duval, however, was just as determined, rushing for scores of five of 12 yards as the Hawks led 17-7 at the break.

Logan Egresits was huge defensively for the winners, picking off a Marriott pass on his own three-yard line.

Then, late in the fourth quarter, Mouat’s Anthony Jaruchik made a great play to force a safety and seal the win.

Seth Young caught four passes for 100 yards while Keenan Baker caught six passes for 58 yards.

Jaruchik had a pair of sacks in addition to his safety.

“We can’t lose our composure during tight games,” said EMS head coach Michael Mackay Dunn. “Today, we did and it showed. We can’t give a well-drilled team like Mouat the advantage. Mouat came out with a solid game plan.”

There were, however, plenty of solid moments for the Marriott defence.

“Proud of our defence, the way they dug deep and battled,” the coach added.

Byron Ruvalcaba led the way again with 17 tackles, while Dean Muerrens and Michael Ficken had 12 and nine tackles respectively. Erich Mueller had one fumble recovery while Dylan Weichler blocked a field goal to snuff out a Mouat drive.




SALMON ARM —They passed it just enough to be able to run it, and in the end, it was enough to keep the visiting Titans (2-0) undefeated in conference action.

Host Salmon Arm loaded the box early intent on stopping the run, so South Kamloops’ quarterback Eric Crawford took it to the airwaves.

Gabe Rowe had two receptions for 66 yards, Eric Lunn had two more for 45 yards and Jacob Bond added a five-yard touchdown reception, all of which ultimately eased the congestion near the line of scrimmage.

“I was happy with how we adjusted to different looks Salmon Arm gave us tonight,” said Titans’ head coach JP Lancaster, whose ground game was keyed by the 211 yards rushing and four touchdowns of running back Mike MacDonald, who also had 47 yards in receptions. “They had put together a nice game plan and we were able to counter.”

Kayden Crawford added another 140 yards on the ground while Eric Lunn made an interception.

“I appreciated the opportunity to line up across from a former UBC teammate in Salmon Arm head coach Jordan Grieve,” said Lancaster. “It’s great seeing fellow young coaches out there growing football programs in B.C.



ABBOTSFORD — Kai Thomas carried 18 times for 279 yards and five touchdowns, and the visiting Saints continued to live up to their ranking as Subway Bowl title contenders.

“Today’s game was dominated once again by our offensive line, and by the hard running of our backs,” said Langley head coach Ryk Piché, whose charges rushed for 398 yards on the day. “I know this is cliché, but the game was won in the trenches and our boys did their job.”

Harshaad Jouhal had 19 carries for 107 yards and one touchdown, while Trenton Warren shone in a blocking role for the pair.

Phoenix Moller’s rushing major had Bateman (0-1) on top 6-0 but it was all Langley (2-0) the rest of the day, as they took a 21-6 lead into the half.

“I have to give kudos to that Langley team,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “They have a very physically imposing group of players up front, and when you pair that with someone with the speed of (Thomas), it’s a deadly combination.

“I’m really proud of our guys…they went through a meat grinder today,” added Mills. “Defensively  I thought we actually did a pretty descent job for most of the game.  They got loose for four or five big runs which hurt us.  But we wanted to make them earn every yard they got, and for the most part, I think we did that.”

Piché was quick to tip his cap to the Saints’ defence.

“Our defence and our defensive coordinator (Mark Wyse) deserve credit where credit is due, they played lights out, holding Bateman to six points was a great feat in itself and getting two interceptions (Balsher Randhawa, Kaleb Reeymeyer) was great to see,” added Piché. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I told the boys to enjoy their turkey this weekend and be back at it Monday. Yes, Monday… because we can’t take any time off getting ready for G.W. Graham.”



NORTH VANCOUVER — Just in case you may have been wondering, the John Barsby Bulldogs still love to ground and pound the football.

Nanaimo’s visiting Bulldogs (1-1) rushed for 332 yards on the day en route to a convincing win over the host Pipers (0-1).

Garrett McCauliffe had a huge afternoon, carrying 13 times for 155 yards and four touchdowns while Samuella Nakuna carried nine times for 125 yards and two majors.

“It felt really good watching our hard work the past eight weeks bear fruit,” said Barsby head coach Rob Stevenson. “Proud of the fellas!”

Quarterback Tyson Vollans also scored on a three-yard scamper in the third quarter.

Defensively the Dawgs were led in tackles by safety Ricardo Zavala Torres with six and linebacker Fabian George with five. Corner Felice Toscano recorded a 10 yard interception and tackle Josh Wakely recovered an Argyle fumble.



PRINCE GEORGE — In a battle for first place in the North on the second-to-last weekend of the conference season, Nechako Valley pivot Kayden Young rushed for one score and threw for another, while fullback Garrett Dick rushed for two others as the Vikings (2-1) beat the host Cougars (1-2) at Masich Stadium.

Young threw a deep strike to Connar Hoffman and receiver Kam Shoesmith carried for a score as part of the win.

Defensively, the Vikings shut out the Cougars over the second half.

Safety Connar Hoffman recorded two picks, and Corner Nolan Weinhardt one in the win. Teancum Arnold and Dorin Gulbranson effective pressure from the Vikings’ front.

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