Robert Bateman head coach David Mills chats with his charges during a break in the second-half action Friday afternoon against Surrey's Holy Cross Crusaders. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football

FINAL EDITION: Varsity Letters’ Friday Night Lights 10.25.19 B.C. High School Football Report

LANGLEY — We’ve gone final for the night.

Check back with us tomorrow for late games as well as Saturday’s schedule of contests.

New Westminster defensive tackle Vishaan Narayan (75) comes up with one of his seven tackles during Friday’s Western Conference win over the Belmont Bulldogs at Mercer Stadium. (Photo by Alan Wardle property of New Westminster Hyacks football 2019. All Rights Reserved)






NORTH VANCOUVER — Five different Irish players scored touchdowns, and the while the balance was evident in its offence, the defence made its mark, too, pitching an October shutout Friday on the shore.

“Our focus in all phases was really on point,” agreed Irish head coach Todd Bernett. “Scoring on our opening drive and getting the ball back quickly gave us a good vibe that continued for the entire game.”

That drive, one capped by a two-yard keeper by quarterback Alex Nyvlt, set the tone for a 20-point first quarter.

Jason Soriano on a 20-yard run and Daesaun Johnson on a 23-yard run, accounted for the rest of the first-quarter offence.

Nyvlt later hooked up on a 60-yard scoring strike to Josh Lum-Tong, and Johnson scored from 11 yards out to make it 34-0 at half.

Vit Vignarajah caught a 12-yard pass from Christian McMahan in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring on a day when Ben Kolb added five PATs.

“Defensively, our coaches have been excellent in preparation and game-day calls,” added Bernett as Chris Trstenjak, Matt Hoag and Jackson Findlay combined to make nine of the team’s 20 primary tackles. “Our kids are aligning properly and we are in the right fits against the opponent scheme. This has been a huge area of growth during our win streak.”

Since losing to South Delta 38-23 on Sept. 23 in its conference opener, the Irish have beaten Mt Douglas, Belmont, Carson Graham, New Westminster and now  Handsworth.

It puts that five-game streak on the line this coming Friday  (2 p.m.) when it hosts Notre Dame in the annual Archbishops Trophy game at O’Hagan Field.

“It’s playoff football at this point now…” said Bernett looking ahead to the Jugglers’ matchup. “It’s a playoff game for both schools and we are in do-or-die mode.”


NEW WESTMINSTER — Michael Udoh ran for three second-half touchdowns as the host, No. 3-ranked  Hyacks (5-1) needed a second-half comeback effort to rally past Victoria’s young Belmont Bulldogs (0-6) at Mercer Stadium.

After Samuel Webb hooked up on a 23-yard scoring catch from quarterback Payton Myers to put the home team ahead 24-14, Belmont showed no quit against a shorthanded New West team, putting two majors on the board to take a 27-24 lead into halftime.

But then Udoh, who carried 14 times for 161 yards,  found the end zone on back-to-back scoring runs of 23 and 38 yards.

In the fourth quarter, he even added his third rushing major of the contest, from five yards out, to wrap up the scoring.

“I can’t recall being a part of a high school game that took more than three hours to complete,” said Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji. “It wasn’t our best effort in terms of discipline. The past two games we have been very good in that regard but today we just couldn’t get out of our own way, especially defensively. We gave them so many extra first downs.”

The Bulldogs, who had been outscored by a whopping 148 combined points in their previous five conference games, ran 81 plays, 17 more than New Westminster, which played without five key starters.

“…so on some levels we just needed to get through it and move on to next week,” added Lalji, looking ahead to the annual Kushnir Boot tilt its potential to play a part in a three-way season-ending tie between themselves the Sun Devils and the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. “South Delta is an exceptional team and our discipline and execution will need to be at our best. But Belmont really came to play today and came back from multiple two-score deficits. My hats off to them because they are very young and will be very good next season.”

Greyson Planinsic carried 15 times for 137 yards, including a 35-yard TD run to open the scoring for the Hyacks.

New Westminster’s other major came on an 11-yard run by Mahtab Garcha.

The Hyacks outgained Belmont in total yards 431 to 280, rushing for 385 yards on the game.



COQUITLAM — Rickey Parsons couldn’t have delivered better if it were happening in his dreams.

The reality of the situation, after the St. Thomas More Knights standout scored all three of his team’s touchdowns in the second-half, including two off pick-six thefts, is that the Knights will head into their Eastern Conference regular season finale against Lord Tweedsmuir next week with a chance to finish a perfect 7-0.

After running back Nick Osho had a pair of first-half rushing majors wiped off the board by penalties against an inspired Centennial defence on Friday at Burnaby Lakes, Parsons put his imprint on the game over its final two quarters.

First, he returned a 25-yard interception for a touchdown on Centennial’s first offensive series of the second half.

Then, on STM’s first series after the break, quarterback Anthony De Lazzari would hit Parsons with a 30-yard fade for the major score.

And then on Centennial’s ensuing drive, Parsons once again sizzled on defence, this time from midfield with a 50-yard pick-six play.

“The interceptions for touchdowns turned the tables on us,” admitted Centaurs head coach Dino Geremia. “We couldn’t fight back from it.”

Osho had 15 carries for 125 yards while De Lazzari was 7-of-14 for 80 yards passing and a touchdown.

Parsons added five tackles along a defence led by the eight of Alex Cordeiro. Jack Wagner had five tackles, while Kaishaun Carter had four.

Luca Iallanardo and Bryson Vanloo each added sacks.

For Centennial, Keyshawn Beswick had four receptions for 46 yards, and scored the Centaurs’ lone major in the fourth quarter.

Antonio Bianchi and Felipe Ruiz each made five tackles in the loss while Cole Kashino provided tough yards and had another big night on kickoff-return duty. 


COQUITLAM — With its vastly improved fortunes in 2019 has come some program firsts for the Kelowna Owls.

On Friday at Percy Perry Stadium, the Owls’ shutout win over the Ravens represented the program’s first-ever senior varsity win over the provincial powerhouse which is going through a rebuilding season.

“It was another good win for us,” said Owls head coach Chris Cartwright, whose program improved to 4-2 in the West ahead of its trip to North Delta a week from Saturday for a conference finale against the Seaquam Seahawks.

Quarterback Nathan Beauchemin was 12-of-16 for 210 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were hauled in by Nolan Ulm as part of his 88-yard receiving night.

Running back Noah Gross churned for 58 yards on the ground including a 10-yard major.

Ulm led the defence with six tackles while kicker Risto Zimmer made all four of his PATs.

The Ravens’ offence was lead on the ground by Ethan Elliott with 85 yards and Ethan Shuen with 72 yards, both of whom battled hard against a heavy box by Kelowna. Peter Sazhin made his first-ever for the Ravens at quarterback, replacing the inactive Matt Lew .

The under-manned Terry Fox defence did all it could to hold off Kelowna’s high-flying passing attack. Sean Olenik, who recorded a sack as well as several pressures, shone along with Al Malcic and Elliott. Chase Scrivener had an interception in the loss.

Terry Fox closes out conference play next week with its annual rivalry game against Centennial.

MISSION 6 AT No. 4 LORD TWEEDSMUIR 33 (adds Mission quotes, stats)

SURREY — The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (5-1) will play for the Eastern Conference title on the final day of the regular season next week.

B.C.’s No. 4-ranked team got that opportunity after claiming a 33-6 win over the visiting Mission Panthers (1-5) on Friday in Cloverdale.

Swirling winds threatened to play havoc with the passing game, and thus Panthers’ pivot Terrel Jones threw just a pair of passes.

One, however, was a 20-yard scoring strike to Jaxon Stebbings.

Jones also caught touchdown passes of five and 68 yards from backup quarterback Key’Shaun Dorsey, and he also rushed five times for 40 yards, including a pair of key drive-extending carries. 

Tremel State-Jones rushed five times for 107 yards and two touchdowns, one from five yards and the other from 73 yards.

“I was really proud of our effort in stopping the Mission double-wing offence,” said Lord Tweedsmuir head coach Kurt Thornton who moved Kyle Dodd in the scheme to middle linebacker from his usual spot up front and watched him record a sack among his 17 tackles.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times with untimely penalties but we had some kids really grind out this game,” added Thornton who also got 11 tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries from Liam Harrison.

“We had two kids who normally don’t start for us whom we asked to do some really tough work inside and they were very effective creating penetration and disrupting the pullers,” added the coach of Josh Bachmeier and Noah Wright who combined for nine tackles and showed the depth of the unit.

“Lord Tweedsmuir always has a stable of athletic players and that was the difference today for us,” said Mission head coach Danny Jakobs. “We just could not match  their athleticism. It was our downfall today.

“But teams are more refined in their approach to the double wing this year as opposed to last year,” he added. “We tried to do a few different things this game but they were well prepared.”

Saxon Kernahan ran 15 times for 82 yards and quarterback Josh Bucholz was 2-of-9 for 42 yards including a 32-yard touchdown strike to Naslund Asher. 

Cody McMahon once again led the defence with five tackles and a sack.

“Cody is a total team player,” added Jakobs. “We have moved him around from game to game and he just keeps making plays on both sides of the ball.”

The Panthers will face No, 5 St. Thomas More next week to wind up the regular season, while Mission does the same with Abbotsford.


VANCOUVER — Postponed due to weather.


Holy Cross defensive tackle Landon Sommers (right) strips the ball and eventually recovers it early in the third quarter of a AA East league clash Friday in Surrey. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2019. All Rights Reserved)



SURREY — Shutout second-half defence and a  big third-quarter takeaway did more than suggest a happy ending for the host Crusaders.

Ty Martens, however, inflicted enough early damage for Abbotsford’s visiting Timberwolves, and in the end it proved to be just enough in a three-point win that keeps Bateman (2-1) in the battle for a top-two finish with Langley and G.W. Graham.

Holy Cross (0-3), meanwhile, remained winless ahead of its final regular-season game next Friday at home to Frank Hurt.

Bateman quarterback Martens called his own number on two first-half scoring runs, one from 60 yards and the other from four, giving his team all the points it would need. Martens would carry eight times for 107 yards on the day.

Phoenix Moller rushed 10 times for 75 yards, and recorded six tackles along the defence from his linebacking spot. Up front, Connor Dueck had five tackles and two sacks while Josh Olafsen had six tackles.

On the Timberwolves’ first drive of the second half, however, big Holy Cross senior tackle Landon Sommers stripped the ball from the Wolves, eventually leading to a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback TJ Fujimura to Uyi Ologhola.

The Crusaders added the two-point convert, but could get no closer than three points when the Wolves played the field position game and conceded a safety.

Fujimura went to Ologhola on a last-ditch fourth-and-15, but the pass attempt fell incomplete.

“Defensively we played a great game today,” said Bateman head coach David Mills. “Our front seven did a great job of forcing them into negative yardage plays on first down and making them play behind the sticks. Offensively, we played a good first quarter, but had way too many penalties and we couldn’t get anything going the rest of the game.  We will have to be more disciplined in future games.”

The Crusaders got a nice pass rush from its defensive ends Kekeli Agbenu and Ologhola, but didn’t have enough to offset Bateman’s strong start.

“That was a tough one today,” admitted Crusaders’ head coach Conrad Deugau. “We started slow, giving up an early 13 and then we settled down and made a solid comeback. Unfortunately we fell short in the end. It was a really good chess match.”



SURREY — Coming off it’s one-point win a week prior against conference rival Langley, Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies challenged themselves to be ready and to start fast against the building, second-year Stars’ franchise.

It was mission accomplished.

Austin Forgues opened the scoring on defence, tackling Sullivan Heights’ punter in the end zone for a safety.

And even though Jaiden Claassen’s 50-yard touchdown off a handoff on the Grizzlies’ first offensive snap was called back by a holding penalty, Claassen still got the job done three plays later, capping things with a 15-yard run.

“Coming off an emotionally-charged victory against Langley, our coaches weren’t sure how our players would respond knowing that this week would not be the same level of intensity or physicality,” said GWG head coach Luke Acheson. “Our coaches challenged our players to play hard for the man playing behind them so they would have an opportunity to shine. I was very happy in the way our players responded.  They embraced the opportunity to play for their teammates and came out focused and energized.”

Kaleb Spaner picked up where Claassen left off, scoring on long runs from 30 yards and 54 yards before stepping aside to let Daniel King spin from the running back position. King scored his fist touchdown ever on a 10-yard run up the middle. King would score again on the next possession on a 35-yard toss play.

The Grizz rounded out the scoring with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Grayson Frick to Josh Caverly for 45 yards, and a 20-yard Frick TD pass to Colton Holt.

“They have an outstanding team, which is big, physical and athletic,” said Sullivan Heights head coach Gord Randall. “I came away really impressed. That is a Double-A finalist right there. On our side, it was nice to break our long scoring drought on senior night with two seniors in Jalen Linsangan-Reyes and Ryan Sobotin leading the way.”

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. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *