Robert Bateman running back Phoenix Moller rushed for three TDs in the Wolves 49-20 win over the visiting South Kamloops Titans. (Photo by Rick MacDonald property of Rick MacDonald photography 2019. All rights reserved)
Feature High School Football

Varsity Letters’ B.C. High School Football Report: 09.27.19 Friday Night Lights early edition

Welcome B.C. high school football fans!

It’s Friday and has been the habit for the last decade-plus during the fall, that means it’s time for the B.C. High School Football Report.

Please check back on this posting through the course of the evening as we update our loyal readers on games being played around the province.

First. we’ve got a scoreboard, followed by out game reports!





Kelowna 10 Lord Tweedsmuir 7

Seaquam 33 Mission 0

St. Thomas More 21 Terry Fox 11


Handsworth 21 Belmont 18

New Westminster 36 Notre Dame 14



Nanaimo District 29 West Vancouver 6


Rutland 54 Sullivan Heights 0

Mt. Boucherie 31 Sardis 19



Okanagan Mission at Salmon Arm

Vernon 28 Clarence Fulton 0


Robert Bateman 49 South Kamloops 20

Ballenas 34 Frank Hurt 0

Holy Cross 26 Argyle 0

Windsor 8 W.J. Mouat 7

G.W. Graham at Centralia (Wash.)


Earl Marriott 20 Eric Hamber 6




Carson Graham at South Delta

Mt. Douglas at Vancouver College


Centennial at Abbotsford



College Heights at Nechako Valley





SURREY — The Kelowna Owls have served notice that the chase for the 2019 Subway Bowl AAA title is wide open, kicking a walk-off field goal to stun the No. 1-ranked and host Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers 10-7.

Owls’ placekicker Risto Zimmer refused to psych himself out, taking full advantage of back-to-back Tweedsmuir penalties to boot the winner from 18 yards out.

Zimmer, who had missed late in last week’s 14-12 loss to Abbotsford, had originally lined up to kick a 33-yarder.

The Panthers were whistled, however, for roughing the kicker, and then on the second attempt, were called offside.

The third time proved to be the charm.

“Our group has seen the extremes of football the last four weeks,” said Kelowna head coach Chris Cartwright as he boarded the bus back to Kelowna with his team. “We are on a fun journey. The learning and the process is real. We are very excited for our boys to come out with the win today.”

Cartwright made a big decision in the fourth quarter, electing to switch things up at the quarterback position, putting in Nate Beauchemin in place of starter Isaac Athans.

The change-up provided quick dividends as Beauchemin, as a part of a 4-for-8, 84-yard role out of the bullpen, connected with Caeleb Schlachter on a 56-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7.

But what an epic defensive struggle it was the entire game.

The score was locked 0-0 until about six minutes remained. That’s when LT’s Tremel States-Jones found a crease and exploded 20 yards for a 7-0 lead.

“Both defences were stellar,” Panthers’ head coach Kurt Thornton said. “We struggled with Kelowna’s pressure packages all day. Congrats to Kelowna. They have some really good players. We’ll get back to work right away and prepare for a tough Abbotsford team next week.”

Nathan Gilbert led the Kelowna defence with five tackles and a sack, while Nolan Ulm helped the Owls march the ball with six catches for 65 yards.

States-Jones was huge for Lord Tweedsmuir, and all tolled was responsible for four turnovers. He made two picks and returned them for a total 75 yards, and he also recovered two botched Owls’ punts.


COQUITLAM — Two early touchdowns and tremendous defensive play which led to a safety gave the visiting Knights a 15-0 cushion they parlayed into an Eastern Conference road victory over the Terry Fox Ravens on Friday night at Percy Perry Stadium.

Anthony De Lazzari threw a 40-yard touchdown to Gabe Nacario on a fade route for a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.

The STM defence then forced the Ravens to punt from deep in their end zone, with a high snap leading to a safety and an 8-0 lead.

Running back Nick Osho added his first of two rushing majors from 10 yards out to make it 15-0.

Terry Fox fought back to make it 15-11, but Osho rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter with another scoring run.

“Fox is a well coached football team, and they seem to be getting better every week,” said Knights’ head coach Steve De Lazzari. “They have a lot of good athletes and they battled us hard all night.”

Quarterback De Lazzari went 17-of-22 for 180 yards, spreading the wealth to seven different receivers.

Kaishaun Carter led the defense with four tackles, while Luca Iallanardo had three tackles and Osho two more, as well as an interception he returned 21 yards.

In a situation unusual for the Ravens, numbers are down, but when you lose a few more to illness and minor injuries things can get tough in a hurry.

The near-exclusive Grade 11 lines are improving but still learning to compete at the Triple A level.

Standouts in a losing cause included quarterback Matt Lew Henriksen, and the quartet of Kyle Huish, Alex Malcic, Ethan Elliot and Brenden Jun, all of whom have either taken on multiple positions with aplomb or in the case of Jun have been thrown into frontline duty perhaps quicker than anticipated.

“The good news is of course that most of our linemen are Grade 11s and are gaining valuable experience improving and learning what it takes to be more competitive,” said head coach Martin McDonnell.


MISSION — It’s hard to find a coach who can say a discouraging word when all three phases of play come together on the football field.

That was most definitely the mood of Seaqam head coach Navin Chand after his Seahawks claimed a convincing in-conference victory on the road Friday.

“I am excited that our defence has not allowed a point in two games,” said Chand.”This was one of the best games that our linebackers played this season as a unit.”

In that phase of play, Justin Eng led the team in tackles with 10. He also scored a rushing touchdown. Corbin Grant had eight ackles and a fumble recovery 

The offence?

How about efficiency and balance?

“Offensively, the line continues to open up big holes for our running backs,” said Chand, who watched as Christian Carlon-Diaz carried 16 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns, all part of Seaquam’s 200-plus yard rushing day.

Quarterback Jay Mather went six-of-10 for 101 yards and one touchdown via the air.

“Happy to see that we completed some big passes as well which gives us a good balanced attack,” said Chand.

Chipping in with some nice special teams numbers, Xavier Cole totalled 133 all-purpose yards, from rushing, receiving and punt returns.

Trace Reksky and Matt White led the Mission defence with four tackles apiece. The Roadrunners managed 124 yards rushing with Matt Roadhouse leading the way with 45 yards.

“We were short handed this week but full credit to a hungry Seaquam team,” said Mission head coach Danny Jakobs. 



NEW WESTMINSTER — The World Series has yet to begin, but that didn’t stop the New Westminster Hyacks from coming out and playing football’s version of swinging for the fences Friday at Mercer Stadium.

Sandwiched between Owen Stark’s fumble return for a touchdown as part of a 22-0 first-quarter explosion were book-end 60-plus yard touchdown scoring runs from Michael Udoh.

Afterwards, however, Hyacks’ head coach Farhan Lalji seemed to warn against reading too much into the score.

“It was not indicative of how close this game was,” he said. “Notre Dame came in with a very good game plan and executed well on both sides of the ball. We fortunately made some big plays early and jumped out to an early lead. But they battled back and made us work to finish things off.”

With all of the parity in AAA this season, including unranked Kelowna’s 10-7 win Friday afternoon over No. 1 Lord Tweedsmuir, only the most consistent teams in the execution department are going to survive and have a chance at being the last team standing.

“We were too big-play based tonight and that’s not sustainable throughout the season in such a competitive conference,” said Lalji. “We need to be more consistent moving the ball. Winning in our conference is not easy, so I don’t want our players to take that for granted. I want them to enjoy it. But from a coach’s standpoint, it was a hard win to feel good about.”

New West had just 11 first downs all game. The Jugglers had 18.

Udoh’s first TD came on the opening play of the game and covered 65 yards. He later answered with another from 62 yards and finished with 158 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“We got off to a terrible start and were down 14-0 before three minutes had come off the clock,” said Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly. “We were encouraged by the way the team got back into the game later in the second quarter. We settled down and played solid football, but New West is a well-drilled team and were full value for the win.”

The Jugglers got on the scoreboard to make it 22-8 at the half when pivot Carmello Renzullo hit wide receiver Matt Battad for a score, then tight end Austin Longstaff on a two-point convert.

Using a strong running game to start the second half, a promising Notre Dame drive ended in a fumble inside the New West 40-yard line, then another drive inside New West territory also end in a fumble.

The Hyacks got a five-yard scoring run from Greyson Planinsic, and added a two-point covert to make it 30-8.

Notre Dame’s response was a five-yard scoring run by Vinny Nardulli.

Austin Galbraith of the Hyacks wrapped up the scoring with a 28-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“Both teams had trouble handling the ball and turned it over far too often on simple snaps,” added Lalji. “It was a sloppy game from that standpoint so I’m sure both sides will lament that.”


NORTH VANCOUVER — The host Handsworth Royals didn’t start off the way they wanted to Friday, but the finish was just fine.

After giving up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, the Royals answered right back with a long drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brett Birch-Jones to Ethan McCullagh-Rabiner and it set the tone for the rest of a back-and-forth contest.

Robert Lutman had another outstanding day on the ground for the winners, carrying 19 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns, extending his 100-yard-plus rushing streak to three games. He also caught two passes for 38 yards.

Offensive lineman Lucas Eisner and John Carlo Vasquez had outstanding performances against a big Belmont defensive line.

Birch-Jones had an effective day throwing the ball, completing 13-of-22 passes for 127 yards and a score.

Micheal Dinoto led the receiving corps with six catches for 60 yards while also kicking PATs on three scores. In the end, they proved to be the difference.

On defence, Sev Horak led the winners with five tackles while Jake Waltz had four tackles and a sack. Shahan Djavady and Austin Patillo each had a pick.




WEST VANCOUVER — No frills football suited the Nanaimo District Islanders just fine.

Four touchdowns, all on the ground, all from within seven yards of the Highlanders’ goal line, and three coming via the halfback run off tackle carried the visitors to a convincing win in its Pac-D North conference opener Friday.

“Nanaimo played traditional, hard-nosed football today with their run game,” said West Vancouver coach David Hollinshead. “They fought hard for every yard.”

NDSS quarterback Andrew Mattes opened the scoring in the first quarter off a two-yard sneak.

Halfback Mack Livingstone went off tackle for three yards to score before the end of the opening frame, and halfback Sal Raap-Kopiyka did likewise on runs of seven and six yards respectively in the second and third quarters.

The majority of West Van’s offence came from receivers Jay Armitage and Ben Brink. Armitage scored the lone touchdown and finished with seven catches for 78 yards, while Brink caught six passes for 71 yards.

Raap-Kopiyka carried 12 times for 133 yards in the win, all part of a 29-carry, 205-yard rushing day by the Isles.

Linebackers Yu Chen Tai and Jason Depka led the winning defence with one interception each while Depka supplied seven tackles.

“It was a solid start to league play,” said NDSS coach Nate Stevenson. “Our offense scored early and then a fourth-down stop deep in our end seemed to elevate our play. Our defense played a good, tight game. They consistently kept things in front and gave our offence short fields to work with. More polish and a better understanding of scheme is needed on both sides of the ball. West Van showed it could throw and catch, and they  dominated the time of possession. I am happy our defence was up to the task today.”

Added Hollinshead “We were able to get some consistency lacking in previous weeks and piece together some good drives but now it’s just finding the ability to finish.”




VERNON — When the Vernon Panthers’ offence churns out 400-plus yards of offence, like it did Friday, the games usually end in lopsided fashion.

Such was not the case this time around, however, and Panthers head coach Sean Smith felt a 28-0 win over Clarence Fulton actually flattered his team.

“We moved the ball pretty well on offence all game but got stung by a number of penalties that stalled our drives,” said Smith. “I was very impressed with Fulton’s play throughout the game. They wanted it more than us and the score was not indicative of the how well Fulton played on defence.”

Matthew Reich opened the scoring in the first quarter off an 11-yard toss play.

Trent Charlton was the recipient of the first of quarterback Zack Smith’s two touchdown throws, hauling in a 10-yard slant in the end zone to put the Panthers up by 14 before the quarter was complete.

Smith was the difference maker on offence, and the Maroon defense had a tough time containing his runs throughout the game.

Smith would go on top 300 yards total offence, putting up 170 through the air and adding 147 on the ground.

Reich added 102 yards rushing and plunged in for his second score of the game in the third quarter.

Johnathan Bielski would round out the scoring on a 35-yard bomb from Smith in the fourth.

“Our defense kept us in the game and were stout all day,” coach Smith added. “We didn’t give up many first downs and that allowed us to control the time of possession and field position.”

Reich shone on defense for the Cats, registering seven tackles (including 2 for a loss) to go along with an interception.

“Matthew is the heartbeat of our defense and is flying around making plays everywhere,” said Smith.

“I hope this game serves as a wake up call for us,” he added. “We committed far too many penalties, dropped far too many passes and didn’t match our opponents intensity. We play them again in November and Fulton should have a lot more confidence than they had going into this one. We have a lot of work to do moving forward if we want to compete with the best in the province.”

The Maroons didn’t hit the scoreboard, yet head coach Mike Scheller knew his team made a mark.

“Despite the score, I was very happy with the way our kids competed tonight,” said Scheller. “We took on the No. 1 team in the province and held them to a touchdown in each quarter. I thought our defence played great.

“Vernon has great team speed and they are tough to contain,” added Scheller. “They make some big plays on offence and their quarterback had a very good game running the ball. I thought our kids were disciplined and tough.”

For the Maroons, middle linebacker Dayton Ingenhaag made 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. Fellow linebackers Ethan Schiman, with seven tackles, and Quaid Willett with eight tackles, also impressed.

“Our offence needs work,” admitted Scheller. “The game was played in a massive downpour and it affected our ability to pass the ball. We need to make more plays on offence to be successful.”



SURREY — Uyi Ologhola recorded a pair of sacks, but a blocked punt he stripped right off the foot of the placekicker and returned for a major score carried the day for the host Crusaders.

“It was one of the most impressive plays I’ve ever seen in high school football,” said Crusaders head coach Conrad Deugau after the victory. 

Holy Cross was tough along its defensive line with Daniel Schulz collecting three sacks, Adriano Mori another two, and Landon Sommers one.

Tee Anim had an interception which brought Holy Cross deep into Pipers’ territory, the drive capped when Silas Marchan carried for one of his two rushing touchdowns on the day. Marchan also had a receiving touchdown via the arm of Grade 11 quarterback Grayson Wilson-Palm.  

“We had some early opportunities to put the game away early but we just didn’t capitalize on those chances,” added Deugau. “We know we need to capitalize on those chances. But overall it was great team effort. We had some standouts, but it’s our team play that has brought us to back-to-back wins.”

The road gets tough next week when No. 2 Langley provides the opposition.


PARKSVILLE — The hometown Whalers may have been without their two starting running backs due to injury, but Steven Boley’s return to the Ballenas backfield was key as he scored three touchdowns and ran for 121 yards on just eight carries en route to a shutout win over Surrey’s visiting Hornets.

Ballenas took a comfortable lead into the half up 20-0, but  a rash of penalties dominated the locker room conversation.

“Eight penalties in the first half shows lack of discipline that we need to work on because stuff like that is going to cost us later in the year,” said Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn.

German exchange student Lennart Tjarks added 68 yards rushing, including a 42-yard run up the middle. Quarterback Ben Chomolok was 7-for-13 for 87 yards.

“We were hoping to complete more passes but the wind was really a factor in this game, along with Frank Hurt,” added Conn. “They are to be commended for their improvement as a football team.”

On defence, Jayden Haftner added two touchdowns on interception returns, but one was nullified by a penalty.  Adrian Friesen and Jacob Stockton had five tackles apiece while Matt Muellder added another four.

“We are off to a great start and it’s exciting but now we need to focus on Barsby who is always well prepared for us and very physical,” Conn added of this coming week’s classic Border Battle (Friday, 3:15 p.m. at Ballenas). “It will live up to its name and be a battle for sure.”


ABBOTSFORD — Martens and Moller were a combination too tough for the visiting South Kamloops Titans to handle Friday afternoon in Abby.

Robert Bateman quarterback Ty Martens threw touchdown passes to Jordan Fayant and Patrick Macintosh, and also rushed for a pair of scores himself, while running back Phoenix Moller ran for three scores, including the game-opener after the Titans fumbled the opening kickoff as the Timberwolves came away with a comfortable victory.

“I am really pleased with our improvements from the last couple of weeks,” said Bateman head coach David Mills, who defensively got a pair of interceptions by James Hull and Andy Tran, and a sack from Connor Dueck. “We know we still have a lot of work to do in some areas of our game, but we are starting to see progression which is encouraging. South Kamloops is a tough, athletic bunch and we knew we would have our hands full today.”

Bateman led 35-6 at halftime.

South Kam finished with 195 yards rushing, getting 85 of those yards from a Kayden Crawford touchdown.

Mike MacDonald was limited to just 46 yards rushing but he also managed to rush for a score.

Receiver Jacob Bond rounded out the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Eric Crawford, whose 95-yard passing day included a pair of interceptions.

“We were very disappointed with our guys compete level at times today,” said Titans’ head coach J.P. Lancaster. “Bateman came out and did exactly what we expected, unfortunately their execution was far better than ours. Some humble pie might be just what we need heading into the regular season.”



NORTH VANCOUVER — The W.J. Mouat Hawks started strong, but the host Windsor Dukes were ultimately able to finish stronger.

Quarterback Alex Giragosian capped off a long, balanced drive with a one-yard keeper with three minutes remaining, then added the ensuing two-point convert as the Dukes snuck by Abbotsford’s Hawks.

“It was a super, hard-fought battle and a nail-biter, too,” said Windsor head coach Ian Sinclair, as the Mouat defence limited Windsor to just 77 yards rushing as a team on the day.

Jacob Groves led the way with 46 yards on 12 carries.

Darren Baker and Hunter Brown led the host defence with six tackles and a sack each.  

Mouat head coach Andrew Harder can see the improvement in his team, yet admits errors of the self-inflicted variety are slowing their path to maturity.

“Our team continues to make mental mistakes that hampers our offence,” said Harder, “but I am proud of the growth our team has shown over the last couple games. In order to start winning some football games, however, we need to overcome the obstacles we put in front of ourselves.”

Mouat needed just three plays on its opening drive to reach the end zone with Tyran Duval going 36 yards to Dylan Kang.

Duval went 12-of-18 for 180 yards with one TD pass against no interceptions. Andy Ofosuhene rushed for 50 yards and had seven tackles and three sacks on defence. Keenan Baker had five tackles and a pick. 





SURREY —The host Mariners expertly overcame an early hiccup, scoring all of their points in unanswered fashion as quarterback Sam La Roue was in top form in a 14-point win over Vancouver’s visiting Griffins.

“I’m happy with the win but it wasn’t pretty,” remarked EMS head coach Michael Mackay-Dunn.

La Roue, who rushed for a one-yard score, went 18-of-25 for 263 yards, including a 52-yard TD strike to Sam La Roue and an 11-yard TD pass to Isaiah Edwards.

Hamber pivot Josh Haegert, who returned this week from an early season foot injury, got his team on the board first when he went 60 yards to Ryan Vijayaretnam for the score.

“It’s high school football and kids need to be ready to play,” added Mackay Dunn. “Hamber were ready and (Eric Hamber) coach (Bobby) Gibson had a great defensive scheme as well.”

Cole Parker converted two EMS touchdowns. Defensively, except for the one lapse, Marriott held the Griffins in check. Ruvalcaba led the way with seven tackles with Bubacar Kinteh chipping in with five more.

Defensively for the Griffins, safety Luke Lee led the way with seven tackles and a pair of breakups, while defensive end  Jacob Goodwin had two sacks.

“In the end, they just made too many pays,” said Hamber’s Gibson of the Griffins.

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