LANGLEY — Welcome to the Varsity Letters’ Saturday edition of the B.C. High School Football Report.
We’ll do our very best to bring you game reports from today’s three Triple A contest, so keep checking back over the course of the day.
We’ve also got a host of late reports from Friday games as we reach the end of the second-to-last weekend of the regular season.
SEAQUAM 14 at ABBOTSFORD 28
ABBOTSFORD — You thought the Abbotsford Panthers were a dangerous unit with one 100-yard-plus rusher in their lineup?
On Saturday, they had two, as well as a penchant for making the big plays on defence just when they needed them most.
In the end, it added up to a 28-14 win by Abbotsford (4-2) over North Delta’s visiting Seaquam Seahawks (3-3).
Provincial rushing leader Jalem Catlin rushed for 145 yards and a score, while Silvestro Aging rushed for 124 more and two touchdowns.
Yet the biggest score came on the defensive side of the ball.
Haidyn Vermeulen snapped a 14-14 tie in the second half with a 75-yard pick-six and the host Panthers never looked back the rest of the way.
“We needed to make some adjustments at half time in order to slow Seaquam’s passing attack,” said Abby head coach Jay Fujimura. “I thought the defence adjusted really well and gave different looks of both pressure and coverage.”
Seaquam quarterback Jay Mather got his team on the board first with a touchdown pass in the second quarter to receiver Corbin Grant.
Catlin answered back with a 67-yard TD run, but Mather got that one back before the half, again connecting on a TD strike with Grant.
Aging scored on a 60-yard burst just before the half to knot the game at 14-14.
Aging added a 45-yard run to wind up the scoring.
Seaquam running back Christian Carlon-Diaz carried 17 times for 93 yards. Mather was 10-of-20 for 122 yards, two touchdowns and three picks.
Justin Eng had 11 tackles and Taaj Jhooty eight tackles and sack.
“It was disappointing game today because Abbotsford was better than us in all facets of the game,” said Seaquam head coach Navin Chand. “Turnovers are really hurting us. We need to secure the ball for us to be successful.”
EARL MARRIOTT 12 at SARDIS 7
CHILLIWACK — It’s a tribute to quarterback Sam LaRoue that it took three Earl Marriott player shuttling in and out of the huddle to replace him at quarterback.
But in the end, no one was happier with the result than LaRoue, who wasn’t able to play Saturday in his team’s win over the host Sardis Falcons (2-3).
“Missing your best player doesn’t make it easier but our kids showed grit and resiliency,” said EMS head coach Michael Mackay-Dunn, whose team sits all alone in first place in the Pacific’s North Division with a 5-1 record. (Offensive coordinator) Sean O’Neill was able to come up with a very creative game plan.”
With those three different players at quarterback, the Mariners scored early on a 21-yard run from Dean Meurrens, who played quarterback, running back and receiver before leaving before the half with a leg injury.
He returned again late in the third quarter to recharge the Mariners.
“As a program, we are so proud of these developing athletes,” said Mackay-Dunn. “Dean is a remarkable young man and is a tremendous leader.”
Byron Ruvalcaba and Isaiah Edwards also chipped in at quarterback with Edward’s big eight-yard run in the fourth quarter putting the Mariners ahead.
“Our defence again played a solid game against a vaunted Sardis aerial show,” added the coach. “The guys really embraced the game plan and came up big today. Despite missing our big guy Sam, they embraced the challenge.”
Ruvalcaba, Dante Peters, Erich Mueller, Michael Ficken and Bubacar Kinteh were all defensive standouts as the winners stopped Sardis on a goal-line stand in the third quarter, setting up Edwards’ long TD run.
MT, DOUGLAS 14 AT No. 1 SOUTH DELTA 27
LANGLEY — To borrow some track and field terminology, the South Delta Sun Devils burst out of the blocks like a sprinter.
Thankfully for B.C.’s No. 1-ranked team, it was enough to carry them past Victoria’s tough-minded, defending Subway Bowl champion Mt. Douglas Rams.
Unfortunately, reports Saturday from team personnel suggest that starting senior quarterback Ben McDonald has been lost for the remainder of the season after suffering a suspected broken collarbone in the fourth quarter. McDonald went 18-of-30 for 236 yards and two touchdowns before his injury.
With McDonald at the controls, the Sun Devils scored on their first three possessions to lead Mt. Douglas 20-0 after the first quarter, a period in which they also stopped the Rams on a fourth-and-goal on the shadow of their own goal-line.
The rest of the way, Mt. Douglas played it tough.
They pulled to within 20-7 on the first play of the second quarter converting with a short run set up by a field-length keeper by quarterback Hunter Swift late in the opening frame.
The Rams added a second major to make 20-14, but after McDonald was injured, the Sun Devils got a huge bit of insurance when back-up quarterback Hunter Norman hit Rhys Porteous on a 33-yard strike in the fourth quarter.
The major was Porteous’ second of the game.
South Delta opened the score when McDonald capped the game’s opening series with a 35-yard touchdown run.
McDonald then went to Porteous with a four-yard TD pass, then hit Jackson Bailie with a 30-yard strike down the sideline for a 20-0 lead.
After falling behind 6-0, Mt. Douglas looked like they were in a position to equalize or take the lead on its first possession when running back Peter Primeau cut a swath right through the middle of the Sun Devils defence into the red zone.
A major at that stage may have changed the direction of the game, but South Delta got a great goal line stand and throughout the game, the likes of top tacklers Ethan Troniak, Adam Hoegg and Evan Paterson gave the Sun Devils a real defensive presence.
“The middle of our defensive line, they got down low and they plugged the centre,” said head coach Ray Moon. “They got a hold of the ball carrier and we were able to gang tackle.”
In fact on Mt. Douglas’ second possession of the game, the Sun Devils’ Bennett Stoilen made a strip of the ball and South Delta recovered to set up its second score of the game.
CARSON GRAHAM 43 AT NOTRE DAME 54
BURNABY LAKE — In one of the highest scoring games in B.C. high school football history, the host Notre Dame Jugglers (2-4) kept their playoff hopes alive, finding a way to outlast North Vancouver’s Carson Graham Eagles (1-5).
Tailback Vincenzo Nardulli led the Jugglers with three touchdowns and three two-point converts, while wide receiver Matt Battad caught touchdown passes of six and 40 yards from quarterback Carmello Renzullo.
The Jugglers got off to a quick start as Nardulli opened with a 50-yard touchdown run and then added an 80-yard run later in the first quarter.
Carson Graham would keep pace for most of the game, as the Eagles’ Air Raid attack put up 662 yards of offence. Quarterback Lucas Granger went 23-of-31 for 419 yards and six touchdowns against just a single pick, while also rushing for 43 yards.
Notre Dame, however, threatened to take control of the game early as Battad’s two touchdown catches made it four first-half Juggler touchdowns.
Notre Dame tight end Austin Longstaff added two conversion catches in that half, and kicker Brandon Torresan added two conversions as Notre Dame led 32-21 at the break.
Lucas Brown would rush for a pair of second-half touchdowns from 10 yards and one yard. and Nardulli capped things with a one-yard keeper.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for our team and tonight was a great relief to get back in the win column,” said Jugglers head coach Denis Kelly. “Our team, although not at full strength due to injury, took all that Carson could throw at us and in the end were victorious. We don’t have much time to savour this win, however, because Van College will be a major challenge next Friday at VC.”
The Eagles have seen great progress in their offence this season, yet didn’t have enough defence to win.
“I was really happy with how we played on offence but we couldn’t slow down Notre Dame’s rushing attack,” admitted Eagles’ head coach Brian Brady. “We need to stop shooting ourself in the foot with penalties (12 for 80 yards) to be successful. Still, I was really proud of our boys’ resiliency in the face of a tight game with a short bench.”
Jake Oseen hauled in six passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns while Kevean Pashandi made five catches for 118 yards and a score. Trent Skill carried 19 times for 148 yards.
RUTLAND 47 AT W.J. MOUAT 14
ABBOTSFORD —The Rutland VooDoos are making an historic run to the post-season.
Jhavoun Blake carried 24 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns as the VooDoos (5-0) beat the host Hawks (3-1) to clinch the Pacific Conference’s South Division title, and make the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
“Our defense made the right adjustments at the half,” said Rutland coach Peter McCall, whose team beat Mouat for the first time in the program’s 19-year history. “The boys tackled well and caused turnovers, and our offence made good use of those short fields.”
Quarterback Liam Atwood went 13-of-16 for 258 yards, including touchdowns to Brad Koebel and Ryan Dovedoff, the latter catching five balls for 128 yards.
Attwood also rushed for one score.
Defensively, against a Mouat attack led by quarterback Tyran Duval, Ryan Dovedoff led the way with eight tackles, while Kai Brydon had seven. Both players managed picks on the day.
“Rutland literally ran away with it in the second half with those four touchdowns they scored,” admitted Mouat head coach Andrew Harder.
Duval went 15-of-33 for 196 yards and touchdowns to Manabu Okamatu and Logan Egrestis. Issac Whitmey rushed 19 times for 92 yards while Egrestis caught five passes for 78 yards. Newton Mangana with five tackles and Keenan Baker with three and a sack, led the Hawks’ defence.
FRANK HURT 0 AT No. 4 LANGLEY 31
LANGLEY — Balanced scoring along the ground got the host Saints (3-1) back on the winning track in conference play as they blanked Surrey’s visiting Hornets (0-5).
Kaleb Reemeyr (five carries, 97 yards) and Jordan Bowes (eight carries, 67 yards) each rushed for touchdowns, while quarterback Jesse Tomica also rushed for a score, and caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Goesen.
Harshaad Jouhal rushed for 78 yards and Trenton Warren another 49 in the victory for the Saints, who last week were edged 20-19 by G.W. Graham.
Kieren Davies led the team with 11 tackles a sack and two fumble recoveries.
“There really isn’t much to say about this game, besides I am glad we came out with a win,” said Saints head coach Ryk Piche. “I am also glad we had numerous boys get carries tonight, we really spread the ball around this evening.”
No. 1 VERNON 71 AT OKANAGAN MISSION 7
KELOWNA — Caden Danbrook caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Zack Smith who threw for five majors on the evening as the Vernon Panthers (6-0, 3-0 conference) moved to within one win of a perfect regular season Friday night at the Apple Bowl.
Danbrook hooked up with Smith on touchdown catches of 24, 32 and two yards, and also added a fourth major on an 80-yard kick-off return. He finished with 103 yards on six catches.
Smith, who went 12-of-25 for 280 yards, also threw scoring strikes of 15 and seven yards to Grade 11 tailback Ethan Greenan, the latter also scoring on a one-yard rush to finish with three scores on just seven touches.
Vernon’s Grade 9 tailback Damon Froste that stole the show in the second half, rushing for 129 yards on five carries, scoring touchdowns of 20 and 75 yards in the process.
Trent Charlton would round out the scoring on a 75-yard catch from Smith.
“While we scored a lot of points on offence, we are still not running on all cylinders,” Vernon head coach Sean Smith said. “Playoffs are coming up quickly and we won’t be winning any games if we don’t clean some things up. Too many penalties and mental mistakes will cost us in tight games. Defensively, we are getting into bad tackling habits that we must change. Our defensive coordinator is putting them in great position to make plays – but our front six are not making them consistently.”
The Panthers will round out their league play against the Fulton Maroons Nov. 1. The Cats downed their cross town rivals 28-0 in a Week 4 exhibition game.
“Fulton played us very tough last time out and I’m sure they will be well prepared for us,” said Smith.
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