LANGLEY — B.C. high school football on B.C. soil!
Yes, the 2018 season gets its real start Friday, and as the long road to Subway Bowl’s championship Saturday gets underway, Varsity Letters looks at the top five games of the weekend.
1 No. 5 SOUTH DELTA at No. 4 MT. DOUGLAS
This is the big one.
Neither team elected to play a Week 0 road game stateside, and thus two Big 5 teams will each come in from the cold to open Western Conference AAA play in this 3:15 p.m.kick-off at Victoria’s Goudy Park.
Front and centre are the quarterbacks, and both are great.
Mt. Douglas’ Gideone Kremler, in between all the recruiting calls he will take this season, has arrived at his senior season healthy and ready to put a couple of injury-hampered seasons behind him.
Meanwhile, South Delta’s Grade 11 star Ben McDonald pivot hopes to start his own era after Michael Calvert moved on to the UBC Thunderbirds.
2 VANCOUVER COLLEGE at SEAQUAM
Western Conference teams are jumping right into AAA league play, and that’s why both the Fighting Irish and the Seahawks played games stateside last week.
This Saturday kickoff at the North Delta school (1 p.m.) will feature Vancouver College quarterback Eric Zychlinski, who threw three TD passes in the Irish’s 41-14 win over R.A. Long, and Seaquam’s Jay Mather who passed for a score and rushed for another in his team’s 48-19 loss at Oak Harbor.
3 ST. THOMAS MORE at NOTRE DAME
It’s not a league game, but no one associated with the Knights or Jugglers could care about that.
Expect a battle here.
Notre Dame played last week, scoring a 47-20 win over Oregon’s 3A South Umpqua.
Jugglers’ QB Will Clarke threw three first-half touchdown passes to Alex Pinson, Jerrell Cummings and Nick Belmonte, and rushed 11 times for 157 yards and a score. He finished with 381 combined yards rushing and passing.
“We started slowly and that is a concern but we rallied behind QB Clarke and wore down the South Umpqua team as the game went along,” acknowledged Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly. “We know that we must play much better this week against a tough St. Thomas More team. Many of our young players are gaining important game-time experience and this bodes well for our progress this season. Overall a very successful trip to the United States and team morale is high.”
4 No. 2 JOHN BARSBY at NANAIMO DISTRICT
The all-Nanaimo derby kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday and it promises to be a good one.
The visiting Bulldogs come into the season ranked No. 2 at AA, while the host Islanders have begun to make strides as a AAA program and are thought to be one of the top teams in the newly-enlarged Pacific Conference.
5 KELOWNA at VERNON
A terrific pairing of top Okanagan schools (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Greater Vernon Athletic Park) to start the season. Kelowna has work diligently to build its football culture while competing in the tough AAA East. Meanwhile, Vernon is the toast of AA football provincially, ranked No. 1 and the preseason favourite to hoist Subway Bowl spoils in December.
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