Ty Martens (right) got into the swing of things on Friday, throwing a touchdown pass and helping lead the host Robert Bateman Timberwolves to a season-opening win over Surrey's Sullivan Heights Stars in Abbotsford. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football

FINAL EDITION: Varsity Letters’ Week 1 B.C. High School Football Report for 09.06.19

That’s a wrap for Week One of the Varsity Letter’s B.C.High School Football Report!

We’ve got an abbreviated schedule on Saturday, but check back with us for the results of some very big games!

Thanks to all of the coaches who took part today.




SEATTLE — Host Cleveland made it a battle for North Vancouver’s Eagles to generate yardage and points on Friday in Seattle.

“It was hard to get anything going on offence but I was really happy with our defence,” said Carson Graham head coach Brian Brady. “We made typical first-game mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot too many times. Things will advance on offence and we have a clear path towards what we need to do to get better”

The Eagles trailed 7-0 midway through the second quarter and on the day surrendered touchdowns of 43 and 61 yards.

Logan Weidner blocked the extra point on the second Cleveland touchdown, and made 10 tackles with one sack. Mitchell Seiler had seven tackles.

Quarterback Lucas Granger went 16-of-34 for 226 yards but was picked off twice. Keaven Pashandi made eight catches for 142 yards.


BURNABY — The Jugglers’ secondary was primary in prime time.

Three huge interceptions by three different Notre Dame players helped the Jugglers to a 14-3 win over the St. Thomas More Knights at Burnaby Lake.

“We did some good things offensively and defensively but we were not consistent,” said Notre Dame head coach Denis Kelly. “The best part of our game was our defense as we did a good job of protecting our goal line with the key turnovers.”

After STM took a 3-0 lead on a field goal set up by running back Nick Osho’s game-opening 60-yard run, it was time for the Jugglers’ secondary to save the day.

Late in the second quarter, defensive back Kaelen Bosa made the play of the game, intercepting a pass at his own 40-yard line and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown and 6-3 halftime lead.

Two key interceptions in the third quarter negated promising STM drives.

First it was Notre Dame’s Oliver Wyszomirski picking a pass off in his own end zone to snuff out a drive that ended inside the Notre Dame five-yard line. Then it was safety Matt Battad who picked off another pass at his own 20-yard line late in the third quarter.

Notre Dame was able to sustain a few second half drives but was unable to score until early in the fourth quarter when running back Vincenzo Nardulli hit paydirt from a yard out. A two-point conversion pass from quarterback Carmello Renzullo to tight end Ian Marin made the score complete at 14-3 with just over eight minutes remaining.

Nardulli had 15 carries for 90 yards and a score while fullback Luca Brown had 11 carries for 58 yards.

Renzullo went 7-of-17 for 115 yards. Middle linebacker Marin led the defence with nine tackles.

“For much of the game it was a defensive battle,” agreed STM head coach Steve De Lazzari. “Full credit goes to Notre Dame. They battled hard, and their defence proved very difficult to crack in the red zone.”

Osho picked up where he left off last week in Honolulu, on Friday turning 23 carries into 236 yards. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Alex Cordeiro had an outstanding game with nine tackles, while Kane Ferreira had seven tackles and Osho five. Matteo Fernandes had an interception.


NANAIMO — It had a playoff feel and it was only Sept. 6.

No hype needed for the annual Hub City derby, and 2019’s clash just happened to be tied 13-13 heading into the fourth quarter.

Nanaimo District halfback Daniel Hall’s huge, drive-capping 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter accounted for the winning points, yet just as key was Islanders’ defensive tackle Cameron Gregory whose ankle-tapping tackle likely stopped a Barsby player from scoring what may have resulted in the winning touchdown.

Inside linebackers Ethan Andersen and Sal Raap-Kopiyka combined to make 13 tackles, while Hall had two picks, and defensive end Marcus Copp another for the winners.

The game was scoreless after the first quarter, but the Isles took a 13-0 lead on a one-yard run by Raap-Kopiyka and a 21-yard run by Mack Livingstone.

Barsby responded with a four-yard Jake Smith touchdown run and a 43-yard screen pass for a major to running back Garret McAuliffe.

Defensive tackle Kaden Browne had a big game for Barsby with seven tackles and a sack.


COQUITLAM — Big first-half plays set the table and proved to be game-breakers Friday as Parksville’s Ballenas Whalers started as hot as the heat and topped the host Centaurs in front of about 1,000 of the hometown faithful.

“It was a great win in really hot conditions (27 degrees) which makes it tough when you have a smaller roster like we do,” said Ballenas coach Jeremy Conn, “but we are proud of our boys who fought through adversity and made a lot of good plays. That said, we have lots to work on to keep getting better.”

First, Whalers’ pivot Ben Chomolok hit receiver Jacob Stockton on a slant that went 75 yards for touchdown.

On its next drive, Chomolok found Demar Hohnstein on a screen and he took it 49 yards for the score to make it 14-0 for Whalers at end of first quarter.

Centennial would respond but so too did Ballenas, as Hohnstein broke a draw on third-and-long for 50 yards to make it 21-7 at the half.

Chomolok threw a one-yard TD strike while Hohnstein scored off a 15-yard run to account for the Whalers’ second-half scoring.

Linebackers Adrian Friesen led the team with 10 tackles while Jack Giroux added nine.


NEW WESTMINSTER — The ability to seize opportunity can be like having a 12th man on the field, and in a sense, that describes Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers on Friday night at Mercer Stadium.

Taking advantage of two key turnovers, both of which led to their only touchdowns of the game, the Panthers topped the host New Westminster Hyacks 15-6 in the season-openers for both teams.

“We learned a lot tonight and I’m proud of our effort and toughness,” said Tweedy head coach Kurt Thornton.

Just before the half, New Westminster fumbled the ball at its own 20-yard line, and after taking penalty which placed the ball half the distance to the goal line, Lord Tweedsmuir’s Noah Anderson took a handoff and creased his way to the end zone.

In the third quarter, Terrel Jones capped a clock-killing drive with a 23-yard field goal, and later in the frame, Anderson recovered a fumble and returned it 70 yards for a score.

Deakon Young provided the only Hyack points when he scored on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“I won’t criticize our effort, but I’m extremely disappointed by our execution and even more disappointed by our lack of discipline,” said New West head coach Farhan Lalji.

“Our penalties repeatedly gave them extra possessions and our carelessness with the football was very uncharacteristic of teams I’ve coached in the past. We have a lot of ability, but not enough to make it that hard on ourselves.”

The Panthers backfield of Anderson, States-Jones and Jones carried a combined 29 times for 128 yards. On defence, Nathan Gernon had 14 tackles and a sack while Kyle Dodd had nine tackles, including five for a loss.

Pavan Kainth’s seven tackles led the Hyack, while running back Grayson Planinsic rushed 18 times for 89 yards.

ABBOTSFORD 34 at W.J. MOUAT 14 (adds Mouat stats, scoring plays, quotes)

ABBOTSFORD — The strangest fact about the Abbotsford Panthers’ first win of the new season?

Running back Jalem Catlin actually got off to a slow start before finishing with 235 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

“We started off rusty in the first quarter and Jalem Catlin took a little bit to get back into form,” said Abbotsford head coach Jay Fujimura after his team’s 20-point win over crosstown rival W.J. Mouat Hawks opened the 2019 season Friday for both teams.

Grade 11 pivot Austin Martin hit David Coronado with a 35-yard reception, however, and Catlin capped it with a short touchdown run.

“Then we started to find our legs,” continued Fujimura as Catlin raced to the end zone on TD runs of 65, 35 and 30 yards before the half.

That final score before the break was set up by a sack from Calum Rowsell and an interception from Ryan Street.

Mouat found its stride in the third quarter with a pair of scores of their own to make it 27-14, including one on a 27-yard catch by receiver Dhag Mora.

At the start of the fourth quarter, however, Catlin added his fifth touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run.

“I thought we did a lot of things well but also need to tighten a lot of things up too,” added Fujimura. “We have a big game against Notre Dame next week and we can’t afford to have lulls in our execution and effort if we want to be successful.”

Keon Glickman had five tackles and a sack while Rowsell had four tackles and a sack.

“We are proud of our young men and how they bounced back in the second half,” said new Hawks head coach Andrew Harder. “We went down early and gave up a few runs to their talented running back. We just need to stay focused on doing our jobs on both sides of the ball and coming together as 11 men on the field. When you are down 28-0 at half its easy as a team to get down and have it turn into a lopsided score. Our team was challenged to show which one of them was willing to run hard when it’s hard to run, and they answered the bell in the second half.”

Tyran Duval went 8-of-17 for 105 yards passing in the loss, while Eddie Escobal carried 20 times for 83 yards.

Defensively, Zac Badke led Mouat with six tackles and a fumble recovery while Amani Dyck and Anthony Jaruchik each had four tackles.


KELOWNA — The run game paced the Titans on Friday as the running back tandem of Mike MacDonald and Kayden Crawford combined to rush for a trio of majors in its win over the host Bears.

“It was a great way to start the year off,” admitted Titans’ head coach J.P. Lancaster. “It’s been a long wait for us since our early playoff exit last year. It was nice to see the hard work pay off.”

MacDonald rushed for a modest 34 yards but scored two touchdowns, while Crawford rushed for 76 yards and one score.

Receiver Matt Lefrenier hauled in five receptions for 84 yards. 

Defensively the Titans swarmed the Bears with their physical brand of football. Xavier Tedford and Cohen Freeze came up with interceptions while Amaryn Mahal had a fumble recovery.

No. 2 G.W. GRAHAM 8 at No. 1 VERNON 16

VERNON — It was the Double-A No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-up that lived up to its billing with the host Panthers coming away victorious.

With an afternoon (2 p.m.) kickoff, temperatures soared into the high 20’s and the contest became not only a war for yards, but a war of hydration and attrition.

The Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first half following an 85-yard bomb from quarterback Zack Smith to Caden Danbrook, and a 20-yard field goal by Liam Reid.

“The heat was definitely a factor for both teams out there,” admitted Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “We couldn’t get enough water in them and it took it’s toll as we got towards the end of the game.”

Chilliwack’s visiting Grizzlies came out of the half and mashed their way down to the Vernon five-yard line before fumbling.

The Panthers would make them pay for the turnover, mounting a 95-yard drive, which included a 35-yard reception by Johnathan Bielski.

Matthew Reich capped the drive with a seven-yard TD run and a 16-0 lead, however, having lost their first-string long snapper due to injury, Vernon’s extra-point snap was errant and kept the game within two scores. 

G.W. Graham would mount another long drive to start the fourth quarter and cashed in with a touchdown and ensuing two-point convert.

Unable to mount another drive of any consequence in the final stanza, the Panthers were forced to punt, leaving the ball in Graham’s hands with a few minutes to play. They would drive deep into Panther territory before Zack Smith secured his second pick of the day to seal the win.

“This was a battle as expected,” said head coach Smith.

G.W. Graham controlled the ball and the line of scrimmage, and had a huge yards-gained advantage and a very lopsided time of possession advantage.

The Grizz ran 65 plays to Vernon’s 27 which would usually result in a blowout win.

“However, our defence was opportunistic and took advantage of turnovers and penalties,” said Smith. “Zack had two picks and two forced fumbles in our territory which were huge momentum changers for us.

“GW is a well coached team that has a lot of horses,” added Smith. “They will be a much different and better team in November which is scary. I loved their tenacity and they have some big boys to contend with. I’d be shocked if they weren’t playing in the Subway Bowl in late November.”

Reich was outstanding in all aspects of the game for us Vernon, making 10 tackles and running for 51 tough yards.

“We pretty much had to carry him off the field,” said Smith.

Danbrook caught two passes for 108 yards and his TD, while also adding eight tackles.


VANCOUVER — The chore of carrying the No. 1 ranking can pressurize the environment for any team.

On Friday, Vancouver College passed the first test of what it hopes will be many on the season, as the No. 1 Fighting Irish re-introduced its multi-faceted ground game by rushing for three touchdowns in a convincing win over the visiting Owls at O’Hagan Field.

Jayden Cheong, who led the way with 95 yards on 12 carries, opened the scoring for the Irish in the first quarter on a six-yard run.

Daesaun Johnson, who had 13 carries for 81 yards, added another major off an eight-yard run in the third quarter for a 28-0 lead.

Vancouver College got a third rushing score, a one-yard effort from John Calica in the fourth quarter.

Add a pair of safeties, and a 14-yard strike from pivot Alex Nyvit to Colin Dolynski and you had an Irish offence which put up 308 combined rushing and passing yards.

“Our defense had a strong day fundamentally,” said Irish head coach Todd Bernett, who got a team-leading nine tackles, including seven solo stops, from Matt Hoag as well as two picks from Keijaun Johnson and another from Jackson Findlay.

“We were in position to make plays, and had a couple of dramatic game-changing interceptions and tackles for loss,” Bernett added. “It put them in a hole that was tough to get out of with all of their injuries.”

For the Owls, quarterback Elijas Fedoriuk battled through those three interceptions, highlighting his 88-yard passing day with a 65-yard scoring strike to Grade 12 receiver Colby Miletto.

Senior linebacker Nathan Gilbert led the Kelowna defence with 13 tackles and two sacks while Grade 11 safety Tariq Brown had six tackles and two sacks.

“Offensively, we struggled against a big defensive line,” said Owls head coach Chris Cartwright, whose team played without a number of key players due to injury. “Elijas did his best and he did some positive things out there. On defence, we need to tackle better. There were a number of plays on defence where we should have made tackles. That is something we will be working on going into next week.”

Added Bernett of the Owls’ effort: “Kelowna has a lot of grit and showed character dealing with the travel and the heat. We had a legitimate battle to move the ball offensively and gain field position. Defensively they had us working for our yards.”


LANGLEY — The host Saints were well aware of the invention of the forward pass in the game of football when they took to the turf Friday at McLeod Athletic Park.

They proceeded to show, however, that they could get along just fine without it.

Langley never passed the ball, and they also didn’t punt, as senior Kia Thomas carried 13 times for 227 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints beat the Mission Roadrunners for a second year running.

Senior Harshaad Jouhal added nine carries for 74 yards and score as Langley built a 21-6 lead at the half. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.


ABBOTSFORD — It may have been a second-half filled with first-day blemishes for the Double-A No. 5-ranked T-Wolves, but that didn’t stop two newcomers from debuts they won’t soon forgot.

Playing in the first high school football game of his career, safety James Hull picked off the visiting Sullivan Heights Stars and took it to the house, all part of a 26-0 halftime lead which wound up being the final score.

In keeping with the first-year theme, Bateman receiver Sebastian Altilia, also playing in his first football game, caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Ty Martens in the second quarter.

Running back Phoenix Moller bookended the affair for Bateman, rushing for the game’s opening and closing majors.

“I was impressed by Bateman’s size and aggressiveness,” said Sullivan Heights head coach Gord Randall, whose team seemed vastly improved from the expansion model of a year ago. “They’ve got a pretty good line on both sides of the ball and I’m comfortable in saying they won the game in the trenches today.”

Victory was not threatened over the second half, yet the game’s finish left a sour taste for Bateman head coach David Mills, whose team last season advanced all the way to the Subway Bowl final.

“The second half was a penalty-filled affair,” understated Mills who watched Game 1 gaffes lead to penalties which wiped three touchdowns off the board.

“The team played one half of good football today,” said Mills. “The second half, when more of our newer players were on the field, you could tell it was their first-ever games. But regardless of who was in, we did not play up to standard. Having three TDs called back because of penalties is not acceptable. We have a lot of positives to build on, but it was very obvious that it was a first game.”

Sullivan coach Randall and Co. were unable to savour Week 1 victory, but the coach still saw marked progress.

“Offensively, we’re miles better than we were at this time a year ago, and we moved the ball in chunks for most of the afternoon,” added the coach who liked what he saw in all three phases from Grade 11 Jordan Prasad. “Unfortunately, we ultimately often made a critical mistake at a key time to stall drives.”

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