Handsworth's Keelan White scored two touchdowns to lead the Royals past the host ND Islanders on Thursday. (Photo by Blair Shier/www.Blair.photo)
High School Football

Wheelin’ Keelan sinks Isles, White’s late heroics help Royals rally past NDSS


NANAIMO — The host Islanders blocked a Handsworth field goal with under four minutes remaining, but followed by surrendering a game-deciding pick-six as North Vancouver’s visiting Royals (1-0) topped Nanaimo District (1-1) in a Pacific Division AAA contest played Thursday in the Hub City.

“We were able to find some traction in the third and fourth quarters,” said Islanders head coach Nate Stevenson, “but that late interception was unfortunate. It was a tough game, well contested by both sides. A hard one to think about long range as it looks to be one loss and you are out of the dance in the Pacific.”

Handsworth Grade 11 Keelan White scored both of his team’s touchdowns in the win, finishing his day on offence with 117 yards rushing, 102 yards in receptions, and 140 yards in the return game.

Nanaimo District quarterback Maren Bradbrooke finished with 124 all-purpose yards and rushed for two scores of one yard and 13 yards.

An interception return in the third quarter set up White’s first touchdown and gave the Royals a 10-6 lead. Bradbrooke then answered, capping an 80-yard Isles’ drive with a 13-yard TD run, but the extra-point failed and NDSS led 12-10.

Handsworth’s later push into NDSS territory ended with a blocked field goal however White picked off Bradbrooke and returned it for the winning score.

Evan Currie, with two interceptions and nine tackles, led the Handsworth defence. He also stepped in to play quarterback in the second half and threw for 70 yards.

Defensive ends Hugh Dawson and Theo Benedet each sacked Bradbrooke while Tate Williams kicked a 40-yard field goal.

Finn Bradbrooke led the Isles with seven tackles from his strong safety spot. Zephyr Melnyk and Clayton Hennessy had six tackles apiece while Seb Deggan had a sack among his five tackles and returned a fumble recovery 38 yards.

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