Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Panthers and Fulton Maroons recorded impressive Southern Interior Junior Varsity Football League wins Tuesday.
The Panthers ran their record to 5-0 by dispatching the host Kelowna Owls 34-20, while Fulton went to 2-2 by holding back the Mt. Boucherie Bears 17-6 in West Kelowna.
The Cats got on the board early when Ethan Mitchell hauled in a 36-yard bomb from quarterback Zack Smith on the second offensive play of the game. Following a botched snap on the ensuing extra point, the two would hook up again to convert a two-point play.
Mitchell (3 catches for 51 yards) registered another TD two series later on a 13-yard pass from Smith who finished 9-for-17 for 151 yards and three TDs.
“Zack and Ethan were on the same page,” said Panther head coach Sean Smith. They were in tight man coverage and we knew we’d get chances to beat them over the top if we could get a bit of time to throw.”
The Panthers added two more touchdowns in the first half with Caden Danbrook taking a kick-off return 80 yards and Matthew Reich running in from five yards to make it 28-7 at the half. Danbrook, who had seven rushes for 51 yards to go along with five receptions for 75 yards, counted the lone VSS TD in the second half on a 13-yard catch.
Defensively, Reich was all over the field registering a season team-high 11 tackles and Smith added six from the cornerback position.
“Matthew has been such a great addition to this team since he returned from injury,” added Smith. “He’s flying around making tackles and had 11 despite being in coverage for a lot of the game.”
Meanwhile, the Maroons built up a 10-6 lead at the recess and held on against a team which beat them by 20 two weeks ago.
Quin Williamson posted a pair of scores, one on a two-yard plunge and another on a 75-yard fumble recovery. Hayden Catt booted a 22-yard field goal and both converts.
Williamson completed six of 12 passes for 82 yards and also had 14 touches for 74 yards. Ethan Schiman racked up 38 yards on 10 rushes, while Reyanne Siddique produced 43 yards on nine carries.
Catt pocketed three receptions for 42 yards, while Karan Malhotra had a 20-yard catch and Markus Liefke caught two passes for 16 yards.
Williamson rang up 10 tackles, while Schiman earned seven and Liam Gombrich collected four. Liefke, Malhotra and Schiman each had one interception.
“We were really happy with the way our kids played today,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “They put out an awesome effort and were rewarded. We played a very solid game in all three phases and won the turnover battle. Our defence forced five turnovers and we gave up the ball twice. When you do that, it helps your chances of winning.”
Scheller also gave props to his offensive line.
“We tackled well, were aggressive and pressured their QBs. It was a great job. Offensively, our o-line played really well and we were able to attack the middle of their defence. Our backs ran hard and we could control the time of possession. JV coaches Dave Hobbs and Kevin Stecyk did a great jop of preparing the team today.”
Added Scheller: “Williamson was awesome. He is a great kid and player. He was all over the field on defence and his strip fumble for a TD was a great individual effort. On offence, he is very cool under pressure.”