Charles Lemay

Panthers overcome miscues to tame Timberwolves

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: VSS rolls to 42-7 exhibition win despite five turnovers

Charles Lemay had a great game on both sides of the football for the Vernon Panthers Friday.

The Grade 11 tailback put on an MVP-like performance, reaching the end zone four times as the Panthers went to Abbotsford Friday and dispatched the Robert Bateman Timberwolves 42-7 in a miscue-filled B.C. High School AA Senior Varsity exhibition match.

Three of Lemay’s TDs came on the ground as he tallied 115 yards on 13 carries to go along with five receptions for 67 yards. His defensive performance was even better, recording 10 tackles, one sack and a strip and score fumble recovery TD to end the first half.

“It was a game filled with a lot of mistakes,” said Vernon head coach Sean Smith. “We probably had 150 yards in penalties and turned over the ball five times (four fumbles, one INT) which is not typical Panther football and will not get us many wins in November.

“However, we made up for them by creating some turnovers ourselves (four fumble recoveries and two picks) and making big plays through the air. We had eight passes that went for 25+ yards and five rushes of 10+ yards which was a positive.”

Grade 11 quarterback Thomas Hyett shook off an opening drive interception to go 19 of 24 for 288 yards and two touchdowns. Grade 12 Brad Hladik looks like he is taking over where his older brother (Ben Hladik – 2016 AA MVP) left off, hauling in 12 receptions for 214 yards and a major. Landon Colvin had the other receiving TD.

Grade 12 Perez Vermeulen, relegated to kicking duties in 2016 as he recovered from soccer concussions, registered six tackles and intercepted two passes, returning one 52 yards.

The Panthers led 20-0 at the end of the first half.

The Senior Panthers will host the defending Alberta Tier 3 champion Cochrane Cobras in exhibition play Thursday at 4 p.m. at VSS.

At Greater Vernon Athletic Park Friday, the Fulton Maroons fell 56-14 to the visiting Mt. Baker Mountaineers of Deming, Wash. (26 kilometres from Bellingham) in exhibition AA play.

“Mt. Baker is a very good team and we knew it coming into the contest,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller.

“We appreciate them making the trip north to play us. They are very good on the offensive and defensive lines and that was the difference in the game. They are well coached and a very good team.”

Mt. Baker led 35-0 at the half. The Maroons got on the board in the third quarter on a four-yard TD run from Koalden Gudeit-Oakden.

Ryan Rumsey added a 40-yard scoring rush in the fourth quarter. Evan Trottier was 2-2 on converts.

“We had a lot of kids step into their first football game on Friday night and they acquitted themselves well versus a tough opponent,” said Scheller, while also praising veterans Caden Doyle, Ike Olson and Nate Banga for their play and leadership.

“I liked the way Rumsey played at linebacker and he made some key tackles for us. Seiji Bott came in late and executed some key blocks for us.”

The Maroons travel stateside for their annual game in Omak, Wash., Friday, and will take in an NCAA college football game in Pullman, Wash. between the Washington State Cougars and Oregon State Beavers.