The defending champs put an end to the Vernon Panthers’ football dreams Saturday afternoon.
Nanaimo’s John Barsby Bulldogs took advantage of three VSS turnovers and rolled to a 34-16 win over the No. 1-ranked Panthers in the Subway Bowl B.C. AA boys high school varsity football semifinal at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.
The Panthers, who were undefeated prior to Saturday, were trying to become the first-ever Vernon team to reach a provincial football final.
VSS opened the scoring on the snow-laden Thunderbird Stadium turf on the game’s first drive when quarterback John Garvie hit Zac Kronbauer with a four-yard pass at 4:13. Levi Nicholas scored on a two-point convert run to give Vernon an early 8-0 lead, an edge that held up after one quarter.
After Barsby pulled to within two points, Nicholas rumbled 55 yards for a major, and Garvie ran in the two-point convert to give VSS a 16-6 lead.
Two touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the half helped Barsby to a 22-16 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs put the game out of reach with two more touchdowns in the final quarter.
Barsby advances to the provincial championship game next Saturday at B.C. Place Stadium.
See Wednesday’s Morning Star for more details on the Panthers-Bulldogs tilt.