The Vernon Panthers (10-0) were eliminated from the provincial senior AA football playoffs with a 35-7 loss to the Carson Graham (10-1) Eagles of North Vancouver Friday night at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.
After spotting a touchdown on the opening drive of the game to A.J Blackwell, Karson Patommel broke free for a 45-yard touchdown romp to even the score for the Panthers.
Blackwell, the league’s leading rusher, responded with his second TD in the second quarter. VSS threatened to score as the quarter came to a close, but a holding call wiped out another 50-yard TD run by Patommel who finished with 22 rushes for 119yds. Blackwell rung up 225 yards and four TDs on 23 carries.
“Full credit goes to Carson Graham and A.J.,” said VSS head coach Sean Smith. “They moved the ball on the ground on us all night long.”
Andy Hladik led the Cats with 10 tackles while Carson Labrecque and Chase Larsen each contributed eight. Mitchell Pepper had an interception.
Added Smith: “I am very proud of this football team, they will go down as one of the best squads in Panther history…not only for their success on the field, but also for their dedication and commitment to Panther football. Our Grade 12s started this great run we have been on for the past few years, and it’s because of them that we are able to have success at the provincial level.”