Brad Hladik of the VSS Panthers stretches out as he is taken down by the Bears in exhibition high school football action Saturday at the Greater Vernon Athletics Park. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Cats show touchdown strut

The road to returning to the Subway Bowl began in earnest for the Vernon Panthers Saturday.

The road to returning to the Subway Bowl began in earnest for the Vernon Panthers Saturday.

The Panthers, who lost the 2016 B.C. High School AA Football Subway Bowl championship to Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks, took on West Kelowna’s Mt. Boucherie Bears in a scrimmage format at Greater Vernon Athletics Park.

The teams took turns running 15 plays from the opponent’s 40-yard line, trying to score as many times as they could.

VSS reached the end zone twice.

The first was a well-placed pass from returning quarterback Thomas Hyett to Perez Vermeulen for the the receiver’s first-ever touchdown (relegated to kicking duties during his rookie campaign a year ago).

Grade 11 tailback Charles Lemay cashed in the second TD on a three-yard run. Senior Bradley Hladik led all Panthers receivers with five catches for 51 yards. Hyett was 7-15 for 68 yards while Lemay scampered for 37 yards on seven carries.

The VSS defence held the Bears to just one touchdown.

“It’s early and this was a good chance to run some plays and see what we need to improve on for our first real game this week,” said Panthers head coach Sean Smith. “I thought the bright spots for our squad were Hyett and Vermeulen (who also contributed three tackles and an interception from his cornerback spot.”

The schools’ junior squads also took part. VSS put on an aerial show, downing the Junior Bears nine touchdowns to one.

QB Zack Smith hit five different receivers, finishing 17 of 25 for 255 yards including nine touchdown passes, five of them to receiver Caden Danbrook (nine catches, 140 yards).

Grade 9 standout Ethan Mitchell had three TDs, 73 yards receiving and added an interception on defence. Michael Preston had a solo touchdown to round out the scoring.

The Bears only managed one touchdown against a stingy Panther defense that intercepted four passes. Liam Reid and Danbrook paced all Panthers with three tackles while John Bielski (1 INT) and Matthew Reich (1 INT) chipped in two.

“Our juniors were running our offence in mid-season form and our playmakers did their job and made a lot of plays,” said Smith. “Liam Reid’s outstanding play at a new position (defensive end) was a pleasant surprise and his consistent pressure allowed us to get three interceptions.”

Both VSS teams travel to Abbotsford for Week 1 exhibition games. The Senior Panthers take on the Robert Bateman Timberwolves Friday afternoon while the Juniors tackle the Abbotsford Panthers Saturday afternoon.

Just Posted

Lake Country Winter Blues Fest bigger and better in its second year

Organizer Ryan Donn says he’s already planning the 2019 edition

Reel Reviews: The Commuter arrives, but The Post delivers

We say, “The Post is taut and electric. The Commuter is clever.”

Street Sounds: Free funk grooves

Bahamas goes down a smooth, funky road on his fourth album, Earthtones

Vernon seniors accomodation society holds meeting

Abbeyfield Houses Society holds its annual general meeting Jan. 27

Okanagan woman’s generosity honoured

For Hazel Turchinetz, volunteering has always been about the animals

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Most Read