The Fulton Maroons clinched first place in the Interior Junior Varsity AA Football Conference by grounding the Vernon (VSS) Panthers 10-0 Tuesday at Grahame Park.
The Maroons (5-2) will host the winner of the West No. 3 vs East No. 3 playoff game in Vancouver (date and venue to be announced). The Panthers dropped to 3-4. The GW Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack are atop the East Conference at 3-0, while the John Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo currently lead the West at 4-0.
Colby Eisenhauer scored on a three-yard run and booted a 21-yard field goal as Fulton recorded their third straight shutout and fourth of the season.
Quaid Willett recorded nine tackles to spark Fulton, while Rhedz Lovena had four and Eisenhauer and Dom Kemitzis rang up three apiece. Kemitzis bagged a pair of picks, while Lovena and Jaxon Armstrong each had one interception. Van Kozak and Rey Siddique posted two sacks apiece.
Fulton head coach Mike Scheller said the Maroons have progressed immensely since camp last August.
“Our coaches Wayne Neilson, Mike Tkatschow and Kevin Stecyk are to be commended for their hard work with this team,” said Scheller. “They have done a great job with these kids. This is a great victory for our program. The defence led the way again for us.”
Dylan Wapple ran the ball seven times for 64 yards, while Siddique carried five times for 45 yards and Dom Peterson picked up 35 yards. Kozak was Fulton’s top receiver with three catches for 23 yards.
“Our defence has played absolutely great,” added Scheller. “We forced five turnovers and it makes a huge difference in field position and momentum. The secondary of Lovena, Kemitzis, Elijah Van de Vosse and Peterson have played great all year and make it tough to pass. Our D-line deserves a lot of credit for the pressure they put on opposing quarterbacks. Van Kozak played awesome at defensive end. He was a constant source of pressure. Jason Dellovoet was effective at the other DE spot. Middle linebacker Quaid Willett continued his great play. He is a tenacious tackler and is the heart of the defence.”
Eisenhauer was clutch on special teams, kicking the field goal to end the first half and making precision punts all afternoon.
“VSS has a tough pressure defence and we had a tough go against them,” said Scheller. “Kozak turned some small catches into decent gains and Wapple ran the ball hard. We need to improve offensively for the provincial playoffs.”
In other Interior Conference play Tuesday, the South Kamloops Titans toppled the Westsyde Blue Wave of Kamloops 47-12. The Titans finished at 4-3, while the Blue Wave fell to 0-7.