The Fulton Maroons had no answers for the Hladik brothers.
Big brother Ben hauled in touchdown catches of 26 and 30 yards from quarterback Thomas Hyett, while younger brother Bradley stretched his consecutive games with a touchdown streak to four, scoring on a 29-yard pass from Hyett and on a 16-yard reverse, to lead the Vernon Panthers to a 27-7 win over the Maroons in Okanagan Conference Senior Varsity Football League action Friday at Greater Vernon Athletic Park.
“I can’t say enough good things about how both of the Hladiks are playing this year,” said Panthers head coach Sean Smith.
“I’d put Ben up there with any player in the province on both sides of the ball. And Bradley is getting better and better each week (also added an interception on defence Friday). He is giving the coaches much more than we anticipated this season. His interception was a great anticipation play and he keeps finding ways to get to the end zone.”
VSS built up a 27-0 lead at halftime.
“We had a horrible first half and we have to credit Vernon in part for it,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller.
“They are a physical, tough team. They tackled very well and blocked even better. They were tougher than us and it showed in the score. You have to credit their coaching staff. Their kids were very well prepared. They took away our big plays and they maximized the talents of their better players. But, we just did not come out with enough intensity. As a head coach, I take the blame for that.”
Hyett continues to put up solid and efficient passing numbers, going 11 of 15 for 176 yards to go along with three touchdowns and an interception.
“They blitzed a lot so I was very impressed with how Tom stood in the pocket and delivered some great balls with pressure in his face,” said Smith. “This is his first year as a starter (Grade 10) and he’s running our offense very well.”
The Maroons scored with four minutes to go in the fourth when receiver Caden Doyle hauled in a 39-yard pass from quarterback Ike Olson.
Jeff Han booted the extra point.
Grade 10 standout Charles Lemay was all over the field contributing seven tackles for the Panthers, a quarterback sack and a fumble recovery to go along with 56 yards on the ground on four carries.
Tackle Tyler Riva had a big day stuffing the Maroon inside run game with 6.5 tackles.
“To hold us to 45 yards rushing is a credit to them,” said Scheller. “We had been averaging close to 300 yards the past three games.”
Olson was 11 of 20 for 146 yards with the one major and one pick.
Doyle caught four passes for 90 yards, Han hauled in four catches for 26 yards while Teigan Derkach had a pair of receptions for 20 yards.
Ryan Rumsey rushed 10 times for 24 yards.
Olson led the Maroons on defence with seven tackles, Rumsey added five while Andrew Goldenthal and Koalden Gudeit-Oakden had four each.
“I was very happy with the way our kids responded in the second half,” said Scheller. “We could have rolled over, but did not.
“Ryan Rumsey had a very good game, Gudeit-Oakden, at corner, made some good plays for us as well. I liked the blocking and work of Teigen Derkach as a wideout. He improves every day. Defensively, we stepped up and tackled better in the second half. I credit defensive coaches Ben Olson and Bryan Cragg for getting our kids to play better.”
The Panthers, ranked No. 2 in the B.C. AA standings, improve to 4-1 overall (1-0 in conference) while Fulton drops to 1-1 in league (3-3 overall).
Both teams are in Kamloops for league play Friday. VSS meets the South Kamloops Titans while the Maroons take on the Valleyview Vikings.