The Vernon Yellow Jackets used a balanced rushing attack and a stingy defense as the formula to defeat the host West Kelowna Sun Devils 22-0 in Pee Wee football action Sunday.
Bryce Tkachuk opened the Yellow Jacket attack with a four-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
He followed it up with a 42-yard touchdown scamper on the ensuing possession. Both extra points were converted by kicker Liam Glennon to make it 16-0 for Vernon. Tailback Riley Macgillivray scored Vernon’s third touchdown on a nifty 12-yard run just before the half to go up 22-0.
“Our offence started out slow and had trouble moving the ball early,” said Jackets’ head coach Bryan Cragg. “However, Tkachuk sparked us with some nice outside running – especially on the 42 yarder.”
The second half was dominated by defence with neither team finding the end zone. Vernon’s Matthew Reich led the Yellow Jacket Swarm on defense with an MVP performance. He finished with eight tackles, three quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery.
Said Cragg: “Matthew was all over the field making plays for us. If he wasn’t in the backfield sacking the QB, he was tracking down the ball carrier and bringing him down. Our defence as a whole did a good job limiting their rushing attack, putting pressure on the quarterback and creating turnovers. ”
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) take on the Kelowna Lions (2-0) in a battle for first place at Grahame Park (11 a.m.) Sunday.
In Junior Bantam play, the Marauders lost 22-0 to the West Kelowna Sun Devils Sunday at Shannon Field.
Connor Manahan led the offence with 72 yards rushing on 12 carries, followed by Keaton Vernon with 22 yards on seven carries. QB Keegan Vicklund scampered for 12 yards on three carries and also made a 16-yard punt recovery.
The Marauders competed hard, but had three promising drives killed by costly fumbles in the Sundevil red zone.
“We just could not quite put it all together today,” said QB coach Ed Huber.
On defence, Sebastion Sanchez was the star with nine tackles followed by Josh Hyer with seven tackles and a sack, Morgan Nichols with six tackles and Zack Rogers with four tackles.
Dorian Weeks, Garret Black-Thomas, Ethan Ehman and Josiah Gaskell also played solid games for the defence.
“The boys gained some valuable experience in this game, especially some of our new players that are still getting used to the contact in our sport,” said Marauder head coach Ron Kirschner.
The Marauders host the Okanagan Mission Lions Sunday (3 p.m.) at Grahame Park.
In Atom play, the Vernon Blue Bombers stopped the West Kelowna Sun Devils 20-12
The Bombers had a balanced offensive attack with Tayber McLean, Kolby Thorpe, and Jarret Cooper all scoring TDS. Ethan Mitchell added a two-point conversion.
Joey Mazzei led the Bombers’ defence with six tackles and William Satterhwaite and Jordon Knopf each added three.
Guy McLean’s Bombers are 2-0 and host the Kelowna Lions Sunday (9 a.m.) at Grahame Park.