The Kelowna Lions stunned the previously unbeaten Vernon Yellow Jackets 8-6 in the Southern Interior Pee Wee Football Conference in front of a boisterous crowd Sunday at Mission Sports Field.
The Lions jumped out to an early 8-0 lead on their first possession of the game, a 47-yard touchdown run. The score remained the same until the third quarter when Vernon tailback Bryce Tkachuk burst through the line for a 60-yard TD scamper.
Vernon missed the convert. Kelowna threatened to score on two occasions in the fourth quarter with the ball inside the Vernon five-yard line.
Tkachuk led all tacklers with six while Matthew Reich and Isaiah Ondrik each contributed four-and-a-half.
Vernon regained possession of the ball on their own one-yard line with 109 yards to go and two minutes remaining,
A third and 10 run for 11 yards by Tkachuk, and a 20-yard ramble by Riley MacGillivray brought the ball into Lion territory with under a minute to go. However, the Kelowna defence held on third and five.
“Give full credit to Kelowna,” said Yellow Jacket head coach Bryan Cragg. “They did a great job tackling and bouncing our backs to the sideline. Our offence couldn’t get any rhythm going and could only manage one big play on the day.
“Even though we are disappointed in the loss, our boys had an outstanding season (11-1) and the coaches are proud of the way they battled to the end of the game. Unfortunately, we weren’t the best team today and Kelowna will advance.”