Ground and pound. It’s a mixed martial arts strategy and it worked for the host Kalamalka Lakers as they opened the high school senior boys football season by ambushing Cranbrook’s Mt. Baker Trojans 31-0 Saturday.
The Lakers got on the board early, scoring on their first two possessions. Kal was able to get all of their new and younger players some valuable game time in the win.
“The reps that these players are getting will serve us well down the road,” said Kal head coach Brad Yamoaka. “With everyone getting game experience it gives us coaches more options when it comes to subbing players into games. Roster sizes aren’t what they used to be so every player has to contribute.”
Brendan Squair led a limited passing attack by completing 3-of-4 for 82 yards. Gabe Delaney had two catches for 53 yards, while Robby Filice hauled in one 35-yarder.
The bulk of the offence came on the ground as Filice and Karson Patommel combined for 190 yards on only 11 carries. Of those 11, five went for touchdowns.
Filice racked up 103 yards on seven touches while scoring from 20, 26 and six yards. Patommel, a towering Grade 10, amassed 87 yards on four carries and scored from 15 and 45 yards.
Squair booted one convert.
Michael Filipenko rushed four times for 14 yards, while Hayes Harrison had five touches for 11 yards.
Kal played strong on defence, even with defensive co-ordinator Lawrie Skolrood at home recovering from the flu.
Austin Westgarde anchored the defence with six tackles and three sacks, while Filice supplied seven tackles and Sam Braun posted six tackles and one sack.
Warden Vanderveen and Andrew Farmer each produced five tackles and one fumble recovery. Chris Leverman had three tackles and one sack, while Patommel registered two tackles and two sacks.
“The nice thing about having a solid group of veteran players is that they knew what they were supposed to do,” added Yamoaka.
“When our younger players got in the game in the second half, we gave Mt. Baker too many opportunities on offence. They controlled the ball for most of the half, keeping our offence off the field. We did, however, keep them out of the end zone.”
Harrison also added 21 yards on three kickoff returns.
Next up for the Lakers in the Okanagan Senior AA Varsity Football Conference is a Friday-night tilt with the host South Kamloops Titans.