Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Panthers remained unbeaten (6-0) and atop the Interior Junior Varsity Football League with a 41-8 win over the host Rutland Voodoos Tuesday.
Tailback Charles Lemay and wide receiver Ethan Mitchell both recorded three touchdowns to pace the Cats. Lemay, who was a force on both sides of the ball, rushed 10 times for 146 yards while also registering a team-high six tackles.
“I was very happy with our offensive efficiency against Rutland,” said VSS head coach Sean Smith. “We took what they gave us and moved the ball on the ground and through the air all game.”
Quarterback Zack Smith hit seven different receivers going 12-of-15 for 150 yards, including two touchdowns.
“We have so many boys that are really starting to pick up our offence,” added coach Smith. “It was nice to be able to spread the ball around. Having seven different players catch a pass in a jayvee game is great for our team and nice to know we have depth at all positions. Our three incompletions were drops by the receivers so we are doing a great job of getting open and Zack is finding them.”
The Panthers took a 28-7 lead into the half with the only blemish being a kickoff return touchdown following their first TD drive.
“They have a couple of big, strong backs and we tried to bring them down with arm tackles and took poor angles early in the game. Against that type of back we found out quickly how it can hurt us. Thankfully, we adapted and were able to shut down their run game after the first couple of drives.”
Mitchell caught three passes for 40 yards, posting TD receptions of 20 and 10 yards.
Matthew Reich rang up 61 yards on three catches, while Riley Macgillivray pocketed two receptions for 28 yards.
Kael Black bagged five tackles, while Tristen Baker earned four. Smith had one pick.
The Panthers travel to Kamloops Wednesday to face the second-place Westsyde Blue Wave in a battle for first place.
“Westsyde is big and has a great power run game and can pass on offence. This will be our biggest test of the year. The stakes are pretty high as the winner will get a first round bye in the playoffs and the loser will most likely travel in the first round.”
Meanwhile, the South Kam Titans toppled the Fulton Maroons 35-6 in junior varsity action Wednesday at Grahame Park.
The game was postponed from Tuesday since the Titans’ bus broke down.
Evan Trottier scored on a one-yard run for the Maroons, who trailed 18-6 at the break. Trottier rushed 67 yards on 10 touches, while Chapperon Chillihitzia produced 70 yards on nine carries.
Adam Young caught one 10-yard pass from Trottier.
Liam Gombrich and Ethan Schiman each garnered six tackles.
“Liam Gombrich had his best game of the season,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “I thought he played very well at defensive end and guard. He was tough in there. Evan Trottier gave it his all, all game and is to be commended for his effort all season.
“He is a committed kid. Chillihitzia was our most dangerous player all year, and he was a threat whenever he touched the ball.”
Scheller praised the Maroons for playing their best half of the season in the first half.
“In the second half, we got a couple of injuries in key spots that tested our depth and we did not adapt. We struggled to move the ball.”
Scheller also gave props to defensive end/tackle Seiji Bott and fullback/linebacker Schiman in a tough 0-6 season.
Fulton entertains South Kam (6 p.m.) tonight in senior varsity league play at Greater Vernon Athletics Park.
VSS is at Westsyde tonight and entertain Valleyview Vikings next Friday (5 p.m.). Fulton has a bye next week since Seaton folded.