Fullback Keaton Vernon counted five touchdowns and racked up 288 yards as the Vernon Marauders kicked off their Junior Bantam football season with a 51-14 win over the host the Kamloops Broncos Sunday.
Starting quarterback Dylan Huber was solid in his first Junior Bantam game, reading the defence and calling his own audibles as needed. Slotback Tyler Sova provided some impressive blocking and contributed three TDs and averaged 34 yards per carry.
Tailback Connor Manahan ran for 125 yards and one score. Veteran QB Keegan Vicklund completed one of four passes for a TD, and booted 2-of-8 converts.
The O-line of Isaac Olsen, Clayton Hamming, Noah Slimmon, Jackson Ponipal, Tommy Bettcher, and Kaiden Parton stymied the Kamloops dee with a variety of blocking schemes to open gaping holes for their backs.
“Both of the QBs played solid games,” said QB coach Ed Huber. “I was also impressed with the blocking of our receivers – Tyler Braun, Kieran Webster and Teylor Munger.”
Zachary Rogers ran back four punts for 85 yards and chipped in with four tackles. Koalden Oakden also played a solid game with three tackles and a fumble recovery. Josh Hyer, Joe Bateman, Jacob Zyri and Brayden Bevans had two tackles each and kept the offence trapped in their own backfield for most of the game.
Josiah Gaskell, Tyler Riva and Taylor Pelltier recorded one tackle each and kept constant pressure on the Bronco QBs.
“The defence was very solid other than the two lapses in containment that Kamloops capitalized on,” said defensive coordinator Andy Stefansson, noting that the Broncos had been held to only 66 net yards.
The Marauders visit the West Kelowna Sundevils, 2 p.m., Sunday at Shannon Lake Field.
Meanwhile, the Vernon Yellowjackets opened their Pee Wee season with a 30-7 win over the Kamloops Wildcats Sunday at Hillside Stadium.