The Vernon Marauders have solidified fourth spot and are chasing third after a 33-24 Southern Interior Football Conference Junior Bantam win over the host Salmon Arm Broncos Sunday.
The first half was all Salmon Arm, with the only touchdown for the Marauders coming from Tyler (Ducky) Sova on a 1-yard rush that overpowered Salmon Arm’s goal-line stand.
Down 24-6 at the half, the Marauders battled back and showed a lot of tenacity and character. Levi Nicholas started the comeback on the first possession, making a 35-yard TD reception.
Jonah Waterstreet dominated in the second half, scoring three TDs and a single-point convert, gaining 164 yards on 11 carries, and garnering another 35 yards on three catches.
Quarterback Trey Isaac was successful on one of five convert attempts to round out the scoring. Isaac was brilliant in orchestrating the offence, getting great blocking by Hayden McLean, Bryce Goodrich, Daniel Henrie, Mike Tesarski, Kegan Vickland, Jamie Bertram and Josh Hyer.
Fullback Carson Labrecque was also big, rushing for 52 yards and delivering some crushing blocks.
Weston Vanderveen was the defensive star of the game with three tackles and three interceptions. Also solid on defence were Connor Manahan, who recorded three tackles and a sack, Jackson Ponipal, with two tackles and a sack, Connor Kaman, with two tackles and a fumble recovery, and Mitchel Johnsten, Koalden Oakden and Connor (Torpedo) Forest with four tackles each.
“We struggled in the first half, but the boys really slammed the door in the second,” said defensive coach Andy Stefansson.
The Vernon Magnums lived up to their motto “Sempre Fi” by recognizing and overcoming adversity.
The Magnums team bus left Saturday from Vernon missing 14 of 31 regulars, but grounded the Rocky Mountain Rams 49-0 in Midget play Sunday in Cranbrook.
Vernon’s “Brute Force” defence, led by co-captains Landon Koenig and Jonathan Roy, stopped the Rams cold, allowing just one first down in the first quarter.
The Vernon offence, led by co-captains Chad Woodhead and Taylor Jameson, moved the ball well, culminating in a 40-yard misdirection TD run by Game MVP Kyle Olsen-Brown.
Vernon’s defence sealed up the field in the second quarter with three great backfield tackles by Jameson, Koenig and Hawk Mendoza.
Woodhead called a great second quarter, while runningback Brett Frankland ran hard behind the formidable offensive line of Zac Warner, Jacob Tarr and Jameson for his first touchdown of the game.
On Vernon’s next series, they pushed the ball down to the six-yard line where Koenig hit the end zone with three Rams hanging off him.
Woodhead then connected with Olsen-Brown on a 45-yard TD pass. Olsen-Brown then went to work at safety, returning a 50-yard interception for a TD.
Mendoza converted four of five first-half TDs, including a spectacular trick play for a two-pointer.
In the second half, Olsen–Brown ran in a pick for his fourth TD of the day, and Frankland rambled 70 yards for his second score.
Big Mike Bridge took over kicking duties for an injured Mendoza, converting both TDs.
“This was a fantastic day for B.C. Midget football,” beamed Vernon coach Bill (Lumpy) Tarr. “The sportsmanship on and off the field makes me proud to be associated with all the players and coaches, no matter which team they were on today.”
In Pee Wee action, the visiting Vernon Yellow Jackets stormed the Salmon Arm Colts 38-0.
Vernon’s “Big Mac” defence held Salmon Arm to one first down all game. Almost the entire defence recorded tackles, including Seth Nichols, Issac Olsen, Garret (G-Dog) Black-Thomas, Kayden Doughty, Thomas (T-Mac) Mackewich, Thomas Satterthwaite, Bryce Turner, Miles Forrest, Jeff Estrada, Trey Winstanley, Bryce Tkachuk, Carson Harrower, Micheal Hogan, Ethan Ehman and Tristen Baker.
Black-Thomas and Forrest also had sacks while Black-Thomas had a second-half interception.
Vernon, who are 5-2 with five shutouts, got three touchdowns from Zach Benn and 17 carries, 202 yards and one score from Riley MacGillvray.
Issac Olsen and Jordan Scherck, with his first-ever points in his football career, also pocketed TDs.
Evan Worth, Dylan Huber and Teylor Munger also ran the ball.
“Huge credit goes to the offensive line of Liam Alder, Joe Bateman, Clayton Hamming, Carson Hamming, Nez Ford, Stephane Foster and Taylor Pelletier, who created huge holes all day for the runningbacks,” said Jackets’ head coach Ed Huber.
In Atom play, Zach Smith racked up 184 rushing and three TDs as the Vernon Blue Bombers iced Salmon Arm 38-6.
Matthew Reich racked up 99 yards and one touchdown, while Isaaiah Ondrik had one TD.
Brady Szeman earned seven tackles, Daniel Lesik had three and a pick and Ethan Anderson had several solo tackles, a forced fumble and a recovery.