Morning Star Staff
The host Mission 9ers rallied late to defeat the previously unbeaten Vernon Magnums 28-15 in the B.C. Pee Wee Football League semifinal Saturday.
The Magnums (10-0) struck first on a 25-yard reverse by slotback Liam Glennon. The ensuing two-point kick by Glennon put Vernon up 8-0.
Mission got on the scoreboard with a TD pass reception to close the gap to 8-6 in the second quarter.
“We got off to a good start and were able to contain their rushing attack for most of the first half,” said Magnums’ head coach Sean Smith. “Unfortunately, we got inside their territory a couple of other times in the half but weren’t able to get any more points on the board. Liam Glennon provided a huge spark for us on offence.”
Vernon quarterback Ethan Anderson (1-for-3, 10 yards) called his own number from the one-yard line and Ethan Mitchell ran an errant long snap into the end zone for a single convert to increase the Magnums’ lead to nine.
However, the momentum was quickly lost when Mission returned the ensuing kick-off 65 yards to paydirt. Following a three-and-out by Vernon, Mission worked on a short field following a no-yards penalty on the punt.
A touchdown shortly after put the 9ers up for good.
“It stings a little harder when you lose a game that you led for nearly three quarters, but we gave it our best shot,” added Smith. “I couldn’t be prouder of the effort the boys put in.”
Defensively, Isaiah Ondrik was a beast, registering nine tackles while Brady Szeman contributed seven, Matthew Reich recorded five and Cameron Moger and Ethan Schiman each produced four.
“Ondrik did a great job containing their leading rusher who had good open field speed,” said Smith. “I also thought that Ethan Mitchell was outstanding at his corner position.”
Reich racked up 75 yards on 16 touches, while Glennon rung up 70 yards on five carries and Ondrik rushed 26 yards on eight runs.
The 9ers will play at B.C. Place for the provincial Pee Wee title this weekend.