Panther offence sputters in varsity loss to Titans

VSS Panthers fall 20-0 to the host South Kamloops Titans in Southern Interior Varsity Football League action.

The VSS Panthers had trouble translating red zone into end zone as they fell 20-0 to the host South Kamloops Titans in Southern Interior Varsity Football League action Friday.

Scoreless after the first quarter, South Kam collected a safety in the second quarter, followed by a 45-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the half to make it 8-0.

With the Panthers pressing for the end zone in the third quarter, the Titans came up with a timely interception and ran it back 105 yards for a TD.

“Our red zone offence cost us the game as we got there five times and came away with nothing,” said VSS head coach Sean Smith. “We weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities we were given and shot ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties and turnovers.”

South Kamloops capped the scoring in the final quarter by recovering a VSS turnover in their end zone.

“Full credit goes to South Kam – they out hustled us, were more disciplined and controlled the ball for long periods of time. They definitely wanted it more and deserved the win,” added Smith.

Quarterback Caton Garvie went 2 for 14 for16 yards and two picks.

Colton Klein led the ground attack, compiling 90 yards and a fumble on 18 carries. Brett Lemiski (20 yards), Garvie (11 yards), Keaton Hubner (10 yards) and Ryan Messer (six yards) also got some touches.

Hubner had one catch for 11 yards, and Lemiski had another for five.

Defensively, Klein and Hubner were the top Cats with 11 tackles each, Noah Miller and Colten Gaudet each had nine, and Thomas Mills and Lemiski each supplied six. Isaiah Hennessey, who had a fumble recovery, and Garvie, who reeled in three interceptions, chipped in with four tackles each.

“Our defence gave up six points, intercepted three balls and recovered a fumble. But when you give up a safety, an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery in our end zone – it’s tough to overcome.”

The Panthers are tied with the Fulton Maroons and Kalamalka Lakers for first place at 4-1, “but now have to win out our last two games. It put’s some pressure on us and I hope the boys respond,” said Smith.