Clearly too much for the Mt. Baker Trojans to handle, the VSS Panthers spread the ball around in a 67-0 Southern Interior High School Football League victory Saturday at Kalamalka Secondary.
Fill-in tailback Thomas Mills led the injury-riddled Cats with three touchdowns runs of three, 53 and 12 yards.
“With our injury situation at a critical level across the board, it was nice to see Thomas Mills step up and perform well at a new position,” said VSS coach Sean Smith. “Hopefully he can do the same thing next week against stiffer competition.”
The Panthers can clinch the conference title with a win over the Okanagan Mission Huskies Saturday (2 p.m, Kal).
“We need to have a great week of practice so we are prepared for OKM,” added Smith. “They are a strong team that will be looking to knock us off for a chance to make the playoffs.”
Caton Garvie opened the Panther offence on a 42-yard run in the first quarter, followed shortly after by Colton Klein on a 52-yard romp and Brett Lemiski on a 48-yard TD reception from Garvie.
Mills made it 26-0 in the second quarter, while Will Finch scored on a two-yard pass from Garvie and Perry Klymchuk ran in the two-point convert, to close the first-half scoring.
Mills, Noah Miller on a 40-yard pass from Klymchuk, and Isaiah Hennessey on a 60-yard interception return, recorded TDs in the third.
Mills and Klymchuk on a 10-yard ramble, had TDs in the fourth quarter. Hennessey booted five converts. Mills finished with 85 yards rushing on six touches.
“Cody Bell had a great game for us on both offence and defence,” said Smith. “He defended the pass well and made a couple of nice blocks on offence.”
Miller led the Cats’ defence with 10 tackles and one sack, while Colten Gaudet earned nine tackles, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt.
Keaton Hubner registered eight tackles and scooped up a fumble, while Bell supplied eight tackles and Mills had seven tackles and one fumble recovery.
Andy Hladik provided three tackles and one pick, while Jared Caton had three tackles. Hennessey, Will Finch and Ben Alder grabbed one fumble apiece.