Caden Danbrook of the Vernon Panthers is the leading receiver in the B.C. Junior Varsity Football League. (Photo Submitted)

Panthers ready for Whalers

The Vernon Panthers battle the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville Saturday morning at B.C. Place

The Vernon Panthers aim to win a B.C. Junior Varsity Football League title before moving to the senior ranks next season.

Sean Smith’s Cats (6-0) go up against the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville (4-1) in the Subway Bowl final Saturday, 11 a.m., at B.C. Place.

“Ballenas is a very well coached team that has been one of the best AA programs for a while,” said Smith. “I believe their strength is their o-line and their offensive execution. They have lots of formations, plays and counters to those plays that makes it hard to nail down tendencies when we game plan defensively. They are much bigger than us and have good offensive balance in terms of run/pass – but I’d say they are a power team. They are going to run it at us until we stop it, so we are going to see if we can step it up.”

The Whalers get prime-time offence from running back Steve Boley, who ran for more than 250 yards and supplied three touchdowns in a 50-0 quarterfinal win over the Samuel Robertson Titans. Ballenas bounced the Langley Saints 18-15 in the semifinals.

Smith says the Panthers have multiple leaders who make a difference with action rather than words. The entire group has dedicated themselves to training to get better, more than any other jayvee team Smith has coached. Vernon iced the Abbotsford Panthers 3-0 in their semifinal.

“They also have absorbed a lot and are able to run the same offence and defences that our senior team runs. They have committed themselves during film study and practice sessions to learn the game and our offensive system so we have a lot of smart football players on the field. Our strength is definitely our speed and ability to pass the ball. We have a lot of receivers that can run and get open along with a quarterback that can get them the ball and scramble if required.

“We have a pretty dynamic and explosive offense for the jayvee level and it’s far and away the best passing attack that I’ve coached in jayvee. They have taken it to the next level where they not only run plays but they can adjust on the fly based on what they see from the defence. This makes them very hard to defend.”

Zack Smith of the Panthers is the No. rated quarterback in the province with a 70.7 passing percentage. He has tossed for 926 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Caden Danbrook of VSS is the top receiver in B.C. with 16 receptions for 331 yards and five TDs. Ethan Mitchell is third with 11 catches for 235 yards and four touchdowns, while Kevin Morgan is fifth with 15 receptions for 200 yards and three TDs.

Matthew Reich racked up 352 rushing yards and six scores, eighth best in the province.

The Panthers have blown out a lot of teams but never celebrated too hard: it’s just business as usual.

“Last week Liam Reid hit the game-winning field goal in the semifinal game with under two minutes to go,” said Smith. “He reacted by picking up his tee and got ready to do the kick off. Most of the other boys on the field did the same. They are a Grade 10-heavy group and so a lot of them will be moving up to senior – with many of them participating in the senior semifinal game last Saturday.”

RELATED:

Panthers get a kick out of semis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Calvary Chapel Kelowna

Attendees of the Sept. 13 morning church service may have been exposed, Interior Health says

West Kelowna Warriors top Vernon Vipers in return to action

The Warriors earned a 4-1 win to kick off Okanagan Cup tournament

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read