The South Kamloops Titans used a solid rushing attack to roll over the Vernon Panthers 36-6 in Interior high school junior boys football conference action Wednesday at Grahame Park.
The Titans opened the scoring after cashing in on an early Panther fumble to take an 8-0 lead on their first drive. A 90-plus-yard drive later in the first quarter pushed the Kamloops lead to 14-0.
“The long drive was a back breaker for our defence,” said VSS coach Sean Smith.
“We had them fourth-and-long inside their 10-yard line and they got a first down, which later led to a touchdown. A stop could have changed the momentum.”
Levi Nicholas narrowed the lead to 14-6 when he plunged in from five yards out early in the second quarter. However, the Titans responded with a rushing score of their own to make the score 22-6 at the half.
“They overpowered us on both sides of the ball,” said Smith. “They were big, strong, well-coached and stuck to what they were good at (running the ball and stopping the run).
“We knew they were going to run it at the heart of our dee and we couldn’t stop them. We knew they were going to stack the line of scrimmage on defence and we couldn’t move the ball consistently. Full credit to Kamloops for the win.”
The second half saw the Titans cash in two more rushing touchdowns to cap the scoring.
The Vernon coaches praised the play of three Panther rookies on defence – Ben Hladik and Chase Larsen did a great job at defensive end, improving immensely as the game progressed, and first-time linebacker Louis Wesner was all over the field making 13.5 tackles.
Quarterback John Garvie passed for 103 yards on five completions, and rushed for 70 yards on six carries to lead the Panthers offensively.